SAN DIEGO, Aug. 26, 2019 — A utility regulator with the Arizona Corporation Commission says that lithium ion batteries for energy storage “are not prudent and create unacceptable risks.” In an August 2 letter, Commissioner Sandra Kennedy warned that lithium ion is susceptible to rapid, uncontrolled overheating, a state known as thermal runaway. This creates a serious fire hazard that could also lead to the release of toxic gases.
Kennedy wrote the letter after reviewing reports from fires at Arizona energy storage facilities in November 2012 and April 2019. The problem has not been limited to Arizona, however. Lithium ion batteries have caused more than 20 storage complex fires in South Korea just since August 2017.
On a smaller scale, combustion incidents have occurred in a long line of consumer products powered by lithium ion, including electric cars and scooters, smartphones, and e-cigarettes. While lithium ion batteries are used in half of residential energy storage systems worldwide, there are serious concerns about their stability.
While lithium ion battery chemistry is used in vehicles and consumer electronics due to its light weight and high energy density characteristics, this chemistry poses the additional risk of thermal runaway, where an increase in battery temperature can cause a chain reaction that leads to total battery failure and subsequent surrounding damage.
For homeowners seeking a safe alternative to lithium ion batteries, the NeoVolta NV14 energy storage system offers many advantages. Its lithium iron phosphate technology is non-toxic, cobalt-free and possesses superior thermal/chemical stability over lithium-ion battery chemistry. The iron core makes it resistant to thermal runaway and combustion, while giving it a longer life cycle.
Energy generated by rooftop AC or DC solar panels during the daytime is stored in the NV14 and used to power your home during evening “peak demand” hours, when utility rates are often twice as high. The system’s inverter can be coupled to a DC panel for greater efficiency and additional savings. The NeoVolta smartphone app allows users to monitor the system’s performance 24/7. And, in the event of a blackout, the NV14 will automatically disconnect from the grid and continue to power a home’s critical loads indefinitely.
“With home energy storage, you have a clear choice between installing a safe system and installing a potentially toxic fire hazard in your house,” said Brent Willson, CEO of NeoVolta. “And if you believe in clean energy, shouldn’t your energy storage also be clean? We designed the NeoVolta NV14 system with safety as our highest priority, and that’s why we’re proud to use lithium iron phosphate chemistry—not lithium ion—for our battery.”