Technology group Wärtsilä has passed a significant milestone in ensuring the safety of its energy storage system (ESS), GridSolv Quantum, by successfully completing UL 9540A unit-level testing.
Fire safety is a major priority for the energy storage industry and Wärtsilä’s ESSs are designed to meet stringent safety and quality standards. The rigorous testing involved intentionally heating a cell to induce thermal runaway within a Wärtsilä ESS module. Performing these tests reveals important information to the manufacturer, first responders and asset owner about how the system will react in the highly unlikely event of a cell failure. These test results solidify Wärtsilä’s position as a market leader in the manufacturing of safe, compliant battery systems.
Wärtsilä’s GridSolv Quantum technology passed all performance requirements for Outdoor Ground Mounted equipment per UL 9540A by proving that, if battery cells within a module go into thermal runaway, it would not spread to other modules or, in worst case, other adjacent units. Overall, the Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) of the ESS remained below 25%, with no risk of deflagration. No explosion hazards were exhibited by the product, and no flaming occurred beyond the outer dimensions of the ESS. Due to these industry-leading results, Wärtsilä can now install units less than ten feet away from building lines and public ways per current fire codes and standards.
“This milestone underscores our commitment to safety for our partners, customers, local safety officials, and local community members. We will continue to work closely with local fire services and first responders to ensure all safety precautions are met as we integrate ESSs globally,” said Darrell Furlong, Director of Energy Storage Product Management and Hardware Engineering at Wärtsilä. “With Wärtsilä’s 100% safety record for our GridSolv Quantum technology, we’re leading the industry by example and demonstrating our commitment to furthering safety standards. We’re committed to remaining at the cutting-edge of product development, without sacrificing safety as a top priority.”
Wärtsilä’s fire safety partners and stakeholders – including Intertek, Fire & Risk Alliance, Energy Safety Response Group and Energy Security Agency – oversaw the testing. Wärtsilä works closely with these groups to ensure it is completing the latest, most rigorous testing available to manufacturers.
“Wärtsilä achieved the best possible outcome from these tests. There was no external flaming observed, the concentration of gases was manageable and the scenario did not become hazardous. This is as good as it gets from a results standpoint,” said Noah Ryder, PhD, P.E., Managing Partner, Fire & Risk Alliance.
“This was a successful, benign UL 9540A test,” said Nick Warner, Principal, Energy Safety Response Group.
“These were some of the most manageable and low-hazard tests we have experienced to date. It’s crucial that emergency services are involved in the testing of this kind of technology, and we congratulate Wärtsilä on passing the significant milestone,” said Dalan Zartman, Chief Operations Officer, Energy Security Agency.
A Wärtsilä customer who attended the testing stated the following: “The testing indicates Wärtsilä is pursuing a high level of thoroughness and taking the necessary precautions when it comes to safety. They have an excellent, friendly technical team. These factors provide us with a high degree of confidence in their technology.”
GridSolv Quantum is a fully integrated modular and compact ESS that offers the lowest life cycle costs, fastest deployment times, highest quality control and maximum flexibility. By design, GridSolv Quantum solves many fundamental safety challenges such as thermal management, fire suppression, short circuit handling and interconnection communication. It achieved Eurofins MET Labs and CSA Certified to UL 9540 in April 2022. Wärtsilä’s GridSolv Quantum utilises CATL Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) batteries, which are less prone to fire risk, adding an extra layer of safety.
Wärtsilä Energy Storage & Optimisation Technology
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Image caption: Wärtsilä has fire safety as a major priority for its GridSolv Quantum ESS, passing UL 9540A 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.