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Fireman warns solar powered batteries may cause ferocious fires

Posted By Jo Nova On December 28, 2018 @ 3:39 am In Global Warming | Comments Disabled

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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