A Tesla Megapack fire at the Victorian Big Battery in Southeast Australia was brought under control Monday afternoon, with fire crews remaining on site Tuesday to ensure damaged equipment would not reignite, according to the Country Fire Authority.
Inspections and investigations are now underway to determine what caused it.
While the Victorian Big Battery is not the first system of its kind, it is one of the world’s largest battery energy storage systems. Tesla’s Powerpack and Megapack products are probably the best-known big batteries, but competitors abound, including from LG Energy Solutions, SK Innovation, Northvolt and Powin Energy.
Results of the investigation will be closely watched, and could influence the way such systems are designed and built, according to Paul Christensen, a professor of electrochemistry at Newcastle University whose research focuses on lithium ion battery fires and safety.
Without speaking to the Victorian Big Battery’s design specifically, Christensen said he would like to see fire and rescue teams involved early on in the design and installation of energy storage systems. “If the design is approved, and then the fire and rescue service are brought in — that’s the wrong way around,” he said.