The STEPS Design for safety in battery systems, hosted by University of Twente (UT), took place last month on Friday 12th March. This Symposium was focused on emphasising the importance of safety when designing battery systems and addressed the latest and most important battery safety developments around the world.
With more and more people turning to renewable energy, the urgency to develop batteries is high and there is no time for the technology, “to prove itself and mature,” said Professor Braham Ferreira during the Symposium. This high pressure to develop has consequences for safety. As Deepak Pratap Singh stated, the pressure to develop quickly pushes for scientific breakthroughs that do not align with reality. Hence, as batteries develop at a fast pace, the requirements for design for safety in a battery system must too.
In her presentation, Rianne ‘t Hoen described how every energy storage system contains high energy densities. When this energy is released uncontrolled, it poses a clear risk. It is crucial to research the hazards of different battery systems and be aware of their hazardous elements such as the energy sources, the chemical sources, the materials, and the environment. Fire brigades in particular should be informed on the different hazardous elements within various battery systems so they can react accordingly in an emergency. Folkert van der Ploeg, Fire officer Twente Safety Campus, explained: the fires caused by batteries are different to ‘normal fires’ and mostly unknown to fire fighters. Nearly all speakers highlighted that the development of EU legislation and safety standards is fundamental to designing safe battery systems. As discussed during the Symposium, there is not one key solution to creating safe battery systems. To improve the safety of our battery systems we need to develop the technology, standards, and our knowledge about the systems components and the system as a whole.
See University of Twente’s Youtube channel for the highlights of the STEPS Design for Safety in Battery Systems symposium.
Also, see our own news and updates of the STEPS programme here.