It allows for the fact that these requirements may change over time and permits for presentation of customer documentation to verify compliance. This maintains the ability of the manufacturers to comply with shipping regulations with a self-declaration and does not unnecessarily create a more stringent certification requirement. Modifications to Existing Tests Modifications to existing tests are the second type of changes that are being implemented with the new revision of IEC These are a little more complicated.
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Whether they are high performance lithium ion Li-ion or the more conventional nickel metal hydride cell NiMH , batteries present potential safety issues. That is why batteries are covered by a number of standards and testing methods. This article gives an overview of the regulatory situation, with a brief introduction to IEC — an emerging unified international safety standard for rechargeable batteries.
Harmonising IEC standards The safety of battery operated devices is attracting increasingly stringent scrutiny. When designing batteries and battery powered products, it is crucial to identify the applicable regulatory requirements related to lithium-ion battery safety.
As of 1 May , battery packs — including those intended for use in medical products — must be evaluated for full compliance to IEC The International Electrotechnical Commission IEC , a non profit standards organisation, writes international standards for all electrical, electronics and related technologies, including batteries.
International harmonised battery standards include the IEC suite of standards for non rechargeable batteries and IEC for rechargeable and secondary batteries. The first edition of IEC , which is not specific to lithium-ion batteries, came into force in May To meet the requirements, lithium-ion battery manufacturers who market their products globally are working to reduce the safety risks in transporting, storing and operating the batteries, while continuing to bring them to market quickly and cost effectively.
The CB Scheme offers manufacturers a simplified way of obtaining multiple national safety certifications for their products — providing entry into more than 45 countries. Within IECEE, full acceptance of IEC as the standard was proposed in and a transitional period was included to allow time for industry to adjust.
In recent years, the IEC has been working with product level groups to enforce IEC as the product level standard. Some product level committees have already made revisions to their standards to comply with the battery requirements of IEC Since 1 May , full testing to IEC is required.
What is affected by the changes? IEC is the safety standard for rechargeable secondary cells and batteries, that contain alkaline or other non acid electrolytes, which are used in portable applications.
Since 26 October , additional tests must be carried out on CB certified batteries tested in accordance with UL in order to ensure they comply with IEC IEC is the most important standard for exporting lithium-ion batteries, including those used in IT equipment, tools, laboratory, household and medical equipment.
Until 30 April , secondary rechargeable lithium batteries tested to UL were accepted for CB certification. It was seen as possible this would come into effect by the end of or during Standard update The first version of IEC was issued in and is still effective. But it is an old standard; some the test methods it specifies have fallen behind the rapid development of battery technology and this has driven a growing demand for its improvement.
The practice of revising versions of standards undoubtedly promotes improved requirements in battery manufacturing.
This new standard will urge battery manufacturers to improve their production techniques and levels of quality assurance to guarantee a wider application of the battery standard in different fields. Jody Leber is global battery and accumulator technical manager with SGS.
IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes
Top 3 Standards for Lithium Battery Safety Testing
Download: IEC 62133 (2nd Edition) Transition Period.pdf
Download: IEC62133 (Second Edition).pdf