Battery certification

Depending on the application of the battery there will be a requirement to meet one or more battery certifications/standards. Battery certification is a somewhat time consuming measure yet is nevertheless essential to assist with the marketing of battery powered equipment, but more than that, it is a quality guarantee and a confirmation that the battery complies with technical expectations. Furthermore, this will represent a saving both financially and of time when you need to certify the product. This is particularly the case with UL certifications.
It is in this context that the list below of the most common battery certifications are discussed:

• UN 38.3
• IEC 62133
• UL 2054
• CE Marking

UN 38.3 Certification

Lithium batteries, including lithium metal and lithium-ion, have been classified by the United Nations as ‘hazardous materials’ in regards to transport regulations. This means that the transport of this type of battery, either as a battery or as part of an appliance, is regulated by national and international agreements to ensure that the product is transported safely and securely.
UN 38.3 certification is mandatory for the transportation of all lithium metal batteries and lithium-ion batteries by air, road or sea. All other battery certifications/standards are not mandatory for the battery but may be mandated by the regulations applicable to the application. It is possible therefore that the certifications below are required for alkaline, lead acid, lithium and nickel metal batteries.

IEC 62133 Certification

This specifies requirements and tests for non-acid, portable, and leak-proof batteries (with the exception of button cells), to ensure the safety of their operation under intended use and any reasonably foreseeable misuse.

UL 2054 Standard

This American standard covers portable primary (non-rechargeable) and secondary (rechargeable) batteries used as a power source in a product. The requirements of this standard are intended to reduce the risk of fire or explosion when batteries are used in a product.
The UL 2054 certification is intended to cover batteries in general use, which does not include the combination of the battery in its host equipment. This in turn must be covered by the requirements governing its application. They are also intended to reduce the risk of injury to persons through fire or explosion when batteries are transported, stored or disposed of, once removed from the application.
However, the UL 2054 standard does not cover toxic risks resulting in ingestion of a battery or its contents, nor the risk of injury to persons that occurs in the instance of a battery being cut open to reveal its contents.

CE Marking

The European ‘CE’ certification is a mark that confirms that the product complies with the relevant European directive, this means that the product complies with the essential requirements of the relevant European health, safety and environmental protection legislation. The CE Marking confirms that the product can be placed on the market in any of the European Union and EFTA countries. It certifies that the manufacture assembles the product in accordance with the requirements of the European directive.
In the case of batteries, these must comply with IEC 61000-6-1 & 61000-6-3 standards in order to qualify for this marking. These standards relate to Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive.

Which tests apply to which certifications?

TESTS IEC 62133 (rev2) UL2054 CE UN38.3
External short circuit X X N/A X
Abusive Overcharge / Overcharge X X N/A X
Moulded case stress / Mold stress X X N/A N/A
Free fall / drop X X N/A N/A
Altitude simulation / low pressure N/A N/A N/A X
Temperature Cycling N/A N/A N/A X
Vibration N/A N/A N/A X
Shock N/A N/A N/A X
Forced discharge N/A X N/A N/A
Abnormal Charge N/A X N/A N/A
EMC test (EN 61000-6-1 & EN 61000-6-3) N/A N/A X N/A
Limited Power source N/A X N/A N/A
Component and surface temperature N/A X N/A N/A
250N Force N/A X N/A N/A

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