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Samsung SDI’s ESS Safety Technology Gains UL9540A Safety Standards

Published: Nov 05,2019

Samsung SDI has become the first Li-ion battery manufacturer to fulfill the rack-level safety standards of the UL9540A test for Energy Storage System (ESS), which was developed by UL, a global safety certification company.

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The battery maker was recognized by the UL test for its capability of preventing large scale fire in the ESS by applying proprietary designs for safety of cells, modules and racks to prevent battery thermal runaway propagation.

The largest fire prevention organization in the U.S., National Fire Protection Association has recently published the NFPA 855 standard for the installation of stationary ESS. Under this regulation, battery racks must be spaced three feet (92cm) from each other to increase safety, which, however, reduces space efficiency.

According to NFPA’s ESS installation standards, when meeting UL9540A test standards, such space requirement between racks can be waived by the Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ).

The UL9540A is a test method consisting of cell, module, rack, and system level safety evaluations in the event of a failure mode by thermal runaway. It measures the characteristics of thermal runaway and the amount and composition of gas during thermal runaway. The test results are utilized to define mitigation strategies against ESS fire or explosion.

The main test of UL9540A is divided into a battery rack-level test and an optional battery system-level test. The racks that satisfy the rack-level test standards, like Samsung SDI’s racks, can be installed without needing to add separate fire-fighting system.

Vice president Kyunghoon Seo from Samsung SDI Marketing Team said, “It is a result of our effort to put safety first that we were able to satisfy UL9540A test for the first time in the industry. We are committed to developing the best in class, market leading ESS safety technology.”

The global ESS market is growing rapidly prompted by government policies to expand renewable energy adoption. A market research institution SNE says the market will grow to 86.9GWh (Gigawatt hours) in 2025, up by 33% annually from 11.6GWh last year.

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