I hope that you can join us next Tuesday morning in San Francisco for the NAATBatt-Intersolar workshop on inside-the-meter battery safety.  The workshop is designed to educate developers and installers of solar systems about the possible safety risks associated with adding a storage component to PV systems and how regulators and other installers are mitigating those risks.   The workshop will also provide accurate information about advanced battery safety that developers and installers can share with their customers.  Anyone in the solar industry who is not already expert in storage technology should plan to attend this workshop.

Advanced battery safety is a topic that is both widely overlooked and widely overhyped when it is not overlooked.  Tesla’s high profile launch of the Powerwall product for installation in residential properties seemed to generate little comment about safety concerns notwithstanding the fact that putting a high voltage battery in a home where it has the potential to start or accelerate a fire should generate the highest level of safety concern.  This lack of comment is particularly odd given the veritable frenzy that has surrounded the relatively few thermal incidents involving advanced automotive and aerospace batteries, whose safety records have on the whole been outstanding.

Behind-the-meter battery safety is, therefore, an issue that is setting up to be the perfect storm.  The first safety incident, when it inevitably comes, will set off a flurry of panic, misinformation and regulatory concern.  The purpose of Tuesday’s workshop is to ensure that all of those in industry who will inevitably be swept up in that storm, and who will be deluged when it happens with inquiries from customers, the general public and regulators, will have good and solid information with which to respond.

Joining us in San Francisco on Tuesday will be some of the leading national experts in advanced battery safety.  Those experts will include Laurie Florence and Jeff Fecteau of UL LLC, Vince Sprenkle of PNNL, Mike Stone of NEMA, and Matt Paiss of the IAFF.  Joining us from the industry side will be experienced storage technology experts from CODA Energy, NEC Energy Solutions, the IBEW and Cygnus Energy Storage.

Please join us as well next Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. in Room 3010 of the Moscone Center West for what will be a “don’t miss” program for those involved in the solar-storage industry.  For more information about the workshop and to register, click here.