South Korea’s government said investigators need more time to discover the cause of a series of energy storage system (ESS) fires— and a temporary manufacturing ban continues for several manufacturers.
More than 20 ESS units across the country went up in flames over the past year, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (Motie) has confirmed.
The government asked public institutions, large multi-purpose facilities and domestic ESS users to stop using their devices as a temporary safety measure.
And manufacturers ordered to suspend ESS production have since reported huge losses. One of the companies involved, Samsung SDI, told an earnings conference call its sales had “take a dive” over the issue.
A Motie spokesperson said on 2 May the government hoped to have answers as to the cause of the fires next month, but said that as the ESS units were all destroyed, it was taking a “considerable amount of time to identify the cause and involves many companies and products”.
The government will also “significantly strengthen safety standards” relating to future ESS production and installation, the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, a probe is continuing into last month’s explosion at a lithium-ion grid-scale battery storage facility in the US operated by the Arizona Public Service (APS) utility.
APS has said it cannot speculate about the root cause of the incident at its 2MW/2MWh McMicken facility system in Arizona—”whether it was the battery unit itself or another grid component“—until the investigation is completed.
Manufacturers and users of battery storage systems have backed an industry-led initiative in the US to “prioritise safety” in the production and operation of equipment.