Several recent fires and explosions in home battery energy storage systems in Austria and Germany
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During September 2023, several fires and explosions involving Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) in private homes occurred in Germany and Austria.
CTIF.org has previously written about the current discourse around large large systems using lithium batteries to stabilize the power grid, or to back up large instititutions like hospitals and industries.
However, it is also popular to install battery systems in private homes to store energy collected through private solar panels or wind generators, to have as back up power in case of power failures.
Just like large BESSs, these private battery storage systems can cause fires, and often it is issues with the lithium batteries that causes problems. The danger comes not just from fires, but also from toxic gases which the batteries can emit when entering a state of thermal runaway. (When the batteries heat up uncontrollably)
PV Magazine Germany mentions five recent cases, three of them in Germany and two in Austria.
This article describes some of the recent cases:
This article describes an actual explosion in a private home:
The explosion has been linked to a 30 kWh storage unit in the basement. Preliminary findings from the investigation suggest that a technical defect may have caused the explosion, according to the police officer.
Cover photo (above): Vogelsberger Zeitung, Freiwillige Feuerwehr Lauterbach Löschzug Ost
Left: Photo by Feuerwehr Feldkirchen in Kärnten
Below: Photo by Feuerwehr Kochel am See