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LG Chem forced into second recall as residential lithium-ion ESS units pose fire risk

Thu, 03/04/2021 - 13:58 -- Paul Crompton

Korean battery giant LG Chem has made a safety recall over concerns its lithium-ion powered residential storage units installed in Australia could overheat and catch on fire.

The affected Resu-branded energy storage systems are equipped with lithium-ion cells manufactured between March 2017 and September 2018. 

The systems were installed as part of a residential energy solar system, which allowed owners to capture and store energy from solar panels. 

Launched in December, LG Energy Solution— an LG Chem subsidiary— said it had received ‘isolated reports’ about overheating incidents linked to home energy storage system battery installations. 

A LG Chem statement read: “As a precautionary measure and out of an abundance of caution, LG Energy Solution has decided to replace all potentially affected home batteries, equipped with cells from limited specific production lots, free of charge.

“If the batteries overheat, there is an increased risk of fire, which may result in an injury or death and/or property damage.”

LG Energy Solution is implementing a remote software upgrade for affected units to lower the maximum state of charge to 90% for the interim period prior to replacement.

However, the software upgrade is only applicable to online units that have sufficient online connectivity to be able to receive the software upgrade. 

Last December, LG Chem recalled models of its lithium-ion home ESS units in the US amid overheating and fire concerns.  The impacted units were sold from January 2017 through March 2019.

The company worked with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on the recall, following reports of five fires with its battery systems that caused limited property damage and no injuries.

The recalled units included systems sold by SunRun, which uses LG Chem in some of its BrightBox residential storage products.

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