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A Primer on the Codes and Standards Governing Battery Safety and Compliance

By Jeff Donato, H2Scan

Batteries have greatly influenced the utility industry, and the evolution of battery chemistries has revolutionized their applications. With the emergence of new technologies and advancements in existing ones, standards committees and safety code writers are working to develop best practices and establish minimum safety guidelines.
These groups, comprised of volunteers from diverse industry segments, are actively involved in shaping the standards and model codes that govern battery usage and safety. Their efforts are aimed at keeping pace with the rapidly evolving landscape of battery technology and ensuring its safe and efficient implementation.

Battery Applications
Batteries are used in a variety of battery energy storage (BESS) applications. Below is a list of common utility market applications and how batteries are used to support operations:
Grid Stabilization: A stronger grid is required to support increased power requirements and demand. More devices are becoming electrified, including automobiles, and are demanding more energy. Energy storage can help stabilize the grid by providing energy back to the grid when the demand rises and store energy when excess power is available.
Renewable Energy: Renewable sources of energy (solar, wind) generate electricity intermittently, and their outputs fluctuate with weather conditions. Batteries will store excess energy during periods of high renewable generation and discharge the batteries when generation is low. As a system, this provides a more consistent and reliable source of energy.
Microgrids and Off-Grid Systems: Batteries help create micro grids that can operate independently from the main power grid. In remote areas together with renewable energies, batteries can provide electricity to communities without access to the central power grid.
Grid Resilience and Backup Power: Batteries provide backup power during outages and emergencies. This includes substations that have powered switches, SCADA control systems and end users such as data centers, telecommunications companies, and other mission critical infrastructure for organizations.
Demand Response: Batteries can be used where electricity consumers reduce their demand, following a request from their utility, during peak hours in exchange for incentives. This helps reduce peak loads while managing demand fluctuations and alleviating strain on the grid.
Peak Shaving: Building owners can reduce their maximum hourly power requirement by knowing the load signature of the building and peak consumption intervals. Peak shaving lets these consumers use batteries to reduce electric charges from peak usage where price per kW is higher to off-peak usage where the price per kW is lower.
Electric Vehicle Integration: As electric vehicles become more prevalent, their batteries can be used to store excess renewable energy and discharge it back to the grid during periods of high demand.

Read full article in the Electricity Today T&D Magazine – Substation Automation Protection & Maintenance Edition

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