Arc Flash & Electrical Safety News

Blog Author Steve Hudgik

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Safety Standard for Portable Rechargeable Batteries

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has published ANSI C18.2M, Part 2-2007 for Portable Rechargeable Cells and Batteries—Safety Standard. This standard defines performance requirements for portable, rechargeable cells and batteries to ensure their safe operation under a variety of user and environmental conditions. It is specific to two distinct chemistry systems: lithium ion and nickel. In light of current market conditions, lead acid batteries are no longer included.

ANSI C18.2M Part 1-2007 for Portable Rechargeable Cells and Batteries—General and Specifications is a separate yet complementary document that covers specification sheets for various types of cells and batteries.

According to S. Keel Kelly, chairman of ANSI C18-5 subcommittee on safety standards, the current revision covers the two chemistry systems in separate and distinct sections that reflect the technical requirements and testing conditions for each. "The formatting used in this revision makes it more user-friendly from the perspective of both designers of battery compartments, and for end users of the batteries," Kelly said.

Although this is a safety standard, Kelly cautioned that there is no absolute safety. "Safety is a balance between freedom from risk of harm and the demands that a product must meet," he said. "Even at the highest level of safety, any product can only be relatively safe. When this standard is followed on a judicious basis, it provides reasonably consistent benchmarks for safety."

The contents and scope of ANSI C18.2M, Part 2-2007 may be viewed, or a hard copy or electronic copy purchased for $37.00, by visiting NEMA’s website at http://www.nema.org/stds/c18-2m2.cfm, or by contacting IHS at 800-854-7179 (within the U.S.), 303-397-7956 (international), 303-397-2740 (fax).

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