Thursday, March 4, 2010

IECEE Battery Ruling

A battery charger
Image via Wikipedia
An issue was brought to the attention of the IECEE regarding CB Certificates for products containing secondary cells (Lithium Ion Battery cells) that are certified to UL 1642 as well as Secondary Battery Packs certified to UL 2054.
These UL standards are not harmonized with the IEC 62133 – “Secondary Cells And Batteries Containing Alkaline Or Other Non- Acid Electrolytes - Safety Requirements For Portable Sealed Secondary Cells, And For Batteries Made From Them, For Use In Portable Applications.”
After deliberation the IECEE issued a ruling indication that a CB Certificate could not be issued for products containing secondary cells that were not in compliance with IEC 62133. However as most secondary cells are currently certified only to UL standards, a phase in period was established.
At the time of this writing, the phase in time table is as follows;
  • CB Certificates can stand as issued. Note that CB Certificates need to be renewed every 3 years.
New certificates, Until June 2010
  • CB Certificates can continue to be issued using the UL standards for secondary cell certification.
New certificates, June 2010 thru June 2011
  • CB Certificates can be issued using the UL standards for secondary cell certification, if additional testing is conducted on the secondary cells to show compliance to IEC 62133.
After June 2011
  • Secondary cells must have a CB Certificate showing compliance with IEC 62133 to be accepted in an end product evaluation for CB Certification.
There is a good possibility that this time table will be adjusted to allow battery manufacturers time to get secondary cells tested and CB Certification issued.
UL has indicated that they will start the process to harmonize there requirements with IEC 62133.
What does this mean to you and me?
The real effect on most of us is that we will need to move to have our battery suppliers get third party certification on the secondary cells we are using. Otherwise we cannot self certify to the Harmonized EN Standard (EN60950-1, EN61010-1, EN60335-1, EN60065, EN60204-1, etc.) and it will become increasingly difficult to get our products NRTL Listed.
Article by Ercell Bryant, please visit Compatible Electronics on the web.

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