The Tesla Megapack project in Victoria, Australia to resume operation processes of 300MW/450 MWh big battery. Neoen owns Tesla’s Victorian Big Battery (VBB) and these batteries at located in the Hornsdale Power reserves which use Tesla’s powerpack. Earlier this year there was a fire leading to the fire department reaching the locations and putting it off for hours. After identifying the fire cause, now the operations are getting back to the original testing processes as planned.
Both Neoen and Tesla were given clearance from regulators to resume the operations after the fire incident in July. By September 29, the organization will start the energization of the megapacks. It was determined that the fire was because of a cooling system leak, resulting in a short circuit in the electrical component of Megapack. The findings came after the County Fire Authority, Energy Safe Victoria (ESV), and Worksafe Victoria investigated the fire.
ESV noted, “After extensive inquiries, ESV found a Megapack cooling system leak caused a short circuit resulting in overheating that led to a fire in a nearby battery compartment, which consequently damaged two Megapacks. There were further contributory factors with the Megapack in question being switched into an offline service mode, resulting in the protection systems being inactive. A 24-hour delay in connecting the batteries to the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system also meant there was no active monitoring of the Megapack alarms.”
Taking required precautions
Tesla already improves the megapack after the incident. It includes a combination is an enhancement in firmware and others like monitoring/process improvements. Additionally, the SCADA testing time for the battery has been reduced to one hour, which took 24 hours earlier.
Louis De Sambucy, Neoen Australia’s Managing Director said, “We have taken the time to understand the cause of the incident, and we have implemented actions to ensure it will not happen again. We are now actively working with all stakeholders to complete commissioning and testing of the project, and we look forward to sharing the lessons learned with the industry in coming weeks.”
The fire incident was a huge one that needed 150 fire fighters along with a dozen trucks to put off the fire. At that time, it was important that they made sure the fire didn’t spread across. As seen in the picture, the nearby fields could have got damaged if it wasn’t controlled. Two days after the eruption, firefighters stopped using water in the site. The pressure on Neoen and Tesla increased after this incident, however, they managed to get back on track almost after two months.