LITHIUM BATTERY TRANSPORT: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
When it comes to lithium batteries, consumers are interested in the topic of safety, which is a problem that impacts the supply chain at every point, including transportation.
These days, the market is filled with several lithium-based chemistries, each with unique qualities and peculiarities that make them more or less appropriate for a certain application. The correct functioning of a lithium battery is determined by more than just its chemistry; the Battery Management System (BMS) is another crucial component that contributes to its performance.
By monitoring and managing every gadget that depends on the battery, a BMS may, maximize the benefits of the selected chemistry, guaranteeing consistency and dependability over time.
However, because they are on the list of dangerous products, there are rules governing their transportation that must be followed to guarantee that they are handled properly and are protected during the haulage and storage phases to prevent unpleasant events like fires. They are categorized as “dangerous goods” for this exact reason, and handling them both domestically and abroad is governed by unique European legislation and requires specific shipping packing.
What "rules" need to be adhered to, and how may lithium batteries be carried without incident?
Transport of lithium batteries and the specifications listed in the test and criteria manual.
Lithium batteries can be transported via land, sea, air, or train if they are appropriately certified and packaged. But among the items that airlines refuse to accept are medium and big batteries, which prevents them from being transported on cargo flights.
All products deemed “dangerous” are required to fulfill the particular specifications outlined in the international manual known as the Manual of Tests and Criteria, which was created by the United Nations. This includes all the guidelines that must be followed for the safe handling of products that are going to be exported, and section 38.3 of it specifies requirements for lithium-ion batteries.
UN 38.3 battery safety testing certification for batteries
The UN 38.3 test attests to a battery’s compatibility for all modes of transportation and guarantees that it has passed all the standards’ mandatory selected testing.
Lithium batteries must pass a demanding set of eight tests, carried out by an authorized independent center, to receive UN 38.3 Certification. This certification guarantees the security of the battery packs and cells throughout transportation.
The examinations mandated by UN 38.3 include:
T1. Test of altitude simulation
At a height of fifteen thousand meters, the test replicates an unpressurized aircraft region. After the battery is exposed to 11.6 kPa of pressure for more than six hours, it must meet the following requirements: mass loss, no leaks, no venting, no disassembly, no rupture, no fire, and voltage retention of at least 90%.
T2. Examining heat
For a total of ten cycles, the battery is stored for six hours at +72° C and then for six hours at -40° C., Either a single room or a thermal shock chamber might be used for the test.
T3. Test of Vibration
A test that simulates the vibrations that happen during regular transportation.
T4. Test of shock
A test when a significant acceleration is applied to the battery to simulate an impact.
T5. Test for external short circuits
To learn how things would happen in the event of an accident, a short circuit simulation is conducted outside the cell by short-circuiting the terminals.
T6: Test of Impact
Only individual main and secondary cells are suitable for this test. It replicates the packaging dropping before transportation and impacts the battery with a 9.1-kilogram mass.
T7: Test for Overload
A rechargeable battery’s overflow state is simulated by applying 24 times the recommended charging current for two hours, following the manufacturer’s recommendations. After that, the battery has to be watched for a week in case it disassembles or catches fire.
T8: Test of forced discharge
A test where the battery’s full capacity is simulated through a forceful discharge.
Transportable lithium batteries with a brief test
Starting on January 1, 2020, the most recent version of the Manual of Tests and Criteria mandates that each battery that is appropriate for transportation comes with a document known as a Battery Summary Test. This provides an overview of all the details and distinguishing features of the battery, together with the tests it has passed, to make identification easier and ensure its safety while being transported.
WHAT ARE THE TRANSPORT REGULATIONS AND HOW ARE LITHIUM BATTERIES CLASSIFIED?
The transportation of hazardous materials, and lithium batteries in particular, is governed by certain international and European norms that carriers must adhere to, depending on the mode of shipment chosen:
RID: Regulation for the International Rail Transportation of Dangerous Goods
ADR: The European Agreement on the Road Transportation of Dangerous Goods
ADN: European Accord on the Transportation of Hazardous Materials via Inland Waterways
Each regulation outlines the conditions that must be met by all parties involved for the safe transportation of such dangerous products. Each of these standards also provides details on how to classify commodities, what kind of packing is best, how to carry them, how to mark packages and transport units, how to prepare transport documents, and what kinds of vehicles are appropriate.
How batteries are categorized for transportation
Like everything else that is labeled as “dangerous,” lithium batteries belong to a certain class of hazards. In actuality, lithium-ion batteries belong to Class 9: Hazardous Materials and Miscellaneous. This suggests that the unique label for this class must be present on all shipments of such goods.
The legislation divides lithium batteries into two groups to guarantee total safety during transportation:
Lithium-ion batteries are typically rechargeable.
Disposable or non-rechargeable batteries
Lithium-ion batteries packaged without the device are identified by this UN code; that is, the batteries are shipped apart from the devices that the end user will use them with.
On the other hand, the above code is applied to batteries that are part of equipment and that are shipped to be placed in the equipment or device for which they were intended.
The following situations can be classified as battery states:
Faulty or non-functional (not damaged) batteries
Batteries to be recycled or disposed of
Batteries that have been severely damaged (due to an accident or test)
Small production batches of fewer than 100 pcs or prototype batteries
When it comes to electrification—and particularly to vehicles and machinery that run on lithium batteries—manufacturer safety measures, in addition to certification, are crucial to guarantee the complete safety of lithium batteries.
In addition to utilizing the safest and most stable LFP (Lithium-Iron-Phosphate) chemistry available, it suggests that Maxworld Battery has opted to assemble only four cells in parallel per battery because fewer cells increase safety in the event of a short circuit. Additionally, we have created an intelligent battery management system that enables us to optimize the selected chemistry and ensure long-term dependability and safety.