Battery Safety

Batteries enable many aspects of daily life, but without proper use and handling, they can cause serious injury from fires, explosions, and other critical failures. With the increasing demand for mobile technology, electric vehicles, and other electrically generated devices, batteries and portable electrical power are central to the global economy. While widely used, safety issues and risks related to new generations of batteries are not commonly understood. UL Education and Outreach has a critical role in transferring emerging research findings from the lab to those that use portable devices, creating a better understanding of the inherent risks, to ensure their safe use.

Why

Battery Safety?

Batteries power many aspects of our lives, but they can cause serious injury including fire and explosion. In the U.S. alone, over 3 billion batteries are produced, many of which are simply discarded. The UL Education and Outreach team focuses on delivering education materials through a variety of channels, including UL Xplorlabs’ innovative engineering challenge: Portable Electrical Power.

Where we work: Battery Safety

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Related Resources

Safety Smart Training Portal

Welcome to the online training portal for the global Safety Smart program. As an approved …

Welcome to the online training portal for the global Safety Smart program. As an approved Safety Smart Ambassador, you will have the opportunity to share reassuring, clear, and confidence-building messages that will help children to live a better life. To gain access to the online portal, please email TeamEducation@ul.com for a link and exclusive access code. Thank you!”

UL Xplorlabs

Solve through Science. Xplorlabs is an online learning platform incorporating modules focused on specific topics …

Solve through Science. Xplorlabs is an online learning platform incorporating modules focused on specific topics relevant to issues in science and engineering and what is relevant to students’ everyday lives. Designed to bridge the gap between the classroom and real-world science and engineering challenges.

UL Xplorlabs, Portable Electrical Power Website

Portable Electrical Power is a virtual module with supporting classroom investigations about the phenomenon of …

Portable Electrical Power is a virtual module with supporting classroom investigations about the phenomenon of thermal runaway in lithium-ion batteries using the example of hoverboards. This module is a collection of videos, virtual interactions, experiments and demonstrations, and challenges and supports NGSS in physical science for middle school. The PEP module can be done as a class from start to finish or in pieces between home and school. This module can be used to support content understanding in energy and/or to demonstrate the NGSS science and engineering practices applied to a real-world issue.

Design a Hoverboard Safety PSA

A challenge for students to create a public service announcement about lithium-ion battery safety. Students …

A challenge for students to create a public service announcement about lithium-ion battery safety. Students are asked to post their PSA on the site to share with students around the world. The challenge can be used as a summative assessment of the PEP module and/or as an opportunity for students to communicate battery safety to students their age.

Design and Sell a Personal Transportation Device

A challenge for students to design and market a personal transportation device inspired by the …

A challenge for students to design and market a personal transportation device inspired by the hoverboard. Students are asked to draw and describe their device of the future and post to the site. The challenge can be used as a summative assessment of the PEP module and/or as an opportunity for students to communicate content understandings through creative design.

Thermal test

In this Investigation student groups will use their hoverboard enclosure with the battery pack installed …

In this Investigation student groups will use their hoverboard enclosure with the battery pack installed as it was designed in Investigation 2 to determine if the heat transmission through the enclosure, as well as the heat generated inside the enclosure, meet safety standard requirements for thermal performance.

Tensile Test & Durability

This engineering and design investigation gives students a challenge – how to create a battery …

This engineering and design investigation gives students a challenge - how to create a battery pack enclosure for a hoverboard using simple materials, how to test those materials for tensile strength and thermal performance, and redesign the enclosure based on the tests results. This series of classroom investigations is best done in small groups of students. This classroom investigation is best done in small groups of students.

Bologna Test

This is case study and demonstration lab. Safety scientists ask why a phenomenon happens. Safety …

This is case study and demonstration lab. Safety scientists ask why a phenomenon happens. Safety engineers ask how they can solve the problem and keep people safe. Both ask how they can design and communicate solutions. The button cell battery is a case study in science and engineering for safety with a demonstration of how a small, single cell li-ion battery reacts with saliva to damage human tissue using saline and bologna. The classroom investigation can be done is small groups or as a demonstration for the whole class.

Safety Smart Projectile Test

Inside UL’s laboratories, lithium-ion batteries are pushed to the extreme so when it comes to …

Inside UL's laboratories, lithium-ion batteries are pushed to the extreme so when it comes to evaluating the safety limits of mobile devices, like hoverboards, engineers understand how the batteries will operate within the device even under extreme conditions. In these videos, students can watch the drop test and projectile test filmed at the labs. This video supplements lessons on safety science and engineering, engineering and design, and energy. The video can also be used to introduce UL Xplorlabs Portable Electrical Power. See the News and Events page for articles about UL battery safety testing and safety standards created for lithium-ion batteries.

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