As we become increasingly reliant on lithium-ion batteries in our daily lives, ensuring their safe and efficient use is of paramount importance. But with dozens of international safety standards to consider, how do you know which ones are relevant and which ones you need to comply with? In this article, we provide an overview of the top lithium-ion battery safety standards and explain their purpose and coverage.
The Top Lithium-Ion Battery Safety Standards
Primary and secondary battery safety standards exist to determine safety requirements for different types of batteries. The following five international standards cover many of the safety requirements for lithium-ion batteries:
IEC 62133: This International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard sets the requirements for the safety and performance of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
UN/DOT 38.3: Required by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and the United Nations (UN), this standard sets the requirements for the safe transportation of lithium-ion batteries.
IEC 62619: This standard aims to address the mechanical safety of battery cells and sub-assemblies used in electric vehicles, including hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
UL 1642: Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an independent organization responsible for evaluating the safety of various consumer products. This standard deals with the safety of lithium-ion batteries in relation to their manufacture, construction, and testing.
UL 2580X: This UL standard sets out guidelines for the safe use of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries in electric drive vehicles, including their use in hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
Additionally, there are other country-specific standards that cover lithium-ion battery safety, such as Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) C8715-1 and Chinese GB/T 18287-2013.
Compliance with these standards helps to ensure that lithium-ion batteries are safe and reliable for use in a wide range of applications, and identifies and mitigates intrinsic risks in your operations, supply chains, and business processes. It is essential for anyone involved in the manufacture, distribution, or use of lithium-ion batteries to evaluate which standards are applicable to their products or operations and certify compliance accordingly.
Stay tuned for the next section, where we discuss the importance of complying with battery safety standards to protect users and the environment.
Battery Safety Standards and Compliance
In addition to international standards, there are various regulations and guidelines that dictate how lithium-ion batteries should be handled, tested, labelled, and disposed of. The following are some of the key regulations and guidelines:
Battery Directive: The Battery Directive (2006/66/EC) outlines the collection, treatment, and disposal of batteries and accumulators in the European Union (EU).
GPSD: General Product Safety Regulations 2005 (GPSR) in the UK stipulates that all products must be safe and fulfil essential requirements.
EN Standards: This regulation stipulates that all electrical products sold in the EU market, including lithium-ion batteries, must meet certain electrical and chemical safety requirements.
REACH: The Regulation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) aims to protect human health and the environment from chemical risks.
WEEE Directives: Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive aims to minimize the waste electrical and electronic equipment as well as ensuring its collection, treatment, and recycling.
CE marking: A mandatory conformity mark for products sold in the European Economic Area (EEA).
Amazon requirements: Amazon guidelines contain requirements for Lithium-ion batteries on the platform, including sufficient packaging, warning labels, and compliance documentation.
UN 38.3: UN 38.3 is a standard that outlines the testing requirements for batteries prior to air transportation.
ADR requirements: ADR requirements outline how dangerous goods, including lithium-ion batteries, must be transported by road.
Manufacturers, distributors, and users of batteries are encouraged to comply with battery safety standards to ensure the safe use and operation of batteries, particularly in industries such as aviation and electric vehicles. Failure to comply with regulations and guidelines can result in safety hazards, accidents, environmental damage, or the recall of products. Compliance can also help to protect consumers, workers, and the environment from harm.
PAS 7055:2021 – A New Standard for Button and Coin Batteries
But safety concerns are not limited to larger batteries: button and coin batteries are some of the most dangerous batteries on the market due to their small size and high metal content. In response, the UK national standards body, BSI, has developed a new product standard, PAS 7055:2021, for button and coin batteries.
The standard sets out requirements for the manufacture, labelling, and packaging of single-use and rechargeable button and coin batteries up to a diameter of 32mm. Products have to pass tests for mechanical safety, such as battery crush or short circuit, and for temperature and electrical safety. It also sets out requirements for instructions, packaging, and merchandising to minimize the risk of ingestion by vulnerable groups such as children.
Retailers who sell products containing button and coin batteries, as well as manufacturers, distributors, and importers of these batteries, should be aware of this new standard and ensure that their products comply with these requirements. The UK Office for Product Safety and Standards will also monitor compliance with PAS 7055:2021, which is designed to address safety issues and to provide a consistent approach for products that contain button and coin batteries.
Importance of Battery Safety Standards
Battery safety standards have become increasingly important in recent years due to the growing reliance on battery-powered devices, particularly in industries such as aviation and electric vehicles. While lithium-ion batteries offer convenient, powerful, and efficient energy storage, they also present hazards such as overheating, leaks, and explosions.
Compliance with battery safety standards is critical for ensuring fail-safe operation of battery-powered systems and mitigating risks that could cause harm to users, workers, the environment, or property. Battery safety standards cover areas such as battery design, transportation, labeling, storage and disposal, and they also address risks such as mechanical damage and outgassing.
In addition to being a legal requirement, compliance with battery safety standards can also benefit manufacturers and distributors by enhancing their reputation, improving product design, and reducing the risk of costly recalls. Consumers can also benefit from safe and reliable products that have undergone rigorous testing and certification.
Given the rapid pace of innovation in battery technology and the growing demand for battery-powered devices, battery safety standards will continue to evolve. It is essential for all stakeholders in the battery industry to stay informed about the latest developments in international safety standards, regulations, and guidelines, and to take appropriate measures to ensure the safe and efficient use of lithium-ion batteries.
As we rely more and more on lithium-ion batteries to power our daily lives, complying with battery safety standards becomes increasingly critical for protecting consumers, workers, and the environment from harm. From design to disposal, battery safety standards cover many of the risks and hazards associated with lithium-ion batteries and provide guidance to manufacturers, distributors, and users of batteries.
While complying with battery safety standards can seem like a daunting task, it is essential for anyone involved in the battery industry to evaluate which standards are applicable to their products or operations and certify compliance accordingly. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers have a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe and comply with relevant regulations and guidelines.
By staying informed about the latest developments in battery safety standards, we can help to ensure the safe and efficient use of lithium-ion batteries and power the future, one cell at a time.