07/03/2022

Blog: Ten point site checklist for a battery energy storage system

Is your site suitable for cheaper, greener energy from a battery energy storage system?

Many businesses with large estates are discussing whether, with energy prices escalating ever upwards, the time has come to invest in a battery energy storage system.

Others, especially those in such hard-to-abate industries, are discovering that a BESS can offer a way to dramatically reduce carbon emissions and want to find out more.

At Connected Energy we provide battery energy storage solutions using second life batteries. This offers the ability to make an immediate, quantifiable and significant reduction to your organisation’s carbon emissions, and help reduce energy bills.

But here’s the key question– is your site suitable to take a battery storage system?

Our inhouse specialist, Project Manager Darren Cheadle, provides a ten point checklist for BESS site suitability. He adds a note:

“Observing any issues on this list does not necessarily mean that installation is not possible. With the right approach, extra planning and specialist resources, many potential issues can be overcome.”

1. Vehicular access

Connected Energy’s battery energy storage systems are supplied in steel shipping containers which are specially modified to hold racks of batteries and all the electronic and electrical parts needed to operate them. Our containers measure 6.6 metres long and 2.4 metres wide and have to be transported on an articulated lorry.

Does your site have access for this size and weight of vehicle? Is the route to it free from drainage or underground cavities which could be impacted by a heavy vehicle passing over them?

2. Overhead restrictions

Units have to be craned in place so we need to consider if there are any overhead restrictions such as power or phone lines. Also lifting near any nearby airfields may require special permits

3. Location

Our battery energy storage units come ready to ‘plug and play’ which means they are supplied with all the required electronic and electrical parts in place, and weigh 13.8 tonnes. They will need a stable, flat surface to support this weight. You may also need to consider flood risk and other environmental factors.

4. Residential or commercial location

A battery energy storage system needs to be operated at a regular temperature for optimal battery performance. The container will have ventilation louvres but also an automatic ventilation and air conditioning system with remote sensors. Like all conditioning units, when in operation it can be heard at close distance.

Are there any noise regulations at your proposed BESS site? This would be unusual on a commercial estate but needs to be checked, and other planning and development restrictions may apply

5. Cable connection and data link

A secure data link will be needed for allow remote monitoring and to provide performance data to you. Every battery energy storage unit will have an integrated fire warning system of its own but can also be linked to your own fire panel via the data link or hard-wired in.
Your BESS will need to be connected to existing electrical systems through underground cabling, with all the usual regulations and best practice approaches applied.

Network infrastructure be required depending on the proximity to the existing electrical system.

6. Connection to your facilities

The battery energy storage units we supply are made from second life vehicle batteries. This has two distinct advantages. Firstly it gives additional carbon reduction savings, by extending the use of the embedded carbon in the batteries. Secondly it makes full use of the safety research and development embedded in the batteries by the OEM.

The unit will have an integrated fire prevention system to shut down but can also incorporate a sprinkler system connected to a water supply on the site, and its own contained drainage network if it is deemed necessary.

7. Maintenance access

Your BESS will be connected and communicating though a variety of sensors and methods to provide a steady flow of performance information. We will provide remote 24/7 monitoring but will also want to physically check the unit for routine maintenance. Because the systems use complete second life vehicle batteries, we may swap them out as needed from time to time. This is done with a forklift truck.
Can you provide access to the front opening doors of the BESS and vehicular access?

8. Forward planning and monthly measurements

We can provide all the support and information you could need about how your site is performing, but you might want to allocate someone to report on the BESS benefits once it is up and running, to enable you to deliver ESG or net zero reporting to stakeholders.

9. Day to day operation

We produce a model of how to put your battery in to play for best effect, to reduce bills, or meet other objectives, and will map out a seven-day rolling programme.

For example, if Monday – Friday between 8 – 4 is peak energy use, we can programme the battery to discharge then and charge at off peak times. This could be the case in a school or standard industrial site, but if you need a more reactive model, perhaps across multiple sites on one estate, or to manage peak loads from EV charging or particular equipment, we can introduce additional software and functionality to respond.
This requires communication with your facilities or energy team in advance, do you have someone able to give this time and information at the outset?

10. On site facilities

We’ll need to know any site protocols you may have such as signing in an out, access and security, PPE clothing requirements, gate access and keys. This will aid us to work seamlessly on site, but also form part of the handover documents we provide when the system is set up perfectly and we leave the site.

The handover pack will include all the information needed for the battery energy storage unit to operate independently and smoothly, whilst also ensuring maintenance staff, internal and external specialists and first responders know exactly what is on site and is required when visiting.

Before installation you might also want to take a wider, holistic view of the site and your energy needs. For example, would it make sense to instal a solar PV array at the same time as a battery energy storage system? What EV chargers will you need and where can they be sited? An air heat source pump needs an electrical supply, will you be installing that one day and where would that be sited?


We can help with all these details, referring to specialist providers if necessary, and also provide reference sites to visit and see the system in operation.