“Battery Hazards and Prevention” Series

We are pleased to share our 6-part series of white papers focused on safe battery production and storage, and failure prevention. Batteries and BESS are a critical element in the sustainable energy infrastructure by providing the capability to even out the energy flow from intermittent energy sources.  The white paper series covers various aspects of battery failures from causes of such failures, likelihood of failures occurring and any mitigations that can be designed for battery storage and operating facilities.

Our “Battery Hazards and Prevention” series answers the following questions with six papers on the topics listed below.

Batteries 6-part series announcement - list of paper topics

Download the full 6 part series:

1. What can cause battery failures?

The first paper in this series, titled, “Battery Failure Analysis and Characterization of Failure Types” provides an introduction to lithium-ion battery types, types of failures, and forensic methods and techniques used to investigate origin & cause and to identify failure mechanisms.

Sean Berg


This paper is authored by Senior Materials Engineer, Sean Berg, Ph.D., P.E.

2. How often do battery failures occur?

This second paper in the series provides an introduction to the current state of failure frequency research for Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS). Failure frequencies are important in quantifying the risk and designing risk mitigation strategies. The paper intends to cover the state of research in this field and providing the author's take on some techniques to help perform such analysis.

Wun Wong

This paper is authored by Senior Process Safety Consultant, Wun Wong.

3. If batteries do fail, can you mitigate the hazards?

The battery chemical composition, stored electrical energy, arrangement of battery modules, and thermal runaway propagation within battery packs presents significant challenges for fire protection of the Li-Ion batteries. In this third white paper in the series, Roshan Sebastian reviews various traditional and emerging fire protection approaches to mitigate Li-Ion battery fires.

Roshan Sebastian

This paper is authored by Process Safety Consultant, Roshan Sebastian.

4. If you can’t mitigate the hazards from a battery failure, what are the consequences?

Battery failures can result in sustained fire hazards as well as explosion hazards to personnel and structures. BakerRisk has developed methodologies to quantify these hazards conservatively, using approaches that range from very conservative simplified analytical methods to high fidelity computational fluid dynamics that incorporate releases, dispersion, ventilation, and combustion for more accurate hazard consequences refined hazard assessment.

Aníbal Morones

This paper is authored by

Blast Effects Consultant,

Aníbal Morones, Ph.D.

5. Can you design structures to contain battery hazards and consequences if a failure occurs?

Battery hazards can have serious consequences to human life, equipment, and building integrity. Gabriel Shelton reviews methods for dynamic structural analysis for impulsive loads, structural response criteria, and fire ratings of building materials to evaluate existing buildings and design new buildings containing battery energy storage systems, battery labs, and other battery hazards.

Gabriel Shelton

This paper is authored by Senior Structural Engineer, Gabriel Shelton, P.E.

6. What is the loss impact if these failures escalate?

BESS containers and any associated buildings and adjacent equipment are subject to battery hazards and consequences.  Roger Stokes reviews best practice siting considerations as well as insurance and risk tolerance perspectives regarding credible loss events.

Roger Stokes

This paper is authored by Principal Process Safety Engineer, Roger Stokes.

Recent Updates

September 13, 2023

Since the completion of this white paper series in 2022, at least sixteen further incidents of BESS failures around the world have resulted in fires and damage to property. What do we glean from these most recent incidents? Dive into insights in Roger Stokes’s white paper, “BESS Incidents - Recent failures and risk management considerations”.

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