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Fireman warns solar powered batteries may cause ferocious fires

House Fire

Channel Seven News.

Unintended consequences: When your insurance to stop the planet burning burns down your house instead.

Storing all that energy in a small box at home. What could possibly go wrong?

Fire crews are warning that solar powered batteries may cause fires that move fast and burn with “ferocity”.

Solar home battery warning after Brisbane house fire

Brisbane Times, Toby Crockford

The homeowner told reporters they had solar panels connected to lithium-ion batteries and suspected the fire started nearby, a view shared by firefighter Malcolm Muscat.

“[There were] approximately three battery banks so lithium-ion, lead-acid batteries, they burn with a ferocity that moves through the house quickly,” Mr Muscat said.

Remember: When the future of the planet is at stake, there’s no such thing as too much insurance.

We just hope the owners had plenty.

Friends and family can be consoled that the house has been sacrificed for a good fashionable cause.

Note this is the “suspected” cause in this fire, but solar panels have been linked to many other house fires.

Does your home need a “fire bunker”?

‘Years to understand’ fire risk of solar power systems

From July 12th, 2017, Greg Brown, The Australian

Victoria’s Metropolitan Fire Brigade has responded to more than 40 fires caused by home solar power systems in the past five years and warned that it would take years to understand the fire risk posed by lithium ion battery storage.

The MFB said the solar installations were vulnerable to faults across their systems, including isolation switches, inverters and installed wiring, and from deteriorating components.

The alarming figures come as the solar battery storage industry pushes to kill new regulations that would force homeowners to build a separate “fire bunker” housing for battery installations.

Crikey! Check out the wording on the draft safety standards:

Under draft rules released by Standards Australia, lithium ion batteries are classed as “Fire Class 1” and would not be allowed inside or within 1m of a domestic dwelling. The industry will have until August 15 to respond to the draft regulations.

Energy Safe Victoria director Neil Fraser said at least eight solar panel models had been taken off the market in the past five years because of fire concerns.

What happened to those draft AS/NZS 5139 rules from 18 months ago? After a bit of a panic from the industry and complaints Standards Australia agreed to review things, then in December last year adopted “international standards“. It’s not like we are in a fire prone country with extended fire risk seasons, large houses, and lots of solar panels, I guess…

Apparently, Standards Australia was accused of “complete overkill” for suggesting that people installing a known fire hazard should put it in a bunker.

Ben Potter, Australian Financial Review

Standards Australia could be stripped of its authority to set standards for home batteries such as the Tesla Powerwall 2 after the battery industry dismissed a draft standard requiring lithium ion batteries to be locked in concrete bunkers as “overkill”.

The standards setting body has been working on the standard for a year year but its draft standard is so onerous that battery installers reckon it could kill off their industry and German battery-maker Sonnen has shelved plans for local production until the impasse is resolved.

Imagine being accused of overkill by the same team that want to save the Earth with light globes, panels and windmills.

 

h/t Pat

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174 comments to Fireman warns solar powered batteries may cause ferocious fires

  • #
    StefanL

    Let’s hope that there are never any human “sacrifices”.

    200

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      But Stefani, there are human sacrifices. The green-left love human sacrifices. Their schemes can’t operate without them.

      Think of all those people who die from the cold inflicted by expensive and fashionable renewable energy schemes. Those pensioners and the poor who cannot afford their subsidies to the rich. The IPCC out-of-touch elites who live off the public drip-feed and make the lives of the less fortunate even more less fortunate.

      Yep. There are human sacrifices. Hundreds of millions of them. And Australia is not immune either – notwithstanding the Labor Party’s mock concern for them.

      300

    • #
      Geoff from Tanjil

      About 4 to 5 years ago a friend installed solar panels and twin Invereters on his large farm garage/shed. I recall he was going to add batteries later. Within days the Inverters caught fire and fortunately he was around to put it out. Apparently the Inverters were not connected correctly. He nearly lost valuable machinery, trucks and cars. He immediately had a different installer move the Inverters 10 metres away into a propose built enclosure. If he has batteries at the time he may have lost everything. I have wondered since how many fires have been caused by either faulty installations or equipment.

      160

      • #
        Kinky Keith

        Good point, but we want to keep focus on the main issue.

        Assuming that all installers are suitably qualified, the other issue is a serious constant: the dangerous chemical combustion of the Li Po.

        Heat generation plus toxic fume.

        KK

        80

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          HF gas i believe

          http://www.alviautomation.com/lithium-ion-battery-fires-hydrogen-fluoride-detector/

          “Gas Safety risks in Li-Ion battery charging rooms:

          Li-Ion batteries when overcharged or short circuited are overheated and catch fires
          Li-Ion battery fires have caused great concern because of risks due to spontaneous fires and intense heat generated by such fires

          As a result of the above-said a lethal amount of toxic Hydrogen Fluoride Gas, HF is generated.

          HF from Li-Ion battery fires can pose severe gas safety risks in confined spaces like battery charging rooms, renewable energy storage plants in solar or wind power plants

          The electrolyte in Li-Ion battery is flammable and generally contains Lithium Hexa- fluoro -phosphate (LiPF6)
          In the event of overheating due to overcharging or short circuiting and backed by high temperature, the electrolyte in Li-Ion batteries will vaporise liberating toxic gases like CO, CO2, HF (hydrogen fluoride)

          The moisture and humidity will further exacerbate the situation generating more HF (reaction of LiPF6 with water or humidity)

          Typical HF concentration expected can be as high as 20-200 ppm of HF (NIOSH/USA Safety limit , TWA:3 ppm HF, STEL: 6 ppm HF)

          Solutions:

          Continuous monitoring of HF, Hydrogen Fluoride in toxic range of NIOSH/USA : 0-10 ppm

          Continuous monitoring of other toxic gases like CO, CO2 (gases generated due to combustion fires)

          Continues monitoring of humidity and temperature”

          https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/hydrofluoric_acid#section=Top

          “HYDROGEN FLUORIDE, ANHYDROUS is a colorless fuming liquid boiling at 67°F. Shipped as a liquid confined under its own vapor pressure. Corrosive to metals and tissue. Very short contact with fumes or small quantities of the liquid can cause severe, painful burns. Vapors are heavier than air. Density 8.2 lb / gal. Used as a catalyst and raw material in chemical manufacture. Rate of onset: Immediate & Delayed Persistence: Minutes to hours Odor threshold: 0.4 ppm Source/use/other hazard: Aluminum and other metal industries; insecticide manufacturing-corrosive liq.

          60

          • #
            Kinky Keith

            Occupational Health and Safety.

            Less important than the Vironment.

            Hang on; aren’t we part of that?

            Government of the People
            By the Elites
            For the Elites.

            KK

            60

  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    If it can happen, it will happen. All it takes is enough time and circumstances. Your intentions and expectations are irrelevant to the event.

    320

  • #
    Timo Soren

    The Galaxy Note 7 was the huge problem for Samsung and was caused by a tiny bends that brought electrodes in the battery to close together. An installation or design flaw (I think both. But these batteries burnt with ‘ferocity’ and they were only thin cell phone batteries.

    I can hardly imagine how a large battery would burn. I suspect, putting them out is pretty much not possible. A ValuJet plane crashed because it had O2 generators on board that initiated. They got real hot, and produced oxygen so once the fire start it self feed.

    Seems to me Li-ion are the same kind of situation. Powered and failing self feeds fires.

    230

    • #
      AndyG55

      “I can hardly imagine how a large battery would burn.”

      The more energy stored in one place, the higher the danger

      Be very thankful if that energy is released slowly, and not QUICKLY !!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nrsoMsEMNU

      180

    • #
      sophocles

      The trouble is, Andy, that the energy density is very high and casing materials are almost invariably plastics which are also highly flammable. When one starts to burn, it is almost never slow. They seem to be designed and constructed to burn fiercely and fast.

      <smug>Vindicated. </smug>

      I was in the market for a new battery-operated drill about four years ago. I refused to consider the then new Li-on powered versions, despite prolonged hymns of praise from various and sundry salespeople about how much more powerful than the then conventional NiCad battery-powered ones they were. I would have nothing to do with the Li-on batteries and it wasn’t their (high) price. They produce oxygen internally in the batteries during charge/discharge cycles. I’ve always considered them risky. I managed to find and purchase one of the last of the NiCad ones.

      Check the international statistics on the number of fires started by lap-top computers (Li-on batteries!). Even just one igniting inside the house (or office, for that matter) is one too many. I regard Tesla cars as four-wheeled mobile incinerators/firetraps and over last year and this year have poked borax at a few of the fires.

      Any garage parking a Tesla should be made of solid concrete and be isolated from any other building by several metres.

      I read about the Tesla Power Wall batteries when they were first announced. My first thought was horror at such a fire risk mounted on an internal wall of a domestic home. I won’t consider them. I’ve been waiting for fires. This one is the first one I’ve heard about, but I won’t apologize for sounding smug. Even one in a decade is one too many and sets an unacceptable risk for any building housing children.

      I haven’t heard about battery-powered tool fires but neither have I looked—I might wax unbearably smug if I do find any.

      Every fire caused by or featuring a Li-on battery just reinforces my dislike of them and refusal to adopt any device using them. Yes, I do have a cell phone and a lap-top computer. Yes, they both use Li-on batteries. I dislike that facet of them. Intensely.

      I’ve never heard of properly installed (ventilated and cooled) Lead/Acid batteries incinerating themselves but that does not mean to say that it hasn’t happened. I expect the SA battery to do a Smoky any day. The one in Brussels went off in its first week.

      Yes, I’m prejudiced. You may regard it as irrational if you like, but I don’t. It’s the lack of warning I so intensely dislike and the almost immediate intensity of the fire. The risk, while admittedly small, is very real.

      270

      • #
        John F. Hultquist

        ??
        Were you going for the italics ‘em’ or the bold ‘strong’ ??
        ‘ i ‘ and ‘b ‘ work too.

        10

        • #
          sophocles

          Were you going for the italics ‘em’ or the bold ‘strong’ ??
          ‘ i ‘ and ‘b ‘ work too

          No, John. I wasn’t. They’re fake tags like:
          <sarc> … </sarc>
          <laugh> … </laugh> or :-) , ;-) , :P ;

          To make those fake “tags” you need to use special characters, otherwise the browser tries to interpret them as real tags. Because they’re fake, it hasn’t got a hope. Think of them as being a bit like emoticons … except I haven’t found a “smug” one of those … yet.

          20

      • #

        I don’t know about the rest of it, and I would never install a large battery, even lead acid, in my house, but the Li-ion batteries on tools are too good to do without. The opposite of wind turbines and solar panels, no subsidy or government mandate necessary. I loved my dewalt nicads, they revolutionised my labour. But the Li-ion range, wow. for the first time, I can use my battery rattle gun to pull off and remount my 23.5 x 25 scraper wheels. 1 battery! And I can at last grind and cut for long periods in the field with no generator or compressor. I don’t care if they catch fire, I’ll keep using them, the labour utility gain is too high to miss out on. I have about 8 batteries, mostly thrown in a pile in a bag on the ute floor, used most days for the last 18 months, so far no incidents.

        20

      • #
        Chad

        I’ve never heard of properly installed (ventilated and cooled) Lead/Acid batteries incinerating themselves but that does not mean to say that it hasn’t happened. .

        They are definitely safer, and unlikely to burst into flames, but they can explode violently, spreading hot acid around, and even when operated normally the “breathe” corrosive fumes that will eventually destroy most local equipment and fittings.
        Most battery fires are the result of human error in installation or maintenance, and a lead acid battery is equally capable of being the ignition source for a fire if shorted or overcharged.

        20

  • #
    Bitter&twisted

    Good that no one was hurt.
    But fools and their money are soon parted.
    And Enron Musk knows exactly how to extract money.

    281

  • #
    ivan

    Any of those batteries are going to be a big problem. There have been enough electric cars with almost unstoppable battery fires and people want to put those batteries in houses – more fool them, virtue signalling isn’t all its cracked up to be especially if it takes this ling to put out. https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2018/12/23/firefighters-work-16-hours-to-put-out-fires-in-tesla-model-s/

    211

    • #

      And why is it that airlines limit the total number of Li-Ion batteries that can be carried by individuals in flight?

      201

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        Does Li-on Air?

        50

      • #
        sophocles

        the Boeing Dreamliner had some fires from lithium-ion batteries made to boeing’s standards. It was one of the delays in the introduction of the plane.

        MH370 was supposed to be carrying a substantial quantity of new Lithium-ion batteries in its cargo hold. How much of that is pure speculation, I don’t know but I thought I would mention it anyway.

        81

        • #

          I’m sure that every Li-Ion battery for home solar use will be meticulously manufactured, triple inspected and tested before importing and installation in Australian homes. I mean, there could never be such issues as happened with the likes of Pink Batt installation and the Takata airbag manufacture, could there?

          130

          • #
            sophocles

            The charge/discharge cycle releases oxygen internally. No need to add any phlogiston.

            I’m sure that every Li-Ion battery for home solar use will be meticulously manufactured, triple inspected and tested before importing and installation in Australian homes.

            Of course! Could you possibly imagine that any phlogiston left in any new battery from the manufacturing process could possibly be left there by their manufacturers? For shame!

            20

        • #
          Latus Dextro

          Boeing warns airlines: Lithium battery shipments are a fire hazard

          Boeing has warned all passenger airliners that including bulk shipments of lithium-ion batteries in their cargo could cause fires that destroy airplanes. (2015)

          Boeing Dreamliner’s Lithium-Ion Battery Fails On United Flight To Paris

          United Flight 915 was at the end of a seven-hour flight from Washington’s Dulles Airport when pilots received a warning that the main battery was overheating.

          Now that Dreamliner battery failures have been deemed “non-reportable” by aviation safety authorities, it is impossible gauge the size or the scope of the problem and that’s how some folks seem to want it. The question is “why?”

          So there’s your answer Australia, deem all ‘Green’ fires as “non-reportable.”

          70

  • #
    Sean

    Fire prone Li ion batteries, flammable polyethene insulation, butane refrigerants, Roofs generating voltage during daylight hours–all to make lives greener. What could possibly go wrong?

    410

  • #
    Greg Cavanagh

    “Imagine being accused of overkill by the same team that want to save the Earth with light globes, panels and windmills.”

    Good thing I wasn’t drinking my coffee when I read this. As it was I spat muesli bar all over my monitor. Oh the Pain!

    210

    • #
      sophocles

      It’s not so much the cleaning up afterwards, it’s the cleaning up afterwards when you find out just how far and wide it all actually travelled :-)

      Been there, done that.

      50

  • #
    James Poulos

    Edison invented nickel/iron (Nife) batteries over 100 years ago.

    They need minimum maintenance.

    Will cop overcharging.

    Will last a lifetime.

    If you rely on solar these are the batteries… along with a diesel generator.

    340

    • #
      marcus

      Thank you James. The ageing appendage I still call my brain remembers the NIFE cell. Stood up well to

      serial neglect. Used in the “electric broughams” of the early 1900′s. The intent at the time was to get

      ones great grandmother into a horseless carriage without the the then requisite starting handle….

      160

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        And one of those batteries was recently ‘revived’ after nearly 90 years of inactivity.

        Their problems are weight – not a problem for stationary uses – and a high self discharge rate – requires a trickle charge to maintain full capacity.

        140

    • #
      PeterS

      I thought such batteries produced lots of hydrogen, which is explosive and thus require good ventilation thus making them just as risky if not more so. I prefer diesel generators.

      41

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        Feed it into your Fuel-cell and it will supply the trickle feed needed to keep the Nife topped up.

        22

        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          In all seriousness (which is not something that I normally admit to being) could the red thumber, gently, let me know what, exactly, it takes exception to about my comment. I just don’t get it!

          Is it that the innovative suggestion is un-technical? Implausible? Impossible?

          Do not Hydrogen fuel cells work off Hydrogen as an input?

          Cripes! Do you know no science/technology?

          This might be a bit too complex for you to understand. Read it twice. Think. Then read it again. If you still don’t understand, ask:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_cell

          72

  • #
    mike reed

    Here we go again this Lithium ion battery problem was and is a fire hazard waiting to happen and this is not the first time nor will it be the last.Yep the MSM especially
    ABC have a lot to answer for with the brain washing words and terms like -Pais Agreement,emissions targets and carbon footprints(well lithium battery fires certainly leave real carbon footprints).However real and important terms like Due diligence and Cost Benefit Analysis aren’t taken into account with greenie power solutions(and helpful croney capitalists).Okay then lets see what these “overlooked” economic phrases mean when people agree to hook up these power/storage systems.First Due
    Dligence means:i an investigation of a person or business prior to signing a contract to act with a certain standard of care.Unfortunately this fire adequately demonstrates first definition.Second Cost Benifit Analysis:to determine if an investment or decision is sound-verifying whether its benefits outweigh the costs .So
    like many other people who have purchased these systems the cost is the initial investment lets say $15000 (and of course the potential cost of a house rebuild which may not be covered by household insurance) and the “benefit” producing and storing some electricity which really wouldn’t meet the electrical energy demands of a
    contemporary house for very long in situations extended grid outages (though not a demonstrated threat at this very moment but a definite one in the near future).
    Cheers Mike Reed

    231

  • #

    Here in the uk a few weeks ago a fire chief warned against the problems caused by solar panels.

    A lightning strike had set a roof on fire. Putting it out was very dangerous because of all the electrical wiring, inverters etc connected up to the panels on the roof. This made spraying water on them very problematic. An additional problem was caused by the solar panels proving to be a considerable barrier to the firemens efforts to actually accesss the loft space and create ventilation points. The house had been struck by lightning and the solar panels apparently make that statistically more likely.

    I do wonder if special solar insurance should be required to counter the greater difficulties of fighting a fire which has solar panels in situ

    250

    • #
      PeterS

      Yes it’s time for insurance companies to add a levy on insurance covers where solar panels are used, not just because of the battery hazard issue but also due to the high cost off replacing the panels when they are damaged by hail.

      100

  • #
    Geoffrey Williams

    These barstards just don’t want to accept responsibility for their installations;
    It seems clear to any thinking person that there is very significant risk of disastrous fires caused by these lithium ion batteries.
    People’s lives are at stake, what price do we put on safety?
    If government and the regulatory authorities back off from this issue it will be a criminal act of negligence just to cover up a political inconvenience.
    GeoffW

    240

  • #
    Robert Swan

    Brings up a related thought. A battery powered car shouldn’t be stored in an attached garage. Park it on the street, or in a free standing garage.

    In my house, the bedrooms are right on top of the garage. Imagine parking his’n'hers Teslas in there with a matching Powerwall for the full righteous effect. I wonder if any life insurance policies have a “new for old” option.

    290

    • #
      RickWill

      Any battery has the energy to initiate a fire. I have experienced a fire in the engine compartment of car due to the heavy charging wire shorting to the negative terminal. It was standard wiring on a Ford Falcon in the 1980s. The fire occurred a short time after driving the car when it was parked in the attached garage. I released the hand break and pushed the car outside before opening the bonnet. The fire did not spread beyond the battery.

      Car fires are regular occurrences. In my time of driving I have seen a few immediate aftermaths. They get reported regularly for the traffic chaos they cause:
      https://www.3aw.com.au/massive-car-fire-on-eastlink/

      There is certainly a lot of stored energy in a Tesla car or home battery but a lot less than in a conventional car fuel tank when near full. Have you got any modern battery powered tools in the garage? Are you charging power tools near flammable liquid? Have you got a modern cordless vacuum cleaner on charge in a cupboard? Have you got your phone on charge on a desk under or adjacent some paper? Is your portable computer left on the charger and is sitting under a note pad? Have you looked into the kids’ rooms to see how their various devices are stored when on charge?

      Lithium batteries are all about us in modern life and ANY electrical energy source has potential to start a fire under the right circumstances.

      133

      • #
        robert rosicka

        But why do we need batteries at all Rick .

        101

        • #
          RickWill

          My best example of needing a battery is when I stalled my near batteryless car on a busy intersection on my way home from university many many years ago. There was a good deal of complaint as I got out, retrieved the crank from the boot and proceeded to crank start the car. After learning of that experience my parents bought me a new battery.

          Funny part of the dead battery issue was that my girlfriend’s parents wondered why I had such a strange ritual when I left their place late at night. They would hear the boot open, the number plate being lifted, the cranking handle going in, car coming to life and then the reverse order of number plate getting dropped down, boot closing and finally car door opening and closing before driving off. It was some years later that they learnt what I been doing to start the car. There were not many 1960 cars fitted with cranks but the Isuzu Bellett was one of them.

          As well as a heated rear window to keep your hands warm, the Lada Niva, at least till the late 90s, had an engine crank for those living in hope that there was an alternative to pushing:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgegJo9vZGw

          120

          • #
            sophocles

            … Lada Niva. Yes, I pushed a friend’s one a few times, way back. You could easily double the value of one of those by just filling the petrol tank.

            110

          • #
            Geoffrey Williams

            Great story Rick. Reminds me of my fist car in 1968 (2nd hand wreck)it was a Wolsey1500. I used to crank start that too. Mechanics outlived the bodywork in those days though the engine leaked oil like a sieve.
            GeoffW

            90

            • #
              Mal

              My first car was a Wolseley 1560
              Typical British quality. (none)
              However it did have leather seats, a walnut dash and Westminster wool carpets.
              It was black
              Cars have come a long way.
              I drive Kia Sorento diesel
              GTest long distance tourer and can manage 6.5 l per 100 km
              It also puts out great plant food into the atmosphere.
              Win win All round

              70

          • #
            yarpos

            Morris Major has that option also, I have one in the carport.

            60

      • #
        gbees

        Conventional petrol tanks don’t spontaneously combust. I prefer to have a fuel tank underneath me that a lithium battery. Fuel driven cars have proven to be safe for decades. Diesel fuel you cannot light with a match. I had repairs done to my generator fuel tank. The repair guy used a welder to repair a crack on the fuel tank with it still full.

        Modern power tool batteries are nowhere near the amp rating of car and solar batteries, and no, I don’t charge them up sitting next to fuel canisters.

        Charging laptops – it won’t be the charger which gets too hot and ignites, it’s the lithium batteries.

        131

        • #
          PeterS

          Actually there have been recalls on chargers that caused fires so even they are not 100% safe. Nothing is 100% safe but I agree that batteries are more dangerous than fuel tanks containing diesel. Diesel generators are still the way to go for backup. Besides all one has to do when it runs out of fuel is to fill the tank up again. Simples. Can’t recharge batteries when there is not enough sunlight, and even when there is it takes too long to recharge.

          80

        • #
          RickWill

          Batteries do not spontaneously combust. Unsealed cells will burn if immersed in water. Some cells do develop an internal fault and high power density cells will heat up and can cause a fire if there is surrounding material to burn – a plastic case will burn. Most common internal faults occur due to overcharging. The LiPoly battery in your modern battery power tools have very high power density. An internal fault will lead to excessive heating and cause the case to catch on fire.

          A wiring fault in a conventional car can cause a fire and there is an abundant source of combustable and flammable material in any car. Car fires are common. There were almost 200k vehicle fires in the USA in 2017:
          https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Data-research-and-tools/US-Fire-Problem/Fire-loss-in-the-United-States
          That equates to over 500 per day.

          I have seen the result of an internal fault in two LiFePO4 cells and neither resulted in any external damage. The cases simply swelled.

          I have seen the result of accidental metal contact across the terminals of three types of storage battery – lead/acid, LiFePo4 and LiPoly. The lead/acid caused the metal to reach almost red hot. the LiFePo4 vaporised the metal at the point of contact to clear the fault and the LiPoly fused the interconnecting wire causing the insulation to burn before the fault cleared. Any of these situations could have caused a fire if they occurred with combustible material in contact.

          50

      • #
        Jonesy

        Rick, your battery didn’t start the fire, the main wire to short out(Interesting, Fords have a fusible link to stop that from happening) Lithium Ion is unstable if it is not treated right. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner had big issues with their light weight Li Ion batteries. Thermal runaway is a bitch…ironic, the ONLY means of putting out this type of fire is Halon. BromoChlorDiFluroMethane. BCF…CFC!!!…unintended consequences from saving the planet.

        80

      • #
        Jonesy

        Rick, your battery didn’t start the fire, the main wire shorted out(Interesting, Fords have a fusible link to stop that from happening) Lithium Ion is unstable if it is not treated right. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner had big issues with their light weight Li Ion batteries. Thermal runaway is nasty…ironic, the ONLY means of putting out this type of fire is Halon. BromoChlorDiFluroMethane. BCF…CFC!!!…unintended consequences from saving the planet.

        61

        • #
          Jonesy

          Wow, don’t use the ‘B” word…Noted!

          20

        • #
          RickWill

          The battery was the energy source and the fuel source. The battery case burnt down to the level of the acid and I was fortunate to get the car outdoors and bonnet opened before the fire spread through the engine bay and the rest of the car. It was an Australian made FORD.

          Battery fires are common. Batteries having high power density can cause fires when there is an internal fault.

          40

          • #
            Kneel

            “… I was fortunate to get the car outdoors and bonnet opened before the fire spread through the engine bay…”

            Then you were lucky – if your cars engine (bay) is on fire, you should NEVER open the bonnet without having (at least one) fire extinguisher at hand. Even then, keep it shut and spray from underneath or through the grill only. That keeps airflow (and therefore, combustion) to a minimum.

            00

      • #
        Robert Swan

        The stored energy in a Tesla battery is fully available. There is no stored energy in a petrol car’s fuel tank without adding air (unless you want to get into E=mc^2). Extracting maximum energy from fuel is the whole business of carburettors/fuel injectors, Otto cycle, etc. Batteries make all their energy available to anything that connects to them. That buys you the simplicity of electric cars. Buys you the risks too.

        61

        • #
          RickWill

          Tesla batteries comprise hundreds of individual cans each storing 20Wh. To state the energy is “fully” available demonstrates a misunderstanding of the battery construction. The battery comprises a number of modules and there is a limited number of cells in each module.

          Air remains free and readily available. There is stored energy in every car otherwise there would be no way of starting it other than using a crank if fitted or push starting.

          Lithium batteries are finding increasing use as starter batteries and these are typically comprise 4 large format LiFePO4 cells in excess of 200Wh capacity. Each cell has about 10 times the stored energy of an individual Tesla cell.

          Any battery can be the key factor in causing a fire. Any car can catch on fire. It is too early to determine any statistical significance of heightened fire risk with Tesla batteries either in cars or in powerwalls.

          Batteries in some power tools are using clever circuitry to segment the battery to the deemed safe limit for transport of 100Wh. When the battery is connected in the tool it closes the separating circuitry.

          The 18600 lithium cells I have bought are fitted with miniature protection circuits that prevent overcharging, prevent under voltage and limit current on fault. The circuits do not survive heat from soldering though and fault to open circuit. The circuits are easily removed thereby bypassing the protection.

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          • #
            Robert Swan

            I’m sure there are many things I don’t understand, yet much of what you say, “clever circuitry” and the like, shows that these batteries are considered hazardous. A steel or plastic tank has been found adequate for the bulk energy store for cars and trucks.

            The Tesla people get very excited about the fast acceleration that some of their cars have. Suggests their batteries are capable of delivering a couple of hundred kilowatts for a number of seconds at least, so there is quite a lot of energy readily available. My thinking was more that the hundreds of little cells are each ready to give up their energy in sufficiently bad circumstances (where clever circuits may not save you). It’s a bit like having your petrol tank already aerated with just the right amount of air. Now that would have the makings of a big bang.

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            • #
              RickWill

              High energy density batteries should be treated with caution and no doubt electric cars still have some developing to do. Likewise volatile and flammable fuels should be treated with caution. Car fires have reduced as lessons learnt get incorporated in designs. That will be the same with high energy density batteries.

              Any vehicle is a potential killer and needs to be used with caution. As an example, I once asked an older car enthusiast what mileage he got from his car tyres. He said it was a silly question because he could get whatever he wanted and to prove the point suggested I loan him the keys to my car for an hour or so. I have heard of Tesla drivers complaining of poor performance because there is software protection systems to prevent repeated abuse:
              https://electrek.co/2016/12/23/tesla-limiting-power-performance-launch-mode/

              Australia is a good location for testing thermal limits and durability of electrical equipment. Also mechanical systems – I had one of the very early Passats in mid 70s. On trips between Dampier and Perth and back the only way to keep the car from overheating was to drive between 80 and 90kph with the heater vent open and the windows down to increase the total engine cooling.

              My view is that lithium batteries are a materials limited option for regular vehicles. I back water for the lenduraing solution because of its relative abundance in most locations.

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      • #
        Greebo

        Ask any firefighter which he/she would prefer to fight. Petrol fires are easy to extinguish given the right gear. Diesel fires rarely even start. LPG is the most dangerous as it is under pressure, but LPG fires are rare. All vehicular fuel tanks are designed and built to exacting standards. The Rimac sports car that Richard Hammond so spectacularly and famously crashed burned for FIVE day, in a cascade firefighters were powerless to stop. . Any comparison between that and a petrol powered vehicle fire are both spurious and disingenuous.

        BTW, some in the industry consider Rimac to have superior battery tech to Tesla, but I have no link.

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    • #
      John F. Hultquist

      We don’t park cars in the attached garage, nor keep lawn mowers therein.
      Same with the fuel. A nice little shed works for those things.

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  • #
    Mark M

    Non-recyclable causes fire at Chittenden County recycling facility

    “Finity said the district cannot determine what in the pile of recyclables caused the fire, but said “batteries are a likely suspect.”

    He noted that lithium batteries have caused fires at the facility before.

    “We cannot 100 percent control what people put in their recycling,” he said.

    There are two classes of people that create problems for the employees sorting recyclables at the MRF, said Finity.

    “Some people don’t care at all, they’re just looking for a hole to toss their stuff in.”

    https://vtdigger.org/2018/08/01/non-recyclable-causes-fire-chittenden-county-recycling-facility/

    Footnote.

    A moral of this story is sad but true:

    The utter futility of asking Joe Public to sort his domestic rubbish is made clear in this article.

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    • #
      Tel

      Joe Public was never “asked” to sort his domestic rubbish.

      Joe Public had his money taken by force of law, to pay for a very tiny rubbish bin that doesn’t hold very much and then got told to separate certain recyclables because otherwise you weren’t going to be able to get rid of the rubbish at all.

      Same way Joe Public got forced to buy stupid fluorescent bulbs which don’t last very long and there is no available disposal service to support Mercury so they get thrown in the bin because no one has the slightest idea what to do with these things.

      For years people have been asking for somewhere to dispose of old batteries, now certain stores provide that facility (although who knows what they do with the old batteries) and what do you know? When people are asked nicely and given a choice, most people will go to a bit of effort to use these things in the proper manner.

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        James Murphy

        One of my local supermarkets has lightbulb and battery disposal bins, and they get used a lot. I’ve never looked into it in any detail, but I think there is an EU policy that some percentage of batteries need to be recycled/disposed of correctly, so these bins are pretty common.

        Australia though – I agree, As an individual, good luck trying to properly dispose of batteries, mercury vapour bulbs, other “e-waste”, or even paint/paint thinners, and other potentially hazardous chemicals… at least this seems to be the case for Adelaide and Sydney, anyway…

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        • #
          Greg Cavanagh

          Thinners and oils you have to take to the rubbish tip. I think there is no charge, at least at my tip there is no charge because they’re trying to encourage people to get rid of it responsibly.

          I have no idea about batteries, I just bin them.

          10

          • #
            Chad

            Battery World stores have recycling bins in them….but im not shure they understand the risk of havinf several kilo’s of mixed loose lipo cells ramdomly tossed in ?

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    • #
      TdeF

      As far as I can see, the whole recycling business is suspect. Precious metals maybe. The only plastics recycler in South Australia closed last year and fired their 35 staff as they could not afford the electricity. Apparently we try to ship our waste to China, but China has now refused. It’s not just domestic waste but oils, car tyres, refrigerators, toxins and soon, even old windmills with 300kg of neodymium in each.

      I am also suspicious of massive fires, like the ones Melbourne experiences every few years when an entire dump catches fire and we are told to stay indoors and put wet towels under the doors and secure windows from toxic smoke. These people have been paid in full to dispose of this waste and we are hiding in our houses from fires from waste which does not exist?

      It is like the early days of Melbourne when councils collected night soil in Caulfield and dumped it at the boundaries. One year there were 3,000 cases of Cholera in Caulfield. In London in just 1849 over 15,000 people died. Of course no one understood it and sewerage solved the problem, as in Melbourne. However it goes to show that just because authorities are trusted with disposal of waste, they cannot be trusted. Their view is to pay contractors to do what they do not do.

      We pay the councils. They hire contractors. They pay third parties. The waste is dumped and the waste problem goes away. Out of sight, out of mind. Sure. Then the unexplained fires and it starts again.

      To recycle costs real money and electrical power and wages. As Green madness forces up electricity prices, recycling will stop completely. Even Steel, which is 75% recycled in electric arc furnaces. Then Green madness is all based on emotion and fear, religion not science. The Eloi in Canberra, Washington and Brussels are in charge. They have their windmills.

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    Mark M

    Warning: This comment contains solar panels …

    The Federal Government has approved an ambitious plan to put giant underwater fans on the Great Barrier Reef.

    0.40: “The federal government (tax-payer) today announced it will provide half the funds of the $4.5M project.”

    via 7news, Cairns@twitter: https://twitter.com/7NewsCairns/status/938681763592781824

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    Graeme#4

    Unfortunately, it is easy to “stack” the technical committee of our Standards body so that a standard is biased towards the business requirements of suppliers. I can recall this type of stacking where each state providing technical representatives for the development of a standard had a sudden expansion of members, who disappeared just as rapidly when the standard was published. This occurred on a world-wide basis and that biased standard is in current use today where it impacts all of us. So don’t be surprised if a battery storage standard suddenly comes into being that supports the battery manufacturers.

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    TdeF

    I am concerned about a lithium battery fire as increasingly I have a lot of these kicking around. Portable devices, drills, hand tools, jump start, phone backup power and then bigger ones. So I looked it up

    “Despite their name, lithium-ion batteries used in consumer products do not contain any actual lithium metal. They contain a liquid electrolyte.

    “The electrolyte is typically a combination of lithium salts, such as LiPF6, LiBF4, or LiClO4, in an organic solvent, such as ether. Graphite (carbon) is most commonly used for the anode, and lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2) is the most common cathode material.”

    Lithium-ion batteries are considered a Class B fire, so a standard ABC or BC dry chemical fire extinguisher should be used as with flammable liquids. Lithium-ion batteries contain liquid electrolytes that provide a conductive pathway

    For phone batteries “A mild short will .. heat buildup damage the insulation layer in a cell and cause an electrical short. The temperature can quickly reach 500°C (932°F), at which point the cell catches fire or it explodes.”

    Strangely I found contradictory information. Life Hacker says the expensive Class D extinguisher will work, but the fire fighting professionals say it will not. Life Hacker says most fire extinguishers will work, Classes A, B & E. I wonder how many people have actually tried them?

    Anyway, my greatest concern is whether the fire can continue without air, then generate hydrogen or become very caustic or all three. What happens when you have a giant battery the size of a Tesla or home mega battery, I do not know. Any ideas?

    How do you put out a lithium battery fire without a Class B fire extinguisher? Especially a very big battery? Should you even have one in your house?

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      James Murphy

      My work deals with (I’m 99.9% sure – too many Christmas drinks) Lithium thionyl chloride batteries which are not rechargeable. Class D extinguishers are recommended for these, indeed, we cannot use the batteries if we do not have such an extinguisher to hand, even if, technically, other methods can be used.

      Every now and again, we’d be on an oil rig somewhere, and someone would forget the D class extinguisher. On top of company policies/procedures, reputable oil companies and drilling contractors would not let us proceed until at least one of these was found somewhere, or flown in by chopper if need be. Not so much fun, watching the responsible person tell everyone that they’ve effectively shut down a $300k/day (or more) rig for a few hours…

      As for info on battery handling/safety, personally, I would trust the info in the relevant Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), but of course, they are no help if the actual battery type is unknown and/or the house is on fire already.
      Here’s a Li-ion battery MSDS: http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/1935761.pdf

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    Serge Wright

    This outcome is not unexpected when you consider the batteries are being charged at high current in hot Australian weather. The Brisbane fire started at 2:00pm which is at the hottest part of the day when the sun is still high in the summer sky. High charge rates and high ambient temperatures will lead to a very hot battery.

    It will be interesting to see how state governments react to these concerns. With the new free battery schemes being rolled out in SA to buy votes from low income people, you can see another pink batts disaster heading our way. There is no way the states can afford to build free bunkers for their free batteries, but as soon as someone dies from a government provided battery fire they will be righfully blamed, or more accurately “charged”.

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    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      “Charged”?

      You mean like Kevin Rudd was charged for his pink bats deaths?

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    • #
      Ian Hill

      Ironically, in theory their lithium battery-powered smoke alarm will save them!

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      • #
        Annie

        They are problematical, going off for nothing, like the compulsory mains fitting ones that kept nearly giving me a heart attack, to no purpose. We had to remove the back-up batteries to get any peace. Let’s hope the new versions are better.
        However, we had an alarm in the UK that didn’t go off when it should have done. Nearly had an asphyxiated dog and decidedly one kitchen in need of cleaning and redecoration. It was fortunate that I have a good sense of smell.

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        • #
          Annie

          Sorry, not very well written…lunchtime fizz.

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        • #
          Ian Hill

          I don’t think mains fitting is compulsory in South Australia, but I may have that wrong. I had to have one replaced earlier this year after some false alarms. The alarm guy looked at it, shrugged his shoulders and just replaced it with a new one but different brand. No problems since. Seeing as I rent it didn’t cost me anything – a small offset against the fact that I couldn’t have solar panels even if I wanted them, which I don’t, but still have to pay indirectly for those who can.

          Glad your dog survived Annie! :)

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  • #
    Robber

    The Wacky Wreckonomics of Solar Power (without batteries).
    Reportedly there are now more than 2 million houses with rooftop panels with a nameplate capacity of 8,000 MW. TonyfromOz reports that on average they are delivering 1125 MW (capacity factor 14%) with a peak at midday of 4,000 MW (presumably cloud cover, dust cover, poorly maintained panels means that on average they never achieve nameplate capacity across the grid). If each system is 5 kW, that equates to 1.6 million households, so probably the average system is about 4 kW.
    The average installed price for a 5 kW system is about $6,000 but that is after the discount available because of the government’s Small-scale Technology Certificates priced at $40 per certificate calculated on the expected output of the system for its life up to 2030. It varies based on location, but if we assume 80 certificates, that’s a concession of $3,200. So the total installed cost of a 5 kW system is really about $9,200. (And yes, prices vary depending on quality, and difficulty of installation).
    If that power is valued at $80/MWhr (8 cents/kWhr), the current AEMO wholesale price, on a 5 kW system producing 6,132 kWhr per year, the annual income would be $490. The investment must be written off over say a maximum of 25 years, an annual cost of $368, ignoring any maintenance costs. That leaves a net income of $122, or 1.3% return on the investment.
    But system economics are far worse – at midday there is often surplus power being fed to the grid, so the value is more like 4 cents/kWhr. What’s more, to ensure power is available 24×7, and to meet evening peak demands when the sun isn’t shining, there must be 100% reliable generators on standby. Because of rooftop solar, their average ultilisation will be lower, driving up their per unit costs of generation.
    If we assume the average household consumes 5,000 kWhr per year, in theory a 5 kW system producing 6,132 KWhr with sufficient battery storage could be self sufficient. But for most households without batteries, about half of that solar generation is fed into the grid.

    So why would anyone investment in rooftop solar? Answer: Wacky government interventions.

    Firstly, instead of investing $9,200, you pay only $6,000 with the balance paid for by other electricity consumers through higher tariffs.
    Secondly, you get to receive a feed-in payment, say 11.3 cents/kWhr on about 50% of your generation, that’s $346 per year, Secondly you get to save paying the usage charge on the other 50% of generation, say 20 cents/kWhr (incl GST), that’s $613 per year. So annual savings of $959, less writedown of $368, net savings $591 for an annual return on investment of 9.8%.

    In summary, upfront subsidy of $3,200 paid for by other consumers, annual savings of $469 paid by other consumers. No cost to government, but net result higher electricity prices. Now tell me again how solar is cheaper?

    Meanwhile AEMO must cope with an increasingly unpredictable, unreliable, over capitalised electricity grid that results in amongst the highest electricity prices in the world.
    What a wacky world as we enter 2019 with resolutions from governments to give us an even more unreliable, uneconomic “utopia”.

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    • #
      RickWill

      Your calculation has a basic flaw. Most households in Australia will be paying around $300/MWh for grid power. If they use 15kWh each day and they alter main load usage to 10kWh from solar each day they save $3/day. They can sell 10kWh back to the grid for 80c/kWh. So the net benefit is $3.80/day or $1387/year. Payback on the $6000 is under 5 years.

      The economics depends on what is done on a daily basis. It makes sense to shift load as far as possible to sunny periods. Slow cooking through the middle of the day; setting washing machine timer to the middle of the day (make sense to use sunlight to dry clothes); running air-conditioner when the sun is shinning (mostly the case); running dishwasher through the middle of the day; outdoor pumps can be set to run when sun is shining using solar sensitive switch; fridges and freezers typically have higher demand through daylight hours than night time; hotwater heater can be shifted to day time operation and so on.

      The STCs are half the cost of LGCs so the local rooftop delivering energy at $80/MWh is providing cheaper electricity than any grid scale intermittent and, while ever the RET remains, cheaper than any carbon based generation.

      It is rare to find any better investment than rooftop solar if you have a suitable roof and are clever in the way you use electricity. Also, unless the price of LGCs collapse your rooftop system will be reducing the burden on those consumers not using rooftop solar.

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      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        Rick,

        Can you advise us which company buys your excess solar at a FiT of 80 cents per kWh please?

        As I mention below at 18.2 the FiT in Perth (Synergy) is 7.1 cents per kWh.

        Your “payback” figure is flawed. You need to add in the cost of depreciation (over 20 years) to zero and Opportunity Cost (at say 5%) also over 20 years or so. Also you need to add in the cost of an inverter replacement after 10 years or so (if you’re lucky); and depreciate that as well as adding its Opportunity Cost.

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        • #
          RickWill

          I actually get $60/MWh from Lumo energy and $600/MWh for the PFIT from the Victorian government, paid via Lumo to total $660/MWh. The 80c/kWh was meant to read $80/MWh, a typo that is shown correctly in the third paragraph.

          The calculations are not flawed for the example I gave. For the system I installed my payback was less than 4 years because of the exceptional PFIT. Depreciation is not relevant to me as I will likely be dead before the panels need replacing. I calculate opportunity cost at the TD rate, currently 2.8%. It is less than the rounding error.

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          • #
            Tel

            For the system I installed my payback was less than 4 years because of the exceptional PFIT

            That’s a large taxpayer subsidy, a certain portion of which is your own money being offered back to you. Worse than that, the retail rate that you quote at 30c per kWh is so high BECAUSE of the RET which artificially drives up the cost of coal and drives down the cost of solar and wind. This is paid by the electricity retailers which is part of the reason that there’s such a massive difference between the wholesale and retail electricity price.

            Payback on the $6000 is under 5 years.

            If that’s a 5kW system then the price you quote is NOT the actual price. It’s adjusted by government rebate.

            Let’s do a quick review of what Robber said in the first place.

            So why would anyone investment in rooftop solar? Answer: Wacky government interventions.

            Oh look, he already knows about taxpayer subsidies.

            Firstly, instead of investing $9,200, you pay only $6,000 with the balance paid for by other electricity consumers through higher tariffs

            Oh look, he knows about government rebates as well! Golly!!

            There’s no flaw in the original calculation, Robber simply covered the non-subsidy case first-up in order to demonstrate what you just admitted to be the case … the only thing keeping this viable is some serious government market interference.

            Only a total hypocrite would claim that solar is cheaper, while also insisting that continued government interference in the market is necessary. It’s one or the other not both. If solar is cheaper then scrap all subsidies, scrap all rebates, and get rid of the RET. If you want to keep the subsidies and you want to keep RET then you have accepted that solar and wind would not be viable in a free market.

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          • #
            Sceptical Sam

            Typo?

            Well, that’s a charge.

            Now, do you figures again with depreciation and Opportunity Cost included. Post them here so that we can all get the benefit of your analysis.

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            • #
              Greg Cavanagh

              It’ll be more interesting in the future when the solar cells and battery need replacing. Will it still be viable?

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      • #
        robert rosicka

        Where do you get the .80 cent figure from ? More like .6 to .11 cents , only very few are still on .60 cents .
        Mine is a FIT of about 30 a Quarter and shouldn’t even be .30 imo , if you want solar don’t bludge on others who can’t afford to pay for you to have them .

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      • #
        Geoffrey Williams

        Rick, all that messing around to switch things on and off just does nothing for me.
        I simply want grid power any time at the fair price without having to subsidize those with rooftop solar.
        Solar panels and batteries just a time bomb that no one needs.
        GeoffW

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    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      A couple of things, Robber.

      Firstly the FiT in Perth in 7.1 cents per kWh not your 11.3.

      Secondly, when you do your calculations you need to depreciate the panels over 20-25 years and the inverter over 10-12 years. That means at least two (2) inverters over the lifetime of the panels. if the inverter in costed at $1,200 then you need to add another $1,200 into the capital cost, which takes it to $7,200.

      Thirdly, you need to factor in the time value of money (Opportunity cost). At 5% pa that doubles the cost of the installation over 20 years and even more over 25.

      Fourthly, you’ve ignored annual maintenance and cleaning. You can include an average of $200 pa for that to the cost for each and every year.

      Fifthly, panels degrade over time and their performance suffers. You can expect around a 0.8 to 1.0% pa reduction in performance. See more at:

      https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/51664.pdf

      Finally, without batteries (and the additional cost), no system will avoid the need to buy power from the grid for the mostly non-performing period (after 5pm and before 7am). Selling power to the grid at 7.1 cents per kWh and buying it back at 24.0 cents per kWh has a major cost impact on the net financial outcome of the “investment.

      By my calculations a system operating on a 40/60:day/night split never – I repeat – never pays for itself. Ever.

      It’s a situation that the relevant Consumer Affairs agencies should be investigating.

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      • #
        ivan

        Sam, you forgot the cost of cleaning the panels on a regular basis -dirty panels give a much lower output – and roof mountrd panels are much harder to clean.

        I have friends living out in the country with a 30 panel ground mounted array that has to be cleaned every day when thry are working the vines or the diesel generator auto starts to supply power to the house and keep the batteries (lead acid units nearly 2m high) charged.

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Robber:

      New solar panels generally generate 17% of nominal capacity (at least in SA). That drops off with age – my panels now peak at 2630kWA whereas originally they came close to 2900 (both after washing) or approx. 9% loss after 8 years.

      Sceptical Sam:
      If you want your inverter to last 12 years you will have to outlay more than $1200. It cost me $1846 after 7 years from a Chinese one (which the replacer seemed to think satisfactory) and they only give a 5 year warranty.
      Try reworking your figures with electricity at 35-43 ¢ per kWh daytime and 27¢ per at night. Also a feed-in return rate of 48-55 ¢ per kWh which was available and ‘locked in’ for 15 years under our previous Labor lunacy. Apart from that blasted Inverter the system (which was over $9000 then for 2.8kWh ) has paid for itself. I estimated at one stage I was receiving 16% p.a. tax free (that was before the electricity cost hikes) as I use 8-9kWh per day. Pity about the widows and orphans who are subsidising this capitalist.

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      • #
        RickWill

        Victoria has gone one up on SA with the state government now fully funding solar installations through interest free loans. That state funding includes half the remaining cost of the panels after the federal government regulated STC contribution. Most household will easily pay off the 4 year loan on a 6kW system in power savings.

        The system benefits the finances of the household as well as lowering the cost for electricity consumers by reducing the retailers outlay for LGCs under the RET that get passed back to consumers.

        While the RET persists, it makes more sense economically to install rooftop solar than grid scale wind or solar.

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        • #
          robert rosicka

          Fully funding through interest free loans ! Ahh there’s always a catch and you will never get solar for nothing .

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        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          Most household will easily pay off the 4 year loan on a 6kW system in power savings.

          Rubbish.

          Absolute rubbish of the first order.

          See 18.2 above. Show us your analysis.

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        • #
          Greebo

          Fully funded

          through interest free loans.

          That’s Machiavellian, even by Red Dan’s standards.

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      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        QED.

        Thanks G3.

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  • #
    jeff

    Standards Australia agreed to review things, then in December last year adopted “international standards“. It’s not like we are in a fire prone country with extended fire risk seasons, large houses, and lots of solar panels, I guess…

    Apparently, Standards Australia was accused of “complete overkill” for suggesting that people installing a known fire hazard should put it in a bunker.

    In the US (especially fire prone California) and Japan they do not ban battery storage devices in homes.
    In Germany, where more than 30,000 devices were installed last year, lithium-ion battery storage was banned only in bedrooms.

    It does seem like the Australian draft was a little extreme.
    Perhaps we should be looking at the longer international experience and evidence.

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    • #
      truth

      WE would never know would we Jeff…because it’s ‘for the planet’.

      Do you really think the Turnbull government would have allowed anything to stop or curtail their great ‘experiment’ with the Australian people as lab rats ?

      They’d already told us that resistance was futile and their experiment unstoppable.

      When they’ve used peer review corruption…fraudulent changes to graphs…’losing’ raw data…sackings of dissenters…threats of jail…faking of inquiries…when they capture all the universities and institutions….all the MSM..when they refuse government requests for audit and when that questioning non-compliant government is destroyed in a LW MSM-assisted coup in order to install a CAGW zealot-led government…..all done with impunity…when huge vested interest abounds and burgeons undisclosed….you know where the power lies.

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      Graeme No.3

      jeff:

      From my experience with several Standards I think you will find that there is an element of caution in Australia, because any problems can result in a legal quagmire.
      You should also think about the average temperatures in Australia where it often gets above 40℃ (let alone the 30℃ recommended for safe storage/operation). Also houses in Germany and Japan tend to be smaller and have less outdoor space available.

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    PeterS

    It reminds me of Nero. To be honest when the fires start killing people alarmists should by then be treated as terrorists and put into prison for life. Of course it won’t happen as they will find some poor old scapegoat to take the blame.

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      jeff

      People are buying batteries and solar panels because they want to, it’s totally voluntary.
      We don’t need a mass of red tape and government regulations to stop them, just sensible evidence based standards.
      Maybe they should stop people parking electric cars in their garage because the battery is a fire risk.

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      • #
        PeterS

        I am not suggesting we should ban them. I fail to see how you got that interpretation.

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      • #
        truth

        AEMO and the RE CULT put it about regularly that this is a people-led transition-that Australians just decided en masse to spend thousands to make their homes into power plants because they so believed in CAGW and they wanted to help the transition along.

        You seem to desperately want to propagate that view too Jeff.

        FGS we all know that for most it was the massive increases in electricity bills that caused the sudden rush……with people hoping to have more control of that cost.

        The huge price hike was no natural event either …and not from gold-plating.
        It was engineered by government ….by government interference in what they still have the gall to call a free market…when they want to slime conservatives like Tony Abbott for suggesting that government should …if necessary… move to protect THE essential service.

        The government’s favoring of the weather-dependent intermittents for dispatch…was meant to bring on the gold rush of carpetbaggers to build the RE farms…and meant to sideline FF plants as a precursor to ditching them….and IT led to huge prices having to be paid…necessarily…to FF plants so they would stick around in standby mode to rescue the NEM when the intermittents inevitably failed.

        FF plants had to be persuaded to stick around because the weather-dependent intermittents can’t do without them….anywhere in the world.

        When retailers use that FF-generated electricity they must …by government mandate…buy RECs from the RE carpetbaggers …the cost to the retailer of those certificates plus margins…are then of course passed on to the consumer…just another way consumers subsidize the uber-rich carpetbagger generators.

        So as with everything in this , we’re being lied to in order to make the transition to 3rd world Australia and the energy abyss happen…and we’re being lied to so they’ll have plausible deniability[ or think they will] when it all hits the fan.

        The enforcers of the transition will all blame each other and then they’ll all blame the consumer.

        The story will be that it was a ‘consumer-led transition’….that consumers demanded it.

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    • #
      Melbourne Resident

      It reminds me of the Ford Pinto, “Let the people burn! ” Ralph Nader would be proud.

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  • #
    truth

    We’ve been wondering how come this massive rooftop solar build was steaming ahead….bragged about by AEMO and all the rest of the CULT…without the Australian Standard being enforced …which would have seen batteries distanced from the home…with nothing even said about whether anyone was complying or not.

    We came to the conclusion that there is absolutely nothing that will stop this CULT…not even when the safety of children in their own homes is at risk.

    Such is the massive power behind the CULT and their determination to make Australians the canaries in the coal mine…as we’re told resistance is futile…it’s unstoppable….that victims are probably powerless to sue.
    They still have their ‘international consumer cartel’ card to play against Australia …whereat we would be forced to forego most of our export income for lack of any market…should we resist their juggernaut .

    They can include any commodity in that.

    All bets are off…nothing can be believed from ‘the authorities’…because they’re all captured by the CULT and its international enforcers —UN—EU—international finance—uber-rich Socialists with huge vested interest to protect—US DEMOCRAT apparatchiks…they’re all on our case.

    And so it’s been made compulsory for us to pretend to believe in the cult that they demonstrably don’t believe in themselves.

    It’s great for the LEFT because it’s just another part of their stunt life…it’s THE sexy group to be in…and its aim is theirs…global Socialism.

    Non-LEFT politicians must comply or be destroyed as we see with the all-singing ..all-dancing..all-in-for-CAGW groupthink ‘movement’ to oust Tony Abbott from his Warringah seat .

    The latter …the ‘tribe’ as they call themselves…don’t believe in freedom of speech …and facts… and questions on fact.. are their mortal enemy…so any serious questioner who’s not with the vibe is soon banned from their breezy freedom-luvin website.

    Conservatives…the only ones who question …only ones who actually care about science and the truth …about safety and a future for Australia’s children…are of course treated like vermin by the CULT…to be eradicated by whatever means.

    In this totalitarian climate of compulsory ‘belief’ in the religion of CAGW…. I don’t believe they would halt the madness even if it were shown that children were at risk not just from fire in their solarPV households but at risk from 24/7 excessive EMF exposure…which they’ve admitted but then conveniently forgotten… is a risk associated also with EVs.

    When it’s ‘for the planet’ anything at all can and will be done to us…no boundaries.

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    Betapug

    Lithium batteries? No worries! Safe as houses! They’ll be back on aircraft any day now.
    “A burning or heating battery releases toxic vapors. These vapors
    include sulfuric acid, oxides of carbon, nickel, aluminum, lithium,
    copper, and cobalt. Responders should wear full personal
    protective equipment (PPE), including self-contained breathing
    apparatus (SCBA), and take appropriate measures to protect
    civilians downwind from the incident. Use fog streams or positive
    pressure ventilation (PPV) fans to direct vapors.
    …use large amounts of water to cool the
    battery. DO NOT extinguish fire with a small amount of water.
    Always establish or request an additional water supply.
    Battery fires can take up to 24 hours to fully extinguish. Consider
    allowing the vehicle to burn while protecting exposures.
    Use a thermal imaging camera to ensure the high voltage battery
    is completely cooled before leaving the incident. If a thermal
    imaging camera is not available, you must monitor the battery for
    re-ignition. Smoke indicates that the battery is still heating. Do not
    release the vehicle to second responders until there has been no
    sign of smoke from the battery for at least one hour.
    Always advise second responders (law enforcement, tow
    personnel) that there is a risk of the battery re-igniting.” https://www.tesla.com/sites/default/files/downloads/2012-13_Model_S_Emergency_Response_Guide_en.pdf

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  • #

    Is the word “unlike” left out of the Brisbane Times quote:

    ““[There were] approximately three battery banks so lithium-ion, lead-acid batteries, they burn with a ferocity that moves through the house quickly,” Mr Muscat said.”

    Should it be: “, unlike lead-acid batteries,” ?

    Thanks
    JK

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  • #

    It’s not the first time that the screaming mob has prevented sensible Standards from being implemented.

    OTOH; the nanny state has produced huge volumes of Standards that are based on the absence of common sense in industries by defining practices that ought to be obvious to those skilled in the art/trade. Ostensibly those licenced by GovCo to work in the field.

    Politics and technology don’t mix well.

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    • #

      P.S. The IEC standard adopted for Australia determines safety requirements for the batteries in industrial applications.

      IEC 62619:2017
      Secondary cells and batteries containing alkaline or other non-acid electrolytes – Safety requirements for secondary lithium cells and batteries, for use in industrial applications

      Without spending hundreds of dollars for the magic keys to read the details of IEC 62619:2017, I suspect that it does not deal with the special aspects of fire risk in domestic applications.

      The batteries present a special risk not only to those who live with the batteries, but potentially the firefighters who may have to put out a fire; a fire where the fuel and oxidant is within the battery so conventional firefighting measures will not suffice.

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    • #
      Greebo

      Politics and technology don’t mix well.

      Provides plenty of jobs for people wearing HiVis and hardhats, brandishing clipboards though.

      00

  • #
    TdeF

    Thanks. Interesting. The warning against type D was from a company specializing in fire fighting. In your professional work, type D is mandatory? That’s what I mean about uncertainty.

    Even in this write up
    “1. Dry powder is applicable for burning lithium ion batteries. Metal fire extinction
    media: powder, rock salt or dry sand are suitable if only a few batteries are involved.”

    So a fire in a Tesla S with an 85kwhr battery back, the equivalent of 7,104 phone batteries is to be treated with what exactly?

    2. Special hazard:
    Cells may explode and release metal parts.

    At contact of electrolyte with water traces of hydrofluoric acid may be formed.
    In this case avoid contact and take care for good ventilation.

    At contact of changed anode material with water extremely flammable hydrogen gas is generated.

    Hydroflouric acid can be generated! Now this is the deadliest acid known. Even in the chemistry department the hydroflouric acid laboratory was on the roof in case some escaped. It was really scary stuff and you have to be brave work with it. It could eat gold like aqua regia. This acid is used industrially to etch glass. So you would not want to cross some water (especially salt water) in your Tesla S, short out the 600kg Lithium car battery stored in the floor, have an explosion and fire and generate deadly hydroflouric acid gas and hydrogen and watch out for flying pieces of metal. This sounds more like a warhead than a car. Perhaps they should carry a warning, Do Not Immerse. If you do, run.

    As Jo notes in her article, it will take years to fully understand the risks involved in large scale lithium battery fires.

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    • #
      James Murphy

      TdeF, Type D are mandatory, I think, because the company I work for has set 1 rule for all circumstances, so people who often travel between drilling rigs/countries/oil companies don’t have to track what regulations they should be following, and should not make mistakes based on “I thought it was ok to do that here…”. Presumably the worst case scenario would involve regulations governing fire prevention on oceangoing vessels with hazardous gas environments, but, as you quite rightly pointed out, there’s altogether too much uncertainty outside specific cases.

      Also, most people have never used a fire extinguisher (or been trained how to do it right) , and of those that have, very few have had to put out anything but controlled fires. My first firefighting training course had 6 of us taking turns trying to put out a burning tray of diesel (maybe 3-4m2) with dry chemical. Between us, we used 12 extinguishers, and failed totally. The instructor (an experienced fire fighter) did it with less than 1, once we’d used all ours.

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        TdeF

        Amazing. The professional fire fighter web site said people think a fire in a lithium battery is a metal fire, like aluminium. Type D is explicitly for metal fires. In fact it is a fire in the electrolyte so it falls in a different class. Unfortunately I get the feeling no one knows. My fear is that it is not extinguishable by anything, feeding on the energy implicit in the chemicals and not requiring any other fuel like oxygen.

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      • #
        Greebo

        Also, most people have never used a fire extinguisher (or been trained how to do it right) , and of those that have, very few have had to put out anything but controlled fires.

        https://youtu.be/y9feVp0RZvQ

        A car fire, not related to batteries, but watch from around 2:40. Unless stupidity in law enforcement interests you, when you should watch from the beginning.

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        • #
          Greebo

          Darn, forgot to do this..

          Also, most people have never used a fire extinguisher (or been trained how to do it right) , and of those that have, very few have had to put out anything but controlled fires.

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  • #
    pat

    jim karlock – comment #23

    in response as to whether or not “unlike” was left out in the Brisbane Times’ report.

    the only other mention of this fire to be found online is the following tweet, which is in the Brisbane Times’ article. Muscat doesn’t say “unlike”. watch it:

    TWEET: 7 News Brisbane: Solar electricity storage batteries are thought to have sparked a large house fire in Woolloongabba this afternoon. @SimoLove #7News
    VIDEO 1min18sec
    26 Dec 2018
    0 comments; 4 re-tweets; 6 likes
    https://twitter.com/7NewsBrisbane/status/1077838918165225472

    amazing how such a story isn’t more widely reported, given the number of households which, potentially, have such batteries!

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    • #
      truth

      The RE zealots and vested interests won’t allow their ‘profound transition’ and gravy train to be derailed by too much focus on risks to Australian lives—especially those of thousands of children.

      The Left always puts adult wants before children’s needs.

      Many of the solar homes in Queensland produce higher than optimal voltages too and the QLD government has to pay many thousands each year in compensation for destroyed appliances and lighting.

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  • #
    pat

    read all, incl Turnbull link:

    13 Feb 2017: RenewEconomy: Lithium-ion battery storage may be banned inside Australian homes
    by Giles Parkinson
    Lithium-ion battery storage devices – including Tesla Powerwalls and other products – may be effectively banned from being installed inside homes and garages in Australia under new guidelines being drafted by Standards Australia.tesla powerwall 2
    The move, if upheld, is likely to send shockwaves through the industry, with thousands of Australian households, including prime minister Malcolm Turnbull (LINK – READ), already installing lithium ion battery storage devices and millions more predicted to do so in coming years…

    It is feared that the ruling, if upheld, could cause damage to the lithium-ion storage market – expected to be worth billions of dollars and expected to play a critical role in the evolution of Australia’s energy market.
    Most of the 1.6 million Australian households with rooftop solar already installed say they intend to install battery storage…

    Australia is considered to be the world’s test market for battery storage, thanks to its extraordinarily high grid costs, mostly due to the pricing of the network, and its high penetration of rooftop solar…
    Forecasts for battery storage uptake include 2 million within a few years (Morgan Stanley), up to 6 million by 2030 (Bloomberg New Energy Finance) and CSIRO/ENA predicted that battery storage capacity would outstrip rooftop solar by 2025…

    Two of the biggest players in the market – Tesla and LG Chem – both use lithium-ion, as do numerous other products such as Sonnenbatterie, Sony, GCL, BYD, Panasonic and Samsung. Enphase batteries use lithium iron phosphate…

    “There needs to be clear evidence tabled that these installations represent an unacceptable risk,” (John Grimes, the head of the Australian Solar Council) told RenewEconomy. “It has to be evidence based.”…READ ON
    https://reneweconomy.com.au/lithium-ion-battery-storage-may-be-banned-inside-australian-homes-57002/

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    pat

    small, but worth noting:

    30 Nov: TownsvilleBulletin: Fire breaks out at Townsville zinc refinery
    by Staff writers
    A SOLAR panel fire at the Sun Metals Stuart site on Friday is said to have caused “minimal damage”.
    Firefighters arrived at the Zinc Rd site at 2.15pm after reports of a small smouldering fire.
    The fire was extinguished by 2.45pm.
    A Sun Metals spokesman said minimal damage was caused and no one was injured in the incident.

    Facebook: 7NewsTownsville: Townsville’s Sun Metals corporation has commissioned the nation’s largest solar farm to help power its Stuart zinc refinery.
    VIDEO: 1min33sec
    FROM REPLIES:
    James Buchner All imported. Including the steel stands. I’m sure the govt Is happy.

    Jim Ashby All because former Premier Beattie gave power away almost below cost for about 1c/kWh over a 15 year contract. When that expired Sun Metals was forced to build this solar farm for cheaper power or shut up shop. Good planning Beattie & Labor!
    https://www.facebook.com/7NewsTownsville/videos/townsvilles-sun-metals-solar-farm/220751978616823/

    16 Aug: SolarQuotes: Sun Metals’ Solar Farm Officially Opened
    by Michael Bloch
    Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk officially opened the Sun Metals Solar Farm on Tuesday, a huge facility incorporating more than 1.3 million solar panels.
    The 124MWac solar power station will supply equivalent to around one-third of the electricity needed by the Sun Metals zinc refinery, which is located approximately 15 kilometres south Townsville. Sun Metals is the Australian subsidiary of Korea Zinc Company Limited, which produces 10 per cent of the world’s zinc from plants in Korea, the USA and here at home…
    It began exporting electricity to the grid in late May via a 33kV overhead transmission line from the site to the existing Townsville South substation…

    Another recent example of this type of cooperation is across the border in New South Wales, where BlueScope announced last month it had signed a 7-year power purchase agreement covering most of the output of Finley Solar Farm, which will be comprised of approximately 500,000 solar panels…READ ON FOR MORE “FARMS”, INCLUDING IN THE ONE COMMENT
    https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/sun-metals-solar-farm-mb0710/

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    pat

    behind paywall:

    Firefighters fret over battery risks to homes
    The Australian – Nov 23, 2018
    Concerns of fire agencies across the country about an increased risk of blazes caused by more consumers rushing to adopt lithium-ion battery technology are being investigated…

    Solar panel fires rise amid warnings over battery use
    The Australian – 18 Jul 2017
    Queensland firefighters attended at least 64 fires caused by solar panels since the start of 2015, amid industry warnings that the risk of more Queensland (solar panel fires?) is growing as consumers rush to adopt lithium-ion battery technology…

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  • #
    sophocles

    Jo said (RATT):

    Under draft rules released by Standards Australia, lithium ion batteries are classed as “Fire Class 1” and would not be allowed inside or within 1m of a domestic dwelling.

    It’s good to see Standards Australia knows exactly what it’s dealing with. I agree with them.

    I’ll have to put a concrete bunker near my front door, clearly labelled, for all friends/visitors to leave their cellphones and laptops in until they leave. I’ll make a second one near the back door for mine. Putting them 1.1m away meets the proposed standard. If I make them solid enough, they could also contain small explosions. This gets better and better …
    (Now I have something to test my new concrete mixer on) :-)

    RATT = Right At The Top.

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  • #
    yarpos

    Nice to think that extensive solar farms , potentially with battery storage are being scattered about the Oz bush landscape. Something else to think about beyond lightning stikes and brainless tourists/campers.

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    • #
      Annie

      Not a good thought….we get enough idiocy around here with campfires left burning in the middle of the bush and litter thrown around by our delightful city visitors before we even get to Mother Nature’s antics with wind and lightning.
      When will we start seeing old degraded solar panels and batteries being tossed out in the bush to save the expense of disposing of them properly?

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    • #
      Annie

      Yarpos…would you and your Missus like to come and have a quick refreshment sometime at our place? Perhaps Jo would be very kind and give you my email address if you would like to meet us. It would be good to meet up with some like-minded sceptics locally.
      Annie.

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  • #
    TdeF

    While I think lithium batteries contain a lot of energy, like carrying bottles of petrol onto a plane, the fact that there are billions of the things not exploding daily and 3million people in the air right now have mobile phones on them gives me reason to hope. Without a real explosion which accompanies gas instantaneously expanding with a shock wave, small fires can burn out safely. Phones rarely catch fire. A single fire is world news, so phone batteries are amazingly safe.

    However if we pay more billions for people (RET tax) to have Tesla power walls at their homes, we may be creating a monster, at our own expense. A Tesla ‘power wall’ at 13.5kwHr to 135kwhr means 120-1200 cell phone batteries attached to the side of your house. That worries me. That is a fire you cannot extinguish. It should be an adequate distance from a house, like a huge gas bottle, but gas bottles do not explode. Lithium batteries do, if only from the hydrogen generated.

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    • #
      PeterS

      You touched on the real issue. Most of us don’t have a real problem with people installing whatever they like as long as it’s legal and it’s not subsidised. What I and I suspect most people dislike is the fact there are subsidies and the like in favour of renewables, disincentives for coal fired power and barriers to nuclear power. If burning coal is the cause of catastrophic climate change then using such subsidies, disincentives and barriers will do absolutely nothing to mitigate the alleged problem and only makes matters worse in other ways, such as weakening our economy. All pain and no gain is the usual phrases used by some. Consequently our “masters” including the LNP are the real nation destroyers, not the Islamic terrorists and the like.

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    pat

    a laugh. no-one has declared this a fake, as yet:

    18 Dec Updated 21 Dec: Daily Mail: Guess she feels a fuel! Footage of woman looking ever-more puzzled as she tried to fill up her electric car with a gas station nozzle goes viral
    •At one point, the woman even tries to insert the fuel pump into the charging port
    •She even had her credit car out, ready to pay before someone comes to her aid
    By Leigh Mcmanus
    The footage was shot by a group of friends behind her in a gas station in the US.
    They laugh uncontrollably as she looks for a nozzle to fill her Telsa…

    At one point, the woman finds the electrical charging port and begins to try to insert the fuel pump into it.
    Finally, after about three minutes of hysterics a man jumps out of the car behind to tell the lady of her mistake.
    She takes it in good jest, appearing amused by it and thanking him as she laughs…

    YouTube: 3min35sec: 17 Dec: Woman tries putting gas in a Tesla
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHPg2Mi2roI

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  • #
    StephenP

    Another worry will be the proposed super-fast charging of car batteries.
    It will either involve very thick cables or vey high voltages to get the amount of energy into a car battery in a short time span.

    30

  • #
    pat

    BBC & a couple of Scottish news sites had this story, but make no mention of FIRE:

    22 Dec: Press&Journal: Court dismisses solar panel firm’s £8 million challenge against city council
    by Jon Hebditch
    Our Generation Ltd brought the action against the local authority at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
    The firm had entered into an agreement with the council to install the green equipment on council-owned buildings and then issued termination notices via email.
    They argued they had validly terminated the contracts and alleged the council should pay to remove all the equipment at a cost of £8 million.
    That claim has now been dismissed in court and the council will not have to pay for the panels to be removed.

    In November 2016 it emerged the local authority shelled out £275,000 after the energy systems were switched off ***over fire fears – and then the company involved had to be paid for loss of earnings.
    The council entered into an agreement with Mark Group Ltd and Our Generation Ltd for the supply and installation of photovoltaic (PV) panels to 72 local authority buildings.
    Under the terms of the deal, signed in April 2012, the council had an obligation to pay loss of generation income to Our Generation Solar.
    But the agreement also meant the council had to compensate the firm ***when the systems had to be switched off due to health and safety fears.

    When approved in 2011, it was predicted that the authority’s fuel bills would be slashed by £100,000 a year…
    https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/aberdeen/1638061/court-dismisses-solar-panel-firms-8-million-challenge-against-city-council/

    the uninformative Beeb:

    21 Dec: BBC NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland: Aberdeen City Council wins solar energy court ruling
    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-46647256

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    • #
      TdeF

      Councils, state governments, people with other people’s money virtue signalling. Then it is a disaster and they again want the electors to pay for their mistakes. Is there no end to the idea that when in public office, all money is your money? I cannot believe that former South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill ordered diesel generators to make sure the government is never out of power. Firstly because diesel is far worse than coal for pollution, CO2 or anything else. Secondly because he did not believe a word of what he said about energy security. Beggar the public. I’m all right Jay.

      The same with Public service heaven Canberra and their own windmills and their $35Million worth of RET certificates (eternally renewed) for using publicly funded windmills to supply their own power. Now they have a gift from coal electricity users of $35Million cash, to spend as they please. Words fail. Clearly publicly spirited caring eco people. Otherwise it looks like profiteering while pretending to care.

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    robert rosicka

    OT but from what I’ve seen this story doesn’t need reading to know it’s garbage .

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-28/obamas-are-voted-the-most-admired-people-in-america-over-trumps/10672490

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  • #
    Michael262

    The Alt-Luddites strike again.

    I’m not amazed at the stampede to poo poo any green/sustainable/renewable initiative on this site, this being seen as part of some sinister leftist global agenda.
    This is simply a continuation of the standard ‘scientific’ approach here, while you mudsling, the World is just passing you by.

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    • #
      Mark M

      Michael262 really believes it’s the end of the world unless someone installs a windmill or something.
      Science!

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      • #
        Another Ian

        Mark

        “unless someone installs a windmill or something.”

        A hundred years or so of history says that if it was (e.g.) a Southern Cross on a pump it would be useful for a long time

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    • #
      AndyG55

      Do you have any science to back up anything you say, Michael -262

      Sorry that you do not have the capacity to comprehend the dangers of storing large amounts of energy in a residential situation.

      There is no real excuse for that sort of ignorance, though.

      You are being sucked-in by a scam, and a dangerous one at that. Its called being GULLIBLE

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    • #
      Kinky Keith

      No Michael, the world is not passing us by but for sure and certain education has passed you by.
      The worst aspect of this is that you may only realize you have enslaved long after your best years are gone.
      Someone is making a fool of all the believers in a way that is deliberately malicious and Elitist.

      Good luck.

      KK

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      PeterS

      So what are we supposed to do about the ever increasing numbers of coal fired power stations thanks to China, India, Japan and many others? Declare war against them in the name of saving the planet from a fictitious catastrophic global warming event that’s only in the minds of those who are stupid enough to fall for the Green agenda? Oh wait a minute – Australia is doing something about it – committing economic suicide for no benefit at all by supporting more and more renewables at the expense of coal fired power. We can close down everything, kill all animal and human life in Australia, and hundreds of new coal fired power stations will keep on coming on-line in other nations. Australia is showing to the world how extremely stupid a nation can be.

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      TdeF

      Michael, wouldn’t you be better making an argument, explaining your views, arguing the point. You are the one pooh poohing. No logic, no facts, no reasoning. Blind faith that your masters know better than you do. I doubt that.

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    Mark M

    “A report released by the Australian Energy Regulator this month (dec 2018) confirmed SA has the highest prices in the nation.

    Low-income local households spend a staggering 11 per cent of their budgets on power.”

    https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/hugely-optimistic-premier-steven-marshall-outlines-ambitious-agenda-for-2019/news-story/75da1e878a8492744f9a336e61413f3b?from=htc_rss&utm_campaign=EditorialSF&utm_medium=Twitter&utm_content=SocialFlow&utm_source=AdelaideAdvertiser

    link via twitter: https://twitter.com/theTiser/status/1078412338317922305

    Sadly, no extreme climate was prevented from changing …

    Severe three-day heatwave will hit SA from Boxing Day onwards

    https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/severe-threeday-heatwave-will-hit-sa-from-boxing-day-onwards/news-story/5c71e5a79569d3c1f8af973922335acd

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    pat

    28 Dec: Daily Excelsior: Srinagar records coldest Dec night in 28 yrs at -7.6
    The cold wave intensified in Kashmir today with temperatures breaking the 28 year old record as Srinagar shivered at minus 7.6 degree Celsius freezing the water bodies while the winter capital of the State, Jammu got some relief from the biting cold as minimum temperature today increased from yesterday’s 3.5 degree Celsius to 4.3 degree Celsius.
    A Meteorological department official said that Srinagar recorded coldest night of the season as temperature last night plunged to minus 7.6 degree Celsius breaking the December 31, 2007 record of minus 7.2 degree. After December 7, 1990, when the minimum temperature had dropped to minus 8.8 degree Celsius, today was the coldest night since then.
    The cold wave led to freezing of water taps, lakes, ponds and other water bodies in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir…

    Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 8.3 degree Celsius and the maximum day temperature of the tourist place settled at 4.5 degree Celsius. The minimum temperature in Gulmarg was minus 9 degree Celsius while the maximum day temperature settled at 1.6 degree Celsius.
    Leh recorded a minimum of minus 8.4 degree Celsius and maximum of 0.2 degree Celsius. The adjacent Kargil shivered at minus 16.2 degree Celsius while the maximum day temperature settled at minus 3.2 degree Celsius. Drass was the coldest town in the State at minus 20.6 degree Celsius…
    http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/srinagar-records-coldest-dec-night-in-28-yrs-at-7-6/

    PICS: 27 Dec: RepublicWorld: Delhi Dresses Up Street Dogs In Sweaters To Keep Them Warm In This Frosty Weather
    By Aishwaria Sonavane
    With the help of animal welfare non-profit organisations, Delhi now has comfortable, even fashionable canines walking around the city…
    https://www.republicworld.com/india-news/general-news/delhi-dresses-up-street-dogs-in-sweaters-to-keep-them-warm-in-this-frosty-weather

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    pat

    you can’t rush these things:

    27 Dec: WGRZ: Thruway Authority to sue wind turbine company for failure of turbines in WNY
    The New York State Thruway Authority announced Thursday that it has filed a lawsuit against multiple agencies for the failure of four wind turbines in Western New York…

    Four turbines went off line between October 2017 and January 2018…

    2 On Your Side’s Dave McKinley did an original report into the inoperative turbines earlier this year when a spokesperson for the thruway authority told 2 On Your Side that, “The Thruway Authority is in discussions with the manufacturer about the replacement parts.”…
    https://www.wgrz.com/article/news/local/thruway-authority-to-sue-wind-turbine-company-for-failure-of-turbines-in-wny/71-d080503d-4a93-4911-bd4c-5fe30b8aa218

    27 Dec: PostJournal: Thruway Authority Announces Lawsuit After Wind Turbine Failures
    The New York State Thruway Authority today Thursday it has filed a lawsuit against Vergnet, S.A., Prudent Engineering, LLP, Ravi Engineering & L.S., P.C., Kandey Company Inc. and CHA Consulting Inc./Clough Harbor & Assoc. LLP for the failure of four wind turbines located along the Thruway in Chautauqua and Erie counties, which have been offline since last year.
    A summons with Notice has been filed against the defendants alleging negligence, professional malpractice, breach of warranty and breach of contract…
    The four turbines went offline between October 2017 and January 2018 due to various mechanical issues…

    Kandey Company Inc. was selected through a competitive bidding process to install the turbines, and contracted with Vergnet for their purchase.
    CHA Consulting provided preliminary engineering services, final design services, and construction support services to the Authority pertaining to the wind turbines. Prudent Engineering, LLP provided construction inspection services relating to the installation of the wind turbines and later, as a subconsultant to Ravi Engineering, served as program manager providing management, monitoring and maintenance services for the wind turbines.
    The Thruway Authority is seeking to recover more than $8.1 million plus interest, and costs and collection fees.
    http://www.post-journal.com/news/latest-news/2018/12/1155-am-thruway-authority-announces-lawsuit-after-wind-turbine-failures/

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    pat

    27 Dec: SMH: Tyranny of distance: The renewable power disconnect
    By Cole Latimer
    The renewable energy boom may be going to waste because the best place to put wind and solar is too far away to connect to the grid…
    The large number of new renewables means many are either unable to connect to the grid due to the sudden congestion from excess power being generated at the same time or just a complete lack of transmission to push the power into the grid.
    “Many new entrants – some are amazingly naïve – seem to be, on average, just assuming that transmission will be just rolled out to where they build and that they won’t have to pay the cost,” energy expert Paul McArdle said…

    The Australian Energy Market Operator has already warned of a mismatch between the levels of renewables and a grid that is unprepared for them.
    The generators, buoyed by the government’s Renewable Energy Target which encouraged more projects, are running the risks of becoming stranded or useless.
    Wind farms in western Victoria and south-eastern Queensland and solar farms in western NSW are particularly at risk.

    One potential project, the $8 billion, 2000 megawatt Star of the South offshore wind farm off Victoria’s coast – which could provide more power than the closed Hazelwood coal-fired power station – has no way to provide power to the grid yet is still rolling ahead…

    Grattan Institute energy director Tony Wood said even those connected to the existing transmission network are faced with being kicked off the system for less intermittent power sources like coal. They are generating power for no one…
    This potential lack of connection or under-utilisation is even driving away investors…

    The largest new renewable energy project in the country – the Snowy 2.0 expansion – is even facing a $2 billion hurdle connecting to the network as the transmission infrastructure doesn’t exist yet.
    Mr Wood said these new projects should pay the cost of connecting…
    AEMO said without proper planning and timely investment in the network, electricity prices will probably increase…
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/tyranny-of-distance-the-renewable-power-disconnect-20181214-p50mc4.html

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    pat

    22 Dec: ExpressTribunePakistan: No transmission lines for solar, wind power plants
    By Zafar Bhutta
    The investors engaged in setting up solar and wind power plants are facing a tough time as there are no transmission lines that can supply the electricity generated through renewable resources.
    According to officials, the four provinces have not conducted any due diligence for laying transmission lines but have issued a number of Letters of Intent (LOI) to the investors for setting up renewable energy plants.
    They said the provincial governments had no idea of the availability of transmission lines at the sites of proposed solar and wind power plants.

    The Sindh government has issued over 51 LOIs for the installation of wind power plants in the province whereas Punjab is in the process of granting the LOIs. Officials were of the view that the present transmission system had no capacity to supply electricity from the new renewable energy plants…

    During the PML-N tenure, the Ministry of Water and Power had proposed putting restrictions on the share of renewable energy at 10% of the total installed capacity, saying solar and wind power projects were operating at a much lower efficiency and creating problems for the national grid…
    https://tribune.com.pk/story/1872089/2-no-transmission-lines-solar-wind-power-plants/

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    GD

    Under draft rules released by Standards Australia, lithium-ion batteries are classed as “Fire Class 1” and would not be allowed inside or within 1m of a domestic dwelling.

    I hope that doesn’t include the lithium battery that came with my e-bike.

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      marcus

      Sorry, anyone with a mobile phone carries a probable fire in their top pocket or handbag. The battery is

      a self contained source of oxidizer AND fuel, in other words a small bomb. And your e bike, your lithium

      battery powered drill, your Tesla, your Prius, any thing that has one lithium ion battery, or several

      thousand.

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    RavenX

    Lithium-Ion batteries have a measly energy density of less than 1 mega-joule / kg – when connected electrically.
    You get a lot more energy out of them when you burn them ! :-)

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    Bill In Oz

    Jo, I reposted your blog about the flammability of Lithium batteries on my local Facebook chat group page. I got this response from one person :”Lithium cells are energy dense compared to other battery technologies. LiIon is prone to combustion when overcharged or overheated. These facts have nothing, really, to do with the reasons to elect to use solar collection or fossil fuel generation. Until you can power a city using nothing but red herrings.. You need to look for better arguments.”

    There are truly non so blind that they close their eyes to anything that is disagreeable to them…

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    jack

    The capture (solar) and storage of energy on an individual household is possibly a good thing.
    The caveat is how you store that energy.
    Lithium cells (batteries), in today’s technology, have an excellent electrical mass (weight) storage energy density. Which is great for mobile devices, phones, mobile PC’s, cars, Radio Controlled objects, probably even (in the future) aircraft. Any thing that is mobile and is powered by electricity, lithium storage is the duck guts!
    Now the Lithium consideration(compared to lead acid).
    1. Hazard: Up to present it has been advocated that the charging a high capacity Li battery be constantly supervised. The parameters for controlling the safe charging are much more arduous and prone to risk, as apposed to the more simple method lead acid.
    Compare the 100′s of millions of cars in the world using lead acid batteries(for starting and electrical systems) to the millions of Li batteries which have, in their short history, demonstrated a substantial fire hazard.
    2. Cost: Joules (how much energy you can store?) and how many times you can recycle that energy storage (how long will your system last?). For home energy storage, as volume and weight is less of a consideration, lead acid storage will cost less than half the cost of lithium storage.
    3. Ecology: Lithium is a rare element, lead in Australia, is quite abundant. Lead acid batteries are not only recyclable, but recondition able. Maybe as lithium becomes more scarce recycling may become more profitable??

    The bottom line is would you have a trendy, expensive, ecologically disastrous wall unit inside your house that that is a potential fire hazard or:
    Would you have a larger external storage system utilizing lead acid, at half the price, with none of the hazards of of a lithium system?
    Elon Musk may well be admired for his application of his wealth, but I belive he is pushing his own burrow for the advancement of lithium technology in home storage.

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  • #
    Rod McLaughlin

    “Crikey!”

    I love Australia. It takes me back to my childhood in 1960′s England.

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    Lewis P Buckingham

    Recently I visited a lightly constructed new prefab building near Goulburn,
    The solar powered lithium battery was simply bolted to the external wall.
    It was insulated aluminium.Perhaps Chinese.
    This in a village in a bushfire zone.
    Some of the poorest people I know live in it.
    There has to be a stop to shoddy construction.The lithium lobby should be made to bear the costs of any fires.
    Safety must be mandated

    Recently I was advised that after the ‘no fly’ lithium battery ban, Defence now has mandated that lithium batteries be
    stored in steel boxes.
    If its good enough for the military, its good enough for us home owners.
    A concrete boxed area would be the go to store batteries for home use.

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    observa

    The fireys are getting to be delicate little petals nowadays so perhaps puss will have to stay up the tree in future as ladders are dangerous things.

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