In order to characterize the fire safety hazards associated with a propagating thermal runaway within a battery system, thoughtful testing at the appropriate level and in the relevant configuration and environment should be carried out following the UL 9540A Test Method.

Experience the difference of working with UL.

  • Unparalleled availability of UL owned full fire testing facilities will be made available – no need for subcontracting.
  • Full depth of experienced engineering and research teams will be made available to develop insights. UL has a knowledge depth in battery chemistries and fire suppression.
  • Demonstrable track record of success serving organizations and entities such as fire departments as well as electrical and building inspectors.

UL is a leader in battery safety technology. Examples of this leadership are highlighted by the first ever stationary battery Standard ANSI/CAN UL 1973, the world’s first energy storage system Standard ANSI/CAN UL 9540 as well as recent publication of the UL 9540A Test Method.

UL promptly developed the UL 9540A Test Method to help manufacturers have a means of proving compliance to the new regulations. Leveraging our long practice of developing standards with vast experience in similar industries, we worked with regulators to understand concerns and deliver a viable test method to accelerate adoption of innovative technology.

UL 9540A was developed to address safety concerns identified by the building codes and the fire service in the USA. The current ICC International Fire Code (2018 IFC) allows an individual battery energy storage system (BESS) unit not exceeding 50 kWh and having a maximum quantity of systems totaling 600 kWh of energy per indoor fire area (battery room). The 2018 IFC and the draft NFPA 855 standard for installation of energy storage systems currently limits the individual BESS unit size for UL 9540 listed units to 250 kWh. These BESS units are to be installed with separation distances of 3 ft. (1 m) between units and between units and any wall. The latest IFC and NFPA 855 drafts allow the code official (AHJ) to approve larger individual BESS units, and separation distances less than 3 ft. based on large scale fire testing conducted in accordance with the UL 9540A Test Method.

Results from the UL 9540A Test Method addresses the following key issues identified by building codes and the fire service:

  • BESS Installation Instructions
  • Installation Ventilation Requirements
  • Effectiveness of Fire Protection (integral or external)
  • Fire Service Strategy and Tactics

We will work with you to understand your products and develop an individualized test plan that works for your company and meets your needs.