Technology group Wärtsilä has completed another crucial milestone in demonstrating the safety of its energy storage system (ESS), GridSolv Quantum. After rigorous testing and the release of one of the most advanced fire alarm systems on the market, Wärtsilä is now compliant with the NFPA 69 Standard.
The Standard, which sets the safety requirements for explosion prevention systems, provides security and confidence for Authority Having Jurisdictions (AHJs), the fire service, and other stakeholders that Wärtsilä continues leading the industry by example when it comes to safety.
To meet the Standard, Wärtsilä undertook extensive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling of different gas dispersion models and verified the modelling with real-life tests. The testing went beyond requirements set by the Standard by performing 25 tests between December 2022 and May 2023, including using the peak release rate and gas composition that would realistically be emitted by a thermal runaway event. During the tests, Fire and Risk Alliance (FRA) observed that the ESS actively exhausted all flammable gas in the enclosure, kept the lower explosive limit under 25% and successfully prevented deflagration and explosion. The results of the testing demonstrate that Wärtsilä’s ventilation systems will work as expected to provide an active means of protection in the event of flammable gas release.
In addition to this testing, Wärtsilä released an Addressable Fire Alarm System, one of the most advanced fire alarm systems on the market. The new Addressable Fire Alarm System provides a high level of configurability, enabling it to be customised to meet the specific needs of each site. The new intelligent addressable modules offer a wide range of data output, allowing customised notifications and controls to provide first responders and facility managers with valuable information. The detectors can be individually monitored, enhancing troubleshooting capabilities for facility managers to improve the speed and accuracy of the response. In addition, the intelligent modules can annunciate a gas alarm and automatically and remotely activate the gas ventilation system, ensuring the safety of the first responders by providing complete visibility and control. The first systems are expected to be delivered before the end of 2023.
“We have a fundamental commitment to ensuring the safety of our employees. partners, customers, emergency services, and local community members. As a principle, we routinely exceed the required fire safety standards by going beyond mandatory testing programs and this round of testing to secure the NFPA 69 Standard was no different,” said Darrell Furlong, Director of Energy Storage Product Management and Hardware Engineering at Wärtsilä. “We are proud to deploy one of the most advanced fire alarm systems the industry has seen, an advancement that sets a strong standard for others to follow.”
“This analysis and testing not only meets the NFPA 69 standard, but it goes even further by demonstrating the system's effectiveness in a wide range of release conditions,” said Noah Ryder, PhD, Managing Partner, Fire & Risk Alliance. “By combining the ventilation system with the addressable detection system, Wärtsilä can provide fire services with detailed information about the cell and environment within the ESS, enabling them to make informed decisions.”
Wärtsilä’s GridSolv Quantum is a fully integrated modular and compact ESS that offers the lowest lifecycle costs, fastest deployment times, highest quality control and maximum flexibility. By design, GridSolv Quantum solves many fundamental safety challenges such as thermal management, fire detection, short circuit handling and interconnection communication. It is certified to UL 9540 by Eurofins MET Labs in April 2022 and CSA in March 2023. It met UL 9540A unit-level performance requirements in February 2023.
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Image caption: Wärtsilä has fire safety as a major priority for its GridSolv Quantum ESS, complying with UL 9540A unit-level performance requirements and designed to meet stringent safety and quality standards. © Wärtsilä
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Wärtsilä Energy in brief
Wärtsilä Energy leads the transition towards a 100% renewable energy future. We help our partners to accelerate their decarbonisation journeys through our market-leading technologies and power system modelling expertise. These cover decarbonisation services, future-fuel enabled balancing power plants, hybrid solutions, energy storage and optimisation technology, including the GEMS Digital Energy Platform. Wärtsilä Energy’s lifecycle services are designed to increase efficiency, promote reliability and guarantee operational performance. Our track record comprises 76 GW of power plant capacity and 110 energy storage systems delivered to 180 countries around the world.
Wärtsilä in brief
Wärtsilä is a global leader in innovative technologies and lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. We emphasise innovation in sustainable technology and services to help our customers continuously improve their environmental and economic performance. Our dedicated and passionate team of 17,500 professionals in more than 240 locations in 79 countries shape the decarbonisation transformation of our industries across the globe. In 2022, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 5.8 billion. Wärtsilä is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.