Battery Safety Laboratory in the Netherlands

Rigorous, independent safety testing, evaluation and certification for complete battery-based energy storage systems

Energy storage is essential for a successful transition to a low-carbon energy system as it is the key building block to provide flexibility for a stable energy grid. To mitigate risk for our societies, these solutions must operate safe under a wide range of conditions. As individual components battery cells are certified as safe, but integrating them into systems is challenging, given evidence by the number of large fires at grid-scale energy storage systems in recent years.

DNV’s Battery Safety Laboratory in the Netherlands is a unique facility for the independent testing of complete battery systems. Its location on the renowned Twente Safety Campus offers a safe test environment that allows battery systems to be tested to the point of destruction through the use of abuse conditions, e.g. emulating/simulating expected misuse to check if no dangerous situations can develop. Tests can be conducted to determine what conditions can cause a fire, how the materials/product react, how that fire develops, and evaluate the effectiveness of the system’s fire suppression features.

Independent validation and verification testing
The goal of testing is giving an independent validation of product manufacturer claims. DNV reviews or designs a test for product statement validation and the safe integration of components into a full system. Examples are:

  • Test possible fire propagation
  • Test the effectiveness of a safe design, integration and fire suppression methods
  • Measure the emitted gas composition that is released in case of fire
  • Test the behaviour of a system in user cases that differ from standards, like military use (extreme environments), mining applications, drop test from higher altitudes, larger vibrations.

Abuse tests for certification
After opening, The Battery Safety Laboratory will enter the process to becoming an ISO 17025 certified lab and therefore be able to perform abuse tests for certification purposes according to international standards, like:

  • UL9540A: fire propagation at module/unit/system level
  • Safety tests according to the UN 38.3, IEC 62619, IEC 62933-5-2 and VDE AR-2510-50 standards
  • Customized testing programs.

Contract research and design review testing
Testing in the development phase supports the research and development of battery systems and the decision-making process to integrate effective prevention and mitigation measures. You can rely on DNV’s technical expertise and safe the test environment. Our capabilities include the design of a test plan, performing the tests and evaluation of the results, including advice and conclusions. Topics to be tackled are:

  • Cooling of batteries
  • Thermal propagation
  • Preventive measures
  • Fire suppression system integration
  • Effect of battery fire on construction materials
  • Effect of battery fire on safety mitigation
  • Storage and transportation of battery systems
  • Client specific needs

Power failure investigations and root cause analysis
Worldwide DNV investigates damaged battery packs/ storage systems to determine the incidents root cause. We are respected the world over for our comprehensive Power Failure Investigation service built on more than 100 years of conducting in-depth studies into the root causes of power failures. In our Battery Safety Lab we will dismantle damaged battery modules, perform specific material analysis, mechanical, environmental and electrical tests. Simulations and inspections may be used to verify the hypotheses, depending on the situation.

A unique collaboration
The Battery Safety Lab is operated by DNV in close collaboration with the Twente Safety Region, the consortium of emergency services and municipalities responsible for public safety in the eastern Netherlands. It combines DNV’s technical expertise in battery technologies, testing and certification with first-hand expertise on fire safety, enabling the most rigorous safety testing while meeting all environmental and health and safety requirements.