For the second time in recent months, there has been a fire in a solar storage battery with considerable damage. As we already reported in our article “Apartment building uninhabitable after solar storage battery fire“, a battery storage unit burned in Bondegg, Baden-Württemberg, at the beginning of March. The apartment building was subsequently uninhabitable. Now a storage battery has exploded in a residential building in Althengstett, also in Baden-Württemberg. The damage is considerable and, according to an initial estimate, amounts to around 500,000 euros. The house is also uninhabitable.
Battery storage explodes
On 8 May, the homeowners noticed white smoke coming out of the basement of the house. When they tried to extinguish the battery storage which had caught fire themselves, they suffered mild smoke inhalation.
The fire brigade was already on its way to the scene when the burning battery exploded. Fire Chief Benjamin Jones commented: “We must be glad that the fire did not start during the night. And I am so glad that the explosion occurred before my attack teams entered the house. I can’t imagine what could have happened”.
The battery storage with about 6.5 kWh storage capacity was fed by the PV system of the house. The pressure wave of the explosion shattered all the windows as well as the flat doors and the front door. After the explosion, the fire brigade extinguished the fire with four breathing apparatus teams and ventilated the house with several positive pressure ventilators to clear it of smoke. The salvaged remains of the storage tank first had to be cooled down in a water tank to prevent widespread ignition.
Manufacturer Senec has remotely deactivated battery storage after several incidents
The make of the battery storage system is not yet known. The battery storage manufacturer Senec has deactivated all its photovoltaic home storage batteries by remote shutdown after several fires occurred in its storage units. Among them was the fire in Bondegg. In the meantime, however, the Leipzig-based battery manufacturer has put most of its storage units back into operation.
Installation of battery storage booms
Due to the increase in electricity prices and government subsidies, the installation of storage batteries in combination with a solar system is booming. In 2021 alone, around 141,000 new battery storage systems were installed in Germany. This brings the total number of solar energy storage units in Germany to more than 400,000.