Are they safe?
Battery storage is safe when used properly and is well looked after. The Clean Energy Council Clean Energy Council and CSIRO have put together the below handy checklist on the safe installation and maintenance of battery storage.
- Know what type of battery storage system (i.e. battery chemistry, power and energy size) you are having installed. Different battery types have different requirements.
- Understand what you will be using your battery for, and the amount of energy available for your use (this is usually less than the manufacturer’s rated total amount of energy labelled on the batteries).
- Monitor your system regularly (at least once a month) and ensure that you have a system in place (for example, an appropriate battery monitoring system, a log book, and a visual and audible alarm) and know what to check for when doing a visual check or taking meter readings.
- Batteries do not perform well with sudden changes in ambient temperature, so they must be appropriately housed with adequate airflow. On extremely hot or cold days, you may need to do additional monitoring; ensure you have a system in place to remind you to do this.
- Ensure your batteries are not accessible to children, are vermin proofed and are separate to the living areas of the house. Do not store items on top of or lean items against your batteries or enclosures, because they could be a potential electrical fire risk. Consider installing signs to remind you of this.
- Ensure your batteries have the correct safety and warning signs for the battery type, and that you know how to follow their instructions (e.g. emergency shutdown procedure and emergency action plan).
- Keep manufacturer, installer and warranty information to refer to as needed, and use only accredited installers and professionals to alter the system.
- Revisit your whole system periodically and replace or upgrade components as required. Your accredited installer should be your first point of contact for maintenance. Keep the installer’s contact details.
For more information on the best practice for battery installations, maintenance and disposal, read the Clean Energy Council and CSIRO’s comprehensive safety performance study for different battery types.