Why the Korean Energy Storage System (ESS) burned themselves?

Between August 2017 and October 2019, up to 28 fires occurred at Energy Storage System (ESS).

South Korea Identifies Top 4 Causes that Led to ESS Fires

Nexceris June 2019

This week South Korea announced the conclusions from their fire investigation committee regarding the root cause for the 23 energy storage system fires that have occurred since August of 2017

  • Insufficient battery protection systems against electric shock
  • Inadequate management of the operating environment
  • Faulty Installations
  • ESS System Integration

Battery makers refute findings behind ESS fires

Thelec.kr Feb. 9th, 2020

South Korean battery makers refuted findings by a team of experts and government officials who announced on Feb. 6 that 4 out of 5 of the fires that occurred at Energy Storage Systems between August and October in 2019 were due to batteries.

The investigative team said that a variety of defects in the batteries were caused most of the fires, but battery makers LG Chem and Samsung SDI immediately issued statements denying the claims.

The two companies also found fault with the investigation itself, saying that fires did not occur in some of the reenactments. They also criticized the team for preemptively targeting batteries in the first place as the cause of the fires.

In the previous first round of investigations, there had been some consideration and analysis about the management of ESS in general, but this time, the investigation was purely focused on batteries.

The Korean Battery Chemistry

Lithium Polymer NMC battery cells are the key focus of the two leading manufacturers in Korea: LG Chem and Samsung SDI AIO.

NMC batteries are used for cell phones, electric vehicles, as well as energy storage systems.

Like other Lithium-ion polymer cells, NMC has the advantage of high energy density but with relatively long cycle life than other polymer cells.

LG Chem ESS Pack

Battery cell is claimed to be high output and high energy.

The True Cause of the Problem

NMC batteries are high energy density battery cells.

When a large number of battery cells are packed in a small space without good ventilation for each individual cell, heat will built-up particularly when they are drawn with 1C or higher discharge current.

In principle, the battery cell can handle 5C continuous discharge current with sufficient ventilation of heat. When a lot of batteries cells were packed in a close environment discharging around 1C or more current will dissipate a lot of heat.

Power dissipation is equal to the square of discharge current multiply with the internal resistance of the battery cell. (P=I2R).

When the batteries are heated up, the internal resistance will increase. An increase in internal resistance will increase the heat dissipation, which is called thermal runaway, eventually leading to the self-burning of battery cells.


Most of the battery system designers have little knowledge about the power dissipation of batteries and they simply based on the specification given by the manufacturers.

If safety is the utmost concern of a system particularly in an energy storage system (ESS), Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, containing Iron acting as an internal heatsink, are far safer than Lithium polymer type, high energy density, batteries such as LiCoO2, NCM, NMC, NCA.

The author has over 30 years of experience in the Lithium-ion battery industry from the laptop application, electric vehicle, to large energy storage.

To find LFP type Lithium-ion batteries, please visit everspring.net

  1. Ref: Lithium Battery Storage to be installed in our neighborhood

    The City of College Park and NextEra Energy are planning on installing a LITHIUM BATTERY STORAGE FACILITY literally next to our backyards of the Sunrise Subdivision in the City of South Fulton GA 30349.
    We have not found any Federal, State or local regulations that prevents Utility Companies from installing these dangerous facilities in residential neighborhoods. Since the Federal Government is pushing Green Energy, The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission must establish regulations where these Lithium Battery Storage Facilities can be installed. At least regulStorageations that prohibit them from being installed residential areas. All Lithium Battery Storage Facilities that we have been able to locate on the internet are in rural or unpopulated areas. We are in serious need of your help to stop this.
    The last week of June 2021, we learned that The City of College Park annexed the land that butts up to Sunrise subdivision to Roosevelt Highway, and from Welcome All RD to Delano road. Next Era has applied to rezone it as light industrial, with an Equivalent Future Land Use Amendment (parcel ID 09F360201300863, 08F360101290669 and 09F360101290545) so NextEra Energy can build a lithium battery storage area which includes 130 ft Towers. Parcels encompasses approx 40.87 acres of land at the NE corner of Welcome All Road and South Fulton Parkway: and approx 20.99 acres at the SE corner of the same intersection.
    Lithium Battery Storage next to our neighborhood may be very harmful to our health as well as have a negative effect on our property values. This is the video that NextEra and Attorney Harold Buckey and NextEra representatives showed us in a meeting July 8, 2021 which gives the impression that this is completely undeveloped area. https:truescape-1.wistia.com/medias/qrvasspuvs (PLEASE VEIW THIS VIDEO)
    At the meeting, they tried to convince us that the battery storage location was safe and would not have any effect on the residents of Sunrise subdivision. They also said this is the best location was the site best for Georgia Power and NextEra because it is close to the highway airport and Georgia Power Substation. On the contrary, this would have a negative effect on our property values can be very dangerous; https: commercial solarguy.com/a-lithium-ion-battery-burnt-four-firefighters-were-knocked-uncongcious-timeline-recommendations. April 19, 2019 there was a very dangerous Energy Storage Fire where several firefighters were injured. Lithium-ion batteries pose environmental and safety concerns.
    Another case July 30, 2021: It took 3 days to get Australia Tesla battery blasé under control. Referrance: EEVbog 1411-Tesla Victoria Big Battery FIRE YouTube. This Lithium Battery Storage Falcility is almost identical to what they propose to put next to Sunrise Subdivision. The batteries typically use hexafluorophosphate salt, LiPF6, which can cause systemic toxicity, respiratory failure, cardiac arrest and death even with little physical contact with the compound. Under certain conditions, if incorrectly disposed, lithium-ion batteries can create a potential fire and explosion risk according to a study done in Australia.
    I’m 74 year old, 32 year resident of the Sunrise subdivision in The City of South Fulton 30349. Sunrise subdivision was established in 1974 with custom built homes. Most homeowners are senior citizens and have lived in the Sunrise Subdivision 30-47 years. City of Collage Park, NextEra Energy and City of South Fulton should compensate the residences of South Fulton if this lithium battery storage is placed in or next to our Subdivision. This will effect more then Sunrise residences. For the greed of money our People of Color, middle or low income Communities are being inundated as a dumping ground.
    When I purchased my home in 1989, this area was zoned agricultural and residential, and mostly wooded and pastures with horse, cow farms and horse stables. Because of Rezoning, all of that is gone. Most of Welcome All Road has been replaced with logistic trucking companies, a garbage transfer station and construction dump site for road construction waste next to the garbage transfer station; Plus, Georgia Power electrical grids and substations. On top of that, .08 mile from our subdivision on Roosevelt Highway for about 1 mile are huge wrecking yards with acres of crashed vehicles piled high along with acres of disabled 18 wheelers and an Electronic Recycle plant. This area in the City of South Fulton is being turned into the dump site for the rest of Georgia.
    Even though this has been going on for months or maybe years, City of South claims they knew nothing about it. Yet gave permission to put these battery storage units within 115′ from the property lines of the homes on Sunrise Ct. The original proposal was 100′ from resident’s property line. They tagged several trees on private property..
    NextEra and City of College Park claim they did not have to notify homeowners more than 1000 ft from the 60+ area lithium battery storage property. My home as well as most of the Sunrise residents and other City of South Fulton residence do not fall in that 1000-foot range. Therefore we were not notified.
    They put an ad in a Community newspaper no longer delivered to anyone and a small sign (not readable from the road) on Welcome All Road with the wrong Parcel ID 09F250301270621. That ID is for a Parcel on Roosevelt Highway next to South Fulton Highway entrance that belongs to DM Roosevelt 111 LLC. It had nothing to do with NextEra. or anyone associated with them. According to the sign, there is a MAYOR ANS CITY COUNCIL HEARING 7:30PM, AUGUST 16, 2021 LOCATION: ZOOM CONFERENING- LINK ON COLLEGEPARKGA.COM MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEETING IN CHAMBERS AT CITY HALL.
    The rezoning for NextERA to install the Lithium Storage Facility was not approved at that City of College Park City Council Meeting. 2 voted for and 2 voted against with the Mayor voting to postpone. In the Sept 20, 2021 meeting, they also voted to postpone the Vote to Oct 18, 2021 City Council meeting.
    The attached Map shows Sunrise Subdivision and location of Proposed Lithium Storage site.
    Attached are pictures of Australia Tesla Battery Fire July 30, 2021.
    Can these companies just come into lower income residential areas and force us to accept these storage sites next to our homes?

    Ottellia Hampton
    4125 Jeffrey Dr, City of South Fulton GA 30349
    301 751 0341

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