solar panels

Episode 5: Energy Storage Systems

Blog

Episode 5: Energy Storage Systems

Installing Energy Storage Systems with Trevor Tremblay

Trevor Tremblay, Technical Advisor at Electrical Safety Authority, shares advice on safely installing energy storage systems

More and more businesses, industries and people are going ‘grid independent.’ This means Licensed Electrical Contractors (LECs) will have to be up to date on the latest energy storage system requirements — especially battery storage.

“It is becoming very popular. We have some manufacturers leading the way in these technologies,” Tremblay shared.

With more than $548 billion being invested in battery storage globally by 2050, according to the Canada Future Energy Report, it’s more important than ever to know the ins and outs of energy storage systems. In this episode, Josie Erzetic talks with Trevor about how to safely and correctly install these in-demand systems.

Study the installation requirements

Installing energy storage systems can be a complex process. With varying types of batteries and installation requirements, LECs should study up on approved systems before entering into a job.

Most importantly, they should advise clients not to take on the endeavor themselves.

“I’ve seen too many installations where people try to do it themselves,” Tremblay explained. The problem is that they may not be aware of technology and Ontario Electrical Safety Code changes every few years. “People spend quite a bit of money trying to get it to work. But at the end of the day, when they go to use it, it’s not safe.”

There’s a variety of different factors to look out for during installation. Tremblay recommends keeping the following components in mind:

  • Approval markings
  • Manufacturer installation requirements
  • Disconnecting means requirements
  • Marking requirements
  • Ventilation requirements

The size of your energy storage system may also warrant a plan review requirement. This means, depending on the project, Engineers and LECs may have to send their drawings to be reviewed for Ontario Electrical Safety Code compliance.

“If your energy storage exceeds 10 kilowatts and in parallel with the supply authority, the drawings are required to be submitted to our plan review group. This can all be done electronically now,” Tremblay said.

It’s also important to note that the local utility needs to be involved in the installation, especially when running in parallel with the grid. The utility company wants to know about any interactive systems due to potential dangers from back feeding the grid.

“If the power goes out and people have these systems installed in their homes, they can start playing around with the settings and inadvertently send it back to the grid,” said Tremblay. “When the power goes out and a utility looks to reconnect, it can put some of their workers in serious jeopardy.”

Furthermore, with each installation, LECs should remember that a notification of work is required. Once installed, the ESA will inspect the energy storage system for any possible defects.

“We’re seeing a lot of off-grid systems being installed without the benefit of inspection. This is just a reminder that, even though there is no utility, they still have to be inspected and you need to file a notification of work to do that sort of thing,” he said.

Stay up to date on Ontario Electrical Safety Code changes

The technology and Codes surrounding energy storage systems are continuing to grow and change over time.

In May 2022, an update to the Ontario Electrical Safety Code will impact how LECs can install energy storage systems. According to Tremblay, the requirements are much more prescriptive.

“There’s almost a whole new subsection, whereas before there were only a couple of rules,” Tremblay explained. “One of the larger changes is that you can’t install energy storage systems in any living spaces in dwellings or residential occupancies.”

Tremblay says LECs will see updates to the Ontario Electrical Safety Code and bulletins as energy storage system technologies continue to innovate and expand, in particular within residences. 

“In my lifetime, it’s unbelievable what we are doing now compared to before,” he said. “From solar to electric vehicles. It’s an interesting time to be working in this industry to continue to keep Ontarians safe. I look forward to the future.”

Listen to the full episode to hear Tremblay’s additional tips and recommendations for safely and securely installing energy storage systems.

Follow Grounded in Ontario wherever you get your podcasts. Got a technical question or an idea for an upcoming topic on our show, we want to hear from you! Email us at podcast@esasafe.com.

Back to Grounded in Ontario Podcast

Content Related to this Episode

Bulletin 2-11-24


Bulletin 64-7-0


Bulletin 64-1-2


Bulletin 84-1-14


Rule 26-506 


Make sure to look for the mark or label before you buy, install or use an electrical product.


This webinar with UL experts will help you understand the requirements and changes in energy storage codes and standards development.


ANSI/CAN/UL standard for batteries for use in stationary, vehicle auxiliary power and light electric rail applications


You can now submit your plan review online using the Plan Review Portal. You must be an ESA account customer to use the portal.


The Energy Futures series explores how possible energy futures might unfold for Canadians over the long term.


Energy storage system installation requires a notification of work to ESA.


Follow and Subscribe to Grounded in Ontario

Apple Podcasts Logo
Spotify Logo
Amazon Music Logo
Google Podcasts Logo
question mark image

We want to hear from you! Email us your questions & topic ideas!


Do you have an electrical question or topic idea for Grounded in Ontario? Email it to us and your question or topic suggestion could be featured in an upcoming episode!

podcast@esasafe.com

Other Episodes

inspector

Episode 9: Top 10 Defects (Part 1)

Last year, inspectors wrote more than 143,000 defects. On this episode, we will cover the most common defects recorded and what Licensed Electrical Contractors should keep in mind to be compliant.

Listen Now

generator

Episode 8: Generators

With climate change bringing more severe storms, many consumers are looking to install generators to ensure they still have power in extreme weather situations. Tune in to learn how to stay safe and grounded.

Listen Now

contractor

Episode 7: Underground Economy Revisited

Individuals working in the underground economy (without proper licences or permits) undermine the public’s trust in the electrical industry.

Listen Now

Safety Code Book

Episode 6: Electrical Safety Code Changes

On May 5, a new edition of Ontario Electrical Safety Code is going to be enforced. This episode covers all of the updates you should mindful of.

Listen Now

Home renovation

Episode 4: Underground Economy

Last year, ESA received more than 350 anonymous tips about unlicensed contractors. In this episode, we’ll explain what we’re doing to keep Ontarians safe from these fraudulent workers.

Listen Now

outlet

Episode 3: Arc Fault and Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

Arc faults are a leading cause of fire hazards in a home. We discuss when, where to install AFCI/GFCI, as well as nuisance tripping.

Listen Now

electrical vehicle charging system

Episode 2: EV Supply Equipment

With gas prices on the rise and EV prices going down, EV charging systems are a hot commodity. Here’s how to safely install them

Listen Now

hot tub and pool

Episode 1: Pools & Hot Tubs

It's summertime which means being inundated with calls for pools and hot tub installations! Are you up to Code?

Listen Now