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Insights from EPRI’s Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) Failure Incident Database

Insights from EPRI’s Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) Failure Incident Database

Full Title: Insights from EPRI’s Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) Failure Incident Database: Analysis of Failure Root Cause
Author(s): Lakshmi Srinivasan, Stephanie Shaw, and Eula Billaut
Publisher(s): EPRI
Publication Date: May 10, 2024
Full Text: Download Resource
Description (excerpt):

The global installed capacity of utility-scale battery energy storage systems (BESS) has dramatically increased over the last five years. While recent fires afflicting some of these BESS have garnered significant media attention, the overall rate of incidents has sharply decreased, as lessons learned from early failure incidents have been incorporated into new designs and best practices. It is necessary to have a better understanding of the causes of BESS failure. This report utilizes data from EPRI’s BESS Failure Incident Database, as well as findings from incident reports, root cause analyses, and expert interviews to develop an aggregate analysis of failure causes. The report found that a significant fraction of BESS failure incidents had an unknown root cause. Of the incidents that were classified, there was no single cause that contributed to a majority of failures. The balance-of-system components and controls were the leading causes of failure, with the cell having a relatively small number of failures attributed to it. The battery industry continues to engage in R&D activities to improve prevention and mitigation measures, including development of a better understanding of the diverse causes of BESS failures.

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