From the smallest component through to building a Freedom Won (“FW”) containerised solution – with each step of the way, safety is paramount.
FW, an original equipment manufacturer, is compliant with industry best practices in terms of how to build and manage Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) with a safe environment and methodology.
In addition to these best practice guidelines, FW adheres to the ISO guidelines as set out in; ISO 9001: 2015, which is defined as the international standard that specifies requirements for a quality management system, ISO 14001: 2015, which specifies requirements for an effective environmental management system, and ISO 45001: 2018, which is the international standard for occupational health and safety.
We keep our employees safe as they design and assemble energy storage systems for home, business, commercial and industrial use – in turn contributing to a robust and safe renewable energy sector.
Every piece of the FW BESS is meticulously built with safety at the forefront of the design. Some of the components with advanced safety features are the LiFePO4 cells, BMS, copper busbars, wiring harnesses, circuit breakers, fuses, and the battery casing. FW also carefully selected and designed the packaging in which the batteries are transported.
The company’s principal range, the Freedom Won LiTE range, includes advanced safety features and has been leading the market with high-quality manufacturing, and industry-leading performance.
According to BCG Research, Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFeP04) consistently performs better than most other chemistries in terms of safety and battery lifespan. In 2009, FW was one of the earliest companies to develop the use case for LiFeP04 chemistry in the stationary storage sector.
FW experimented with LiFePO4 from the outset after carefully considering multiple aspects of the technology, specifically relating to the company’s stringent safety standards. The company found a cell technology partner in China – the country holds about 90% of the world’s LiFePO4 manufacturing capabilities.
FW has ensured that all our technology and design comply with the IEC 62619:2022 standard, which specifies design safety requirements and tests for the safe operation of secondary (rechargeable) lithium cells and batteries used in industrial applications, including stationary applications. “These cells get put through extensive testing to ensure that they can handle being dropped, crushed, pierced with a sharp object or short-circuited without catching fire,” says Antony English, the company’s co-founder.
“We looked into all other chemistries that were available at the time (2009) and by far lithium iron phosphate was (is) the safest, because it doesn’t spontaneously ignite if the cells get too hot; and right up front we only considered developing our products with this technology,” says English.
Our lithium batteries should never be dropped, as this could cause internal damage. However, during research and development, samples of FW batteries are drop tested according to applicable specifications, including being dropped at different angles. All FW batteries that were put through the drop test have continued to function normally.
BMS is on the ball:
The FW Battery Management System (BMS) records the number of cycles that the battery has delivered. It also measures and controls the voltages of each cell, internal battery temperatures, battery current, and pack voltage. It is critical for lithium cells to operate within specified voltage and temperature ranges to avoid irreparable cell damage.
While monitoring all functions within the battery, the BMS controls external components of the system, such as the inverter (through the CAN bus interface) by limiting the charge current and voltage, while also ensuring that the battery’s temperature is at a safe operating level. If the battery overheats and/or the voltage is too high or too low, the BMS can automatically stop the charge or discharge.
The FW BMS’s unique features have been developed and perfected over 15 years. The BMS can also calculate internal resistance of the cells and report abnormal resistance of busbars and connectors, long before any safety issues arise.
The BMS always monitors all safety critical features within the battery and will prevent an unsafe situation by either shutting down external devices through CAN bus or, if necessary, shutting itself down completely.
Copper Nickel-plated busbars – efficiency and reliability in one:
The innovation does not stop there. FW specifically designed the busbars to be larger than the industry norm. The busbar size ensures that there is minimal resistance, no hotspots, or heat build-up when running at high power.
As an electrical current conductor, the copper busbars within a FW battery are highly efficient. More so than most other metal conductors.
Nickel plating ensures that there is no oxidation of the conductor surface, which eliminates the risk of high-resistance connections developing over time.
The power cables or busbars are fastened to the cells with heavy duty studs or through laser welding, to reduce the risk of a hot connection because of being inadequately fastened.
The FW high voltage battery range also has fuses in series with the cells at multiple locations inside the battery. In case of impact on the battery or other mechanical damage causing an internal short circuit, the fuses will blow to limit the risk of further damage or danger to persons. Fuse isolators also ensure safety during an assembly at the factory.
Up and down cycling:
The FW batteries are designed to manage two 80% Depth of Discharge (DoD) cycles per day. If those cycles are less than 80% DoD, a pro rata calculation comes into effect. If a battery discharges from 100% to 20% State of Charge (SoC) followed by a charge to 100% – that is a full warranty cycle. This is an important consideration with South Africa’s loadshedding, as the country moves through the different loadshedding stages. A stage whereby the load is shed 4 times a day would mean that the same battery must do 4 half cycles per day. Should the battery operate through more cycles in a day, the temperature might rise to maximum levels (a situation that would be controlled safely by the BMS.).
The FW container builds have internal cooling and utilise other mechanisms such as extraction to prevent overheating. “We also have insulation on the walls and ceiling to help maintain the equipment at a reasonable temperature in hot environments.”
Also, to ensure battery temperatures are controlled properly, the larger FW Commercial models include forced air fan cooling in the casing.
The integral circuit breaker can handle high external short circuit currents; it prevents potential fires and allows the BMS to disconnect at any moment if needed.
The circuit breaker is an important aspect of the battery in terms of safety, as it too can turn off a battery that is malfunctioning.
“It is definitely one of the main distinguishing features of the FW LiTE, because the range offers very high performance, with DC rated breakers that can handle significant currents, both overload currents, and short circuit currents,” he added.
As a result of this feature, the battery could short-circuit externally and suffer no damage at all.
Comparatively, most other batteries on the market rely on MOSFETS (large power transistors) for current control. The FW circuit breakers also allow the BMS to disconnect the battery from the DC bus if a connected device does not respond to the CAN bus commands that aim to avoid an overcharge or discharge event.
Other batteries in the same class as the FW LiTE range also use contactors and rely on internal fuses; however, the limitation is that the contactor can still be damaged by a short circuit current whereas a LiTE range battery is still usable after a trip on a short circuit.
The FW circuit breaker is resettable and allows for the battery to be used again after an overload or external short circuit without replacing fuses or MOSFET boards.
The breaker, on all Home and Business models, is rated for a 36kA fault (short circuit) current. The system therefore in most cases does not require another external DC isolator or breaker between the battery and the inverter.
Exterior battery casing:
The primary goal of the casing design is to enclose the cells such that they cannot move or be easily damaged. The 3mm thick high-strength aluminium casings are coated in white powder coating and provide an ideal attractive and strong enclosure for the cells. The powder coating finish is also non-toxic and chemically inactive, to meet environmental protection standards.
The packaging and handling:
The packaging within which the completed battery is transported includes a wood crate with foam inside to absorb impact that it might experience during transportation. The packaging combined with the casing design complies with UN38.3 requirements.
Some FW LiTE models can be manually lifted by two people and can be moved into position by their handles, however for larger models, a pallet jack or small crane is advised.
Although individual companies have stringent standards in place, risks within the renewable energy sector should be mitigated by industry bodies. The South African renewable energy industry has placed importance on meeting international standards and self-regulation, which has led to sustainable growth.
The three main safety risks in the solar or renewable energy sector would be related to electrical shock, potential fire from a defective installation, or falling accidents because of working from heights.
The development of larger companies in the sector has meant that the industry largely has a professional approach to installations and has grown to pay attention to training, skills development and meeting regulatory requirements.
FW puts as much thought into the training and development of its workforce as it does the development of the battery. Our assemblers are trained for 3 months before they work unsupervised. Insisting that every one of our manufacturing employees has an electrical qualification, means that the company’s employees have the required base knowledge to operate within a highly charged environment.
Freedom Won: Leading the Charge in Sustainable Energy Solutions, Driven by Safety and Innovation.
This Website is operated by Freedom Won (Pty) Ltd(“we/our/us”). “Website” means the website located at www.freedomwon.co.za, any subsequent URL which may replace this website, and all associated websites, URLs and micro sites. “You/your” means you as a user of the Website. “User” means all users of this Website. We offer this Website, including all information, tools and services available from this website to you conditioned upon your acceptance of all the terms, conditions, policies and notices stated here.
WE TAKE PRECAUTIONS WITH USER INFORMATION AND PERSONAL DATA.
Types of Personal Information Collected
We may ask you for certain kinds of personal information (“Personal Information”) to provide the services you request. This information includes: Email List – When you visit our Website, you will be given the option to be added to our email list. Subscriptions to the email list can be cancelled at any time. To be removed from our email list, please email us at email@example.com and include your name and email address in the message or click the “unsubscribe” button found at the bottom of the emails we send you. Sharing your story – If you choose to share your story, we may ask for additional information, such as your age, full name, address, telephone number, interests or hobbies.
Use of Your Personal Information
We use the Personal Information we collect for various purposes, including: to communicate with you about Freedom Won (Pty) Ltd and other various matters, including products, services, and promotions, that might be of interest to you to improve your overall Website experience.
Sharing Personal Information With Third Parties
We do not share, sell or trade your Personal Information with any third parties, except with your consent or as described herein. We do not contribute to or participate in cooperative databases, which give other companies access to such Personal Information for their own direct marketing purposes.
We may disclose your Personal Information when legally required to do so, to cooperate with law enforcement investigations or other legal proceedings, to protect against misuse or unauthorized use of the Website, to limit our legal liability and protect our rights or to protect the rights, property or safety of Users of this Website or the public.
We may also disclose your Personal Information to outside individuals and/or companies that help us bring you the services we offer and to create, operate, and maintain our website. For example, we may work with third parties to: (a) manage a database of customer information; (b) assist us in distributing e-mails; (c) assist us with direct marketing and data collection; (d) provide data storage and analysis; (e) provide fraud prevention; (f) provide customer service; and (g) provide other services designed to assist us in developing and running our Website and maximizing our business potential. We require that these outside companies agree to keep all information shared with them confidential and to use the information only to perform their obligations to us.
Non-Personally Identifiable Information
Through your use of this Website, we may also collect certain non-personally identifiable information from you (“NPII”). NPII is not associated with you as an individual. It is measured anonymously and only in the aggregate.
We strive to keep your Personal Information private and safe. We take commercially reasonable physical, electronic and administrative steps to maintain the security of Personal Information collected, including limiting the number of people who have physical access to database servers, as well as employing electronic security systems and password protections that guard against unauthorized access. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, the transmission of data over the Internet cannot be guaranteed to be 100% secure. While we will use reasonable means to ensure the security of information you transmit through the Website, we cannot guarantee that such information will not be intercepted by third parties.
“Spoofing” And “Phishing”
A common Internet scam is known as “spoofing” or “phishing.” This occurs when you receive an email from what appears to be a legitimate source requesting Personal Information from you. Please be aware that we will not send you any emails requesting you to verify any Personal Information. If you ever receive an email that appears to be from us requesting such information from you, DO NOT respond to it, and DO NOT click on any links appearing in the email. Instead, please forward the email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, as we will investigate instances of possible Internet fraud.
Children and Privacy
The Website is not meant for children, and we will not knowingly collect any Personal Information from children under the age of 13 without verified parental consent. We will remove from our files any Personal Information of anyone we discover to be under 13 years old.
Disclosure for Legal Purposes
You hereby authorize us to disclose any of your Personal Information pursuant to judicial and administrative proceedings and to law enforcement or government agencies if we believe the disclosure is necessary or appropriate. You also authorize us to disclose Personal Information if we believe the disclosure is necessary or appropriate in the event of an investigation of improper or illegal conduct in connection with the Website, such as fraud, misrepresentation, intellectual property infringement, or other activity that may put us at risk for liability.
How to Contact Us
If you have any questions about your privacy or security at the Website, please send an email to email@example.com and include your name and email address in the message.
DATE LAST MODIFIED
Freedom Won (Pty) Ltd (Pty) Ltd
9 Zeiss Rd Kimbult Industrial Park
Building C3 & C4
We respect the intellectual property rights of others and require that our users do the same. If you believe your work has been copied in a manner that constitutes copyright infringement, or you believe your rights are otherwise infringed or violated by anything on the Website, please notify us by sending an email to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. In order for us to more effectively assist you, the notification must include all of the following A physical or electronic signature of the owner of the right claimed to be infringed or the person authorized to act on the owner’s behalf; A description of the copyrighted work or other right you claim has been infringed or violated; Information reasonably sufficient to locate the material in question on the Website Your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address and all other information reasonably sufficient to permit us to contact you; A statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the rightful owner, its agent or the law; and A statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the owner of the right claimed to be infringed or violated or are authorized to act on behalf of the owner.
Errors and Inaccuracies
We strive to provide complete, accurate, up-to-date information on the Website. Unfortunately, despite those efforts, human or technological errors may occur. The Website may contain typographical mistakes, inaccuracies, or omissions, and some information may not be complete or current. We reserve the right to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions, and to change or update information at any time without prior notice.
Other than as may be required by law, we reserve the right to modify or withdraw, temporarily or permanently, the Website (or any part of) with or without notice to you, and you confirm that we shall not be liable to you or any third party for any modification to withdraw or withdrawal of the Website or any portion of it.
External Sites and Resources
We are not responsible for the availability of any websites owned or controlled by third-parties. We do not endorse and are not responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for the privacy practices or the content (including misrepresentative or defamatory content) of any third party websites, including (without limitation) any advertising, products or other materials or services on or available from such websites or resources, nor for any damage, loss or offense caused or alleged to be caused by, or in connection with, the use of or reliance on any such content, goods or services available on such third-party external sites or resources.
Limitations on Liability
We will not be liable for any economic losses (including without limitation loss of revenues, profits, contracts, business or anticipated savings) or any loss of goodwill or reputation, or any loss or corruption of data, or any special or indirect or consequential losses arising out of your use of the website; in any case whether or not such losses were within the contemplation of us at the date on which the event giving rise to the loss occurred.
Investigations of Violations of These Terms
Resolution Of Claims or Disputes
You may send us notices or communicate with us by email to email@example.com. If you send us an email that asks for a response, and you do not receive a response within ten (10) business days, please send us another email as we may not have received your previous email. When you send e-mail to us, you are communicating with us electronically, and you agree that we may communicate with you electronically. You acknowledge that that communications by email are not considered confidential communications. Therefore, please do not send us any confidential information by email.
DATE LAST MODIFIED
Freedom Won (Pty) Ltd (Pty) Ltd
9 Zeiss Rd Kimbult Industrial Park
Building C3 & C4
Distributors in New Zealand
Please provide the details below:
Distributors in South Africa