Battery Energy Storage Systems

Modernizing the grid with innovative solutions.

Coffman is leading the way towards a more sustainable and resilient grid by supporting EPCs, developers, and utility partners with Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) design engineering and consulting. We have experience with a range of battery chemistries (LFP, NMC, NiCad, Lead Acid), applications (microgrid, back-up generation, renewables firming, grid support), configuration (containerized, outdoor enclosure, and building-based), and system size (1MWh – over 2GWh). Coffman supports clients throughout the design lifecycle, from development through commissioning.

Our growing battery energy storage team has already executed over forty BESS projects in the United States, drawing on our battery subject matter experts, representing all disciplines including civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, fire protection, acoustics, and commissioning. We assist clients with new facilities, designs for upgrades, or retrofits to existing locations for conversion to BESS facilities. We have designed systems with pre-engineered metal, concrete tilt-up, outdoor enclosures, and custom racking design for minimizing footprint while maximizing available battery capacity.

In early stage development, Coffman assists developers and partners with feasibility studies, specification development, site survey, configurational design, and bid administration. This might include preparation of conditional use permit application materials, basis of design documents, white papers, or presentations to permitting authorities. As the project progresses, Coffman can provide either full design engineering services as Engineer of Record (EoR), or Owner’s Engineering (OE) services including third-party peer review. Coffman offers construction administration services, including factor acceptance testing, site acceptance testing, and commissioning.

As more battery energy storage systems are developed and implemented, a wider array of custom battery enclosures and configurations are available to developers. One critical but often overlooked aspect of lithium-ion BESS facilities is thermal management. Most battery manufacturers have strict temperature requirements, including maximum, minimum, and uniformity across all modules. Coffman can assist with thermal management, including CFD modeling, HVAC unit selection, HVAC Sequence of Operations (SOO), and control hierarchy. Ensuring optimal thermal performance of the system is key to safety, battery lifespan, and the financial and operational success of the project.

Fire Protection:  IFC, CFC, NFPA 855, and UL9540A

Coffman stays current with the most up-to-date regulations, codes and standards, and helps clients navigate required code updates. The California Fire Code (CFC) 2019 Edition updated Section 1206, which affects building occupancy classification, sprinkler systems, fire suppression, deflagration, and thermal runaway system requirements. Additionally, in July 2021 the CFC Supplement adopted much of the new language in the 2021 IFC for BESS dedicated and non-dedicated use buildings and outdoor installations. Our fire protection engineering experts have extensive experience adapting cell, module, and unit level UL9540A test results to develop suitable fire protection mitigation strategies and BESS system designs. With this knowledge, we have been supporting our clients not only with state-of-the-art fire protection engineering and designs, but also with the preparation of critical documentation required by AHJs, such as the Hazard Mitigation Analysis (HMA), Hazard Consequence Analysis (HCA), and Emergency Response Plan (ERP).

BESS Development Services

  • Configurational Design
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Land Surveying
  • Specifications Development
  • Energy & Life Cycle Cost Analysis
  • RFP / Bid Administration
  • Detailed Design Engineering
  • Engineer / Designer of Record
  • Owner’s Engineering & Representation
  • Third-Party Engineering Peer Review
  • Permitting Support & AHJ Interface
  • Hazard Mitigation Analysis / Hazard Consequence Analysis
  • CFD Modeling & Thermal Heat Transfer
  • Factory & Site Acceptance Testing
  • Construction Administration
  • Commissioning
  • System Retrofits

Contact

Mitch Zafer contact info

Engineering Services Available

Acoustical Engineering

  • Sound plan system modeling
  • On-site noise measurements

Civil Engineering

  • Stormwater, hydrology, SWMP, SWPPP, SPCC
  • Civil site plan, grading, drainage
  • Fire access

Structural / Seismic Engineering

  • Foundations for buildings, PCS, battery enclosures
  • Seismic analysis and retrofit designs
  • Structural steel for equipment, transformers, substation

Mechanical Engineering

  • CFD modeling, thermal management
  • HVAC unit selection, sequence of operations
  • Ventilation

Fire Protection Engineering

  • Fire suppression (water, clean agent)
  • Fire alarm & smoke detection
  • Deflagration & explosion control
  • Gas detection & ventilation
  • On-site storage, fire pumps, hydrants, distribution

Electrical Engineering

  • System studies, SKM modeling,
  • Site lighting
  • DC electrical design
  • AC collection system design
  • Instrumentation & controls

Project Management

  • Construction administration
  • First article testing / FAT / SAT

Commissioning

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