Mega Fire Ahead of Tesla AI Day

Mega Fire Ahead of Tesla AI Day

This morning, a Tesla Megapack battery caught fire at PG&E's Elkhorn Battery Storage facility in Monterey County, California. According to Jeff Smith, the operations communications manager at PG&E, the incident started around 1:30 AM this morning. At the scene, no injuries were recorded.

The Megapack battery fire at the Elkhorn site was reported by officials, according to a tweet from Monterey County Public Information, and while the fire is believed to be completely under control, smoke may continue to be present for several days.

An interactive map displaying the affected locations and road closures that lasted more than 12 hours is provided along with a shelter-in-place recommendation for the neighborhood. Due to the incident with the hazardous waste material incident brought on by the fire, residents were ordered to close all windows and switch off ventilation systems. Built-in safety mechanisms performed as intended and removed themselves from the grid.

Images from several news reports of the Megapack fire in California, September 2022.

A Tesla Megapack in Australia suffered a same fate about a year ago. The testing of Neoen's 300MW/450MWh energy storage system (ESS) in Australia was stopped for three days due to a fire that was caused by a thermal runaway. On July 30, while the ESS was undergoing its initial testing, a fire at the Victorian Big Battery project of the French company Neoen resulted in a temporary grid interruption. 

The fire destroyed two Megapacks, which are battery units the size of shipping containers. The site's owner and operator, Neoen International SAS, along with its subcontractors UGL Engineering and Tesla Motors Australia, have cooperated with safety watchdog Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) throughout its investigation.

The most likely cause of the fire, according to Tesla's technical analysis and reenactment of the incident, was a leak in the megapack cooling system that resulted in a short circuit and an electronic component fire. As a result, one megapack began to heat up, which caused a thermal runaway and fire in a nearby battery compartment. The fire then spread to a nearby second megapack.

The results were supported by Tesla testing, after investigation of the scene, video security footage, and telemetry data from the first incident was retrieved. The complete megapacks were destroyed because of a variety of additional issues, and if they hadn't existed, the initial problem would have probably been found and either manually or automatically confined, according to Neoen.

Excited Ahead of Tesla AI Day 30 September

Tesla Giga Texas seems to have aspiring plans to employ hundreds, maybe thousands, of humanoid robots in the factory before rolling the robot out as a product worldwide. An individual with knowledge of the situation noted that as Tesla holds more internal discussions on robotics, buzz is growing within the organization.

Longer term, according to Musk, robots might be deployed in households to do tasks like making supper, mowing the lawn, and taking care of the elderly. Musk is promoting a vision for the company that extends far beyond producing self-driving electric cars and the robot industry may eventually be worth more than Tesla's automobile income.

Tesla will present a prototype from its Project Optimus at its AI Day on Sept. 30, referring to the strong and kind-hearted Autobot leader from the Transformers film franchise. Tesla's ability to demonstrate technological advancements that would justify the cost of "general purpose" robots in factories, homes, and other locations is met with skepticism.

Divisions of Honda Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. have been working on humanoid robots for many years. Like self-driving automobiles, the robots struggle with unforeseen circumstances. And to some extent, humanoid robots pose the same challenges. This is why people get curious about Musk’s ideas. However, to be successful, Tesla will have to display robots performing a variety of spontaneous tasks at AI Day. People anticipate much more from the Tesla Bot this year (aka Optimus) because nobody wants to see a ‘robot’ dance on cue…again.