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.
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 engineers 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 Capabilities
- 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
- System Retrofits