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52.3* Additional Battery Technologies

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52.3.1 General
Energy storage systems having a capacity greater than the quantities listed in Table 52.3.1 shall be in accordance with Section 52.3 and where used as a legally required emergency or standby power system, shall also comply with 11.7.3.
Table 52.3.1 Energy Storage System Threshold Quantities
Type Capacitya
Lithium batteries, all types 20 KWh (18.0 Mega joules)
Sodium batteries, all types 20 KWh (18.0 Mega joules)c
Flow batteriesb 20 KWh (18.0 Mega joules)
Other battery technologies 10 KWh (10.8 Mega joules)
Capacitors 70 KWh (25.2 Mega joules)
Notes:
aFor batteries and capacitors rated in Amp-Hours, KWh should equal rated voltage times amp-hour rating divided by 1000.
bIncludes vanadium, zinc-bromine, polysulfide-bromide, and other flowing electrolyte-type technologies.
cOr 70 KWh (25.2 Mega joules) for sodium-ion technologies.
52.3.2* Stationary Storage Battery Systems
52.3.2.1 Location and Occupancy Separation
Stationary storage battery systems shall be located and constructed in accordance with this section.
52.3.2.1.1
Stationary storage battery systems shall be housed in a noncombustible, locked cabinet or other enclosure to prevent access by unauthorized personnel unless located in a separate equipment room accessible only to authorized personnel.
52.3.2.1.2 Location
52.3.2.1.2.1
Stationary storage battery systems shall not be located in areas where the floor is located more than 75 ft (22,860 mm) above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access, or where the floor level is more than 30 ft (9144 mm) below the finished floor of the lowest level of exit discharge, unless otherwise permitted by 52.3.2.1.2.
52.3.2.1.2.2
Installations on noncombustible rooftops of buildings exceeding 75 ft (22,860 mm) in height that do not obstruct fire department rooftop operations shall be permitted when approved by the AHJ.
52.3.2.1.3 Separation
Rooms containing stationary storage battery systems shall be located in high-hazard occupancies, or shall be separated from other areas of the building as stated in 52.3.2.1.3.1 and 52.3.2.1.3.2. Stationary storage battery systems shall be allowed to be in the same room with the equipment they support.
52.3.2.1.3.1
In other than assembly, educational, detention, and correction facilities; health care, ambulatory health care, and day care centers; and residential board and care and residential occupancies, stationary storage battery systems shall be located in a room separated from other portions of the building by a minimum of a 1-hour fire barrier.
52.3.2.1.3.2
In assembly, educational, detention, and correction facilities; health care, ambulatory health care, and day care centers; and residential board and care and residential occupancies, stationary storage battery systems shall be located in a room separated from other portions of the building by a minimum of a 2-hour fire barrier.
52.3.2.1.4 Outdoor Installations
Stationary storage battery systems located outdoors shall comply with this paragraph, in addition to all applicable requirements of Section 52.3.
52.3.2.1.4.1
Installations in outdoor enclosures or containers that are occupied for servicing, testing, maintenance, and other functions shall be treated as stationary storage battery system rooms.
52.3.2.1.4.2
Battery arrays in noncombustible containers shall not be required to be spaced 3 ft (914 mm) from the container walls.
52.3.2.1.4.3
Stationary storage battery systems located outdoors shall be separated by a minimum 5 ft (1524 mm) from the following:
  1. Lot lines
  2. Public ways
  3. Buildings
  4. Stored combustible materials
  5. Hazardous materials
  6. High-piled stock
  7. Other exposure hazards
52.3.2.1.4.4
The AHJ shall be permitted to authorize smaller separation distances if large-scale fire and fault condition testing conducted or witnessed and reported by an approved testing laboratory is provided showing that a fire involving the system will not adversely impact occupant egress from adjacent buildings, or adversely impact adjacent stored materials or structures.
52.3.2.1.4.5 Means of Egress
52.3.2.1.4.5.1
Stationary storage battery systems located outdoors shall be separated from any means of egress as required by the AHJ to ensure safe egress under fire conditions, but in no case less than 10 ft (3048 mm).
52.3.2.1.4.5.2
The AHJ shall be permitted to authorize smaller separation distances if large-scale fire and fault condition testing conducted or witnessed and reported by an approved testing laboratory is provided showing that a fire involving the system will not adversely impact occupant egress.
52.3.2.1.4.6 Security of Areas
Outdoor areas in which stationary storage battery systems are located shall be secured against unauthorized entry in an approved manner.
52.3.2.2 Maximum Allowable Quantities
52.3.2.2.1
Fire areas within buildings containing stationary storage battery systems exceeding the maximum allowable quantities in Table 52.3.2.2.1 shall comply with all applicable ordinary-hazard and high-hazard requirements as identified in 6.2.2 of NFPA 101 and the building code.
Type Maximum Allowable Quantitiesa Hazard Classification
Lithium batteries, all types 600 KWh High hazardc
Sodium batteries, all types 600 KWh High hazardc
Flow batteriesb 600 KWh High hazardc
Other battery technologies 1200 KWh High hazardc
Notes:
aFor batteries rated in amp-hours, KWh should equal rated voltage times amp-hour rating divided by 1000.
bIncludes vanadium, zinc-bromine, polysulfide-bromide, and other flowing electrolyte-type technologies.
cCan be permitted to be ordinary hazard classification if approved by the AHJ based on (1) a hazard mitigation analysis conducted in accordance with 52.3.2.4 and (2) large-scale fire and fault condition testing conducted or witnessed and reported by an approved testing laboratory that shows that a fire involving the stationary storage battery system is contained within the room for a duration equal to the fire resistance rating of the room separation required in 52.3.2.1.3.1 or 52.3.2.1.3.2, as applicable.
52.3.2.2.2
Where approved by the AHJ, areas containing stationary storage battery systems that exceed the amounts in Table 52.3.2.2.1 shall be permitted to be treated as a ordinary-hazard and not a high-hazard classification based on a hazardous mitigation analysis in accordance with 52.3.2.4 and large-scale fire and fault condition testing conducted or witnessed and reported by an approved testing laboratory.
52.3.2.2.3
Where areas within buildings contain a combination of energy system technologies, the total aggregate quantities shall be determined based on the sum of percentages of each type divided by the maximum allowable quantity of each type. If the sum of the percentages exceeds 100 percent, the area shall be treated as a high-hazard classification in accordance with Table 52.3.2.2.1.
52.3.2.3* Battery Arrays
52.3.2.3.1
Battery arrays shall comply with 52.3.2.3.2 and 52.3.2.3.3 unless otherwise permitted by 52.3.2.3.4 or 52.3.2.3.5.
52.3.2.3.2
Storage batteries, prepackaged stationary storage battery systems, and pre-engineered stationary storage battery systems shall be segregated into arrays not exceeding 50 KWh (180 Mega joules) each.
52.3.2.3.3
Each array shall be spaced a minimum 3 ft (914 mm) from other arrays and from walls in the storage room or area. The storage arrangements shall comply with the egress provisions in NFPA 101.
52.3.2.3.4
Listed pre-engineered stationary storage battery systems and prepackaged stationary storage battery systems shall not exceed 250 KWh (900 Mega joules) each.
52.3.2.3.5
The AHJ shall be permitted to approve listed pre-engineered and prepackaged battery arrays with larger capacities or smaller battery array spacing if large-scale fire and fault condition testing conducted or witnessed and reported by an approved testing laboratory is provided showing that a fire involving one array will not propagate to an adjacent array, and be contained within the room for a duration equal to the fire resistance rating of the room separation required by 52.3.2.1.3.
52.3.2.4 Hazard Mitigation Analysis
A failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) or other approved hazard mitigation analysis shall be provided to the AHJ when any of the following conditions are present:
  1. Battery technologies not specifically identified in Table 52.3.1 are provided.
  2. More than one stationary storage battery technology is provided in a room or indoor area where there is a potential for adverse interaction between technologies.
  3. When allowed as a basis for increasing maximum allowable quantities as specified in Table 52.3.2.2.1.
52.3.2.4.1
The analysis shall evaluate the consequences of the following failure modes, and others deemed necessary by the AHJ. Only single failure modes shall be considered for each mode:
  1. Thermal runaway condition in a single module or array
  2. Failure of a battery management system
  3. Failure of a required ventilation system
  4. Voltage surges on the primary electric supply
  5. Short circuits on the load side of the stationary battery storage system
  6. Failure of the smoke detection, fire suppression, or gas detection system
52.3.2.4.2
The AHJ shall be permitted to approve the hazardous mitigation analysis provided the consequences of the FMEA demonstrate the following:
  1. Fires or explosions will be contained within unoccupied stationary storage battery system rooms for the minimum duration of the fire resistance rated specified in 52.3.2.1.3.1 or 52.3.2.1.3.2, as applicable
  2. Fires and explosions in stationary storage battery system cabinets in occupied work centers allow occupants to safely evacuate
  3. Toxic and highly toxic gases released during charging, discharging, and normal operation shall not exceed the permissible exposure limit (PEL)
  4. Toxic and highly toxic gases released during fires and other fault conditions shall not reach concentrations in access of IDLH level in the building or adjacent means of egress routes during the time deemed necessary to evacuate from that area
  5. Flammable gases released from batteries during charging, discharging, and normal operation shall not exceed 25 percent of the lower flammable limit (LFL)
52.3.2.4.3
Construction, equipment, and systems that are required for the stationary storage battery system to comply with the hazardous mitigation analysis shall be installed, maintained, and tested in accordance with nationally recognized standards and specified design parameters.
52.3.2.5 Listings
Storage batteries shall be listed in accordance with UL 1973, Standard for Batteries for Use in Light Electric Rail (LER) Applications and Stationary Applications. Prepackaged and pre-engineered stationary storage battery systems shall be listed in accordance with UL 9540, Outline of Investigation for Energy Storage Systems and Equipment.
52.3.2.5.1* Prepackaged and Pre-Engineered Systems
Prepackaged and pre-engineered stationary storage battery systems shall be installed in accordance with their listing and the manufacturer's instructions.
52.3.2.5.2 Environment
The storage battery environment shall be controlled to maintain temperatures and conditions within the battery manufacturer's specifications.
52.3.2.6 Installation
52.3.2.6.1 Battery Management System
An approved battery management system shall be provided for battery technologies for monitoring and balancing cell voltages, currents, and temperatures within the manufacturer's specifications. The system shall transmit an alarm signal to an approved location if potentially hazardous temperatures or other conditions including short circuits, overvoltage (i.e., overcharge) or under voltage (i.e., over discharge) are detected.
52.3.2.6.2 Battery Chargers
Battery chargers shall be compatible with the battery manufacturer's electrical ratings and charging specifications. Battery chargers shall be listed in accordance with the UL 1564, Standard for Industrial Battery Chargers, or provided as part of a listed pre-engineered or prepackaged stationary storage battery system.
52.3.2.6.3 Vehicle Impact Protection
Vehicle impact protection shall be provided where stationary storage battery systems are subject to impact by motor vehicles.
52.3.2.6.4 Combustible Storage
52.3.2.6.4.1
Combustible materials not related to the stationary storage battery system shall not be stored in battery rooms, cabinets, or enclosures.
52.3.2.6.4.2
Combustible materials in occupied work centers shall comply with Section 10.18 and shall not be stored within 3 ft (915 mm) of battery cabinets.
52.3.2.6.5 Signage
52.3.2.6.5.1
Approved signage shall be provided on doors or in approved locations near entrances to stationary battery storage system rooms.
52.3.2.6.5.2
New signage installations shall require the following items:
  1. Hazard identification markings in accordance with NFPA 704.
  2. "This room contains energized battery systems," or the equivalent.
  3. Identification of the type(s) of batteries present
  4. AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY
  5. Technology-specific markings, if required in 52.3.2.11
52.3.2.6.5.3
Where the battery storage system disconnecting means is not within sight of the main service disconnect, placards or directories shall be installed at the locations of the main service disconnect to indicate the location of all battery storage disconnecting means in accordance with NFPA 70.
52.3.2.6.5.4
Existing stationary storage battery systems shall be permitted to include the signage required at the time it was installed.
52.3.2.6.5.5
Battery cabinets shall be provided with exterior labels that identify the manufacturer and model number of the system and electrical rating (i.e., voltage and current) of the contained battery system.
52.3.2.6.5.6
Signs shall be provided within battery cabinets to indicate the relevant electrical, chemical, and fire hazard.
52.3.2.6.5.7
Fire command centers in buildings containing stationary storage battery systems shall include signage or readily available documentation that describes the location of stationary storage battery systems, the types of batteries present, operating voltages, and location of electrical disconnects.
52.3.2.6.6 Seismic Protection
Battery systems shall be seismically braced in accordance with the building code.
52.3.2.6.7 Safety Caps
Vented batteries shall be provided with flame-arresting safety caps.
52.3.2.6.8* Mixed Battery Systems
Different types of batteries shall not be installed in the same room or cabinet if there is a potential for unsafe interaction between them, as determined by the AHJ.
52.3.2.7 Suppression and Detection
52.3.2.7.1 Fire Suppression
Rooms containing stationary storage battery systems shall be protected by an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 13.3.
52.3.2.7.1.1
Commodity classifications for specific technologies of storage batteries shall be in accordance with Chapter 5 of NFPA 13.
52.3.2.7.1.2
If the storage battery types are not specifically addressed in Chapter 5 of NFPA 13, the AHJ shall be permitted to approve the fire suppression system based on full-scale fire and fault condition testing conducted or witnessed and reported by an approved laboratory.
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