Underwriters Laboratories (UL) released the first in a series of white papers that review evolving battery technology. The first paper explores many of the issues and opportunities associated with Li-ion batteries as well as current and recommended safety standards to address changes in the technology and use.
In the newly-released white paper—“Safety Issues for Lithium-Ion Batteries”—UL explains the need for risk assessment as part of the product design and development process to identify and address root causes of safety issues. UL currently conducts risk assessments on the lithium batteries it tests and those assessments used in developing effective standards.
Risk assessment and commitment to research, led UL to determine internal short circuits as a probable cause for recent, well-publicized safety incidents related to lithium batteries in use. UL, in partnership with key battery research facilities including Argonne National Laboratories and NASA, is working to better understand the causes of internal short circuits and develop new tests to help manufacturers design better, safer batteries.
The paper also summarizes applicable product safety standards and testing protocols, as well as common product safety tests for Li-ion batteries.