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UL and NFSC, India inks MoU for advanced understanding of battery fire safety

Image Courtesy: Underwriters Laboratories Inc.

Global safety science leader Underwriters Laboratories Inc. and National Fire Service College (NFSC), India have announced that they have cooperatively signed a memorandum of understanding designed to encourage greater cooperation and help advance lithium-ion battery fire safety and standardization in India.

This agreement extends the public safety mission of both organizations as battery power gains traction in India, given the country's enhanced commitment to electric transportation systems and new energy grid storage installations.

The two organizations signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on July 30th as part of an ongoing fire research study titled "Battery Fires: Study of Response Strategy of Indian Fire Services."

The memorandum not only endorses the study but also calls for a variety of lithium-ion safety training and knowledge-sharing events to be held in conjunction with the NFSC, an Institute of Excellence for training fire and emergency service professionals that is based in Nagpur, India.

Furthermore, the agreement calls for Underwriters Laboratories and the NFSC to delve into collaborative opportunities with other organizations responsible for regulatory guidance related to battery fires in electric mobility (e-mobility) and grid energy storage systems.

"Given India's accelerated use of lithium-ion batteries, it is critical for the nation's fire services to be prepared with the right knowledge, equipment, and infrastructure to handle any emergency fire situations," said Dr. Judy Jeevarajan, Director, Underwriters Laboratories Electrochemical Safety Research Institute.

"This collaboration is a major step towards creating battery fire safety awareness."

The NFSC memorandum builds upon an ongoing partnership between Underwriters Laboratories and the Government of India; additional partnerships include a separate memorandum of understanding signed earlier this year with the Bureau of Indian Standards, which aims to strengthen India's standardization system. The NFSC agreement, with its focus on fires related to battery-powered vehicles and grid storage installations, reflects wide-ranging initiatives launched by the Government of India to promote an e-mobility ecosystem.

"India has been making major advancements in both the e-mobility and renewable energy sectors," Ramesh Kumar, Director, NFSC said.

"We are working with Underwriters Laboratories to proactively prepare for the safety hazards that could arise in lithium-ion battery emergencies."

Along with plans for collective fire safety research, Underwriters Laboratories and the NFSC agreed in the memorandum to kick off their partnership with a virtual seminar in September that will bring together key fire safety stakeholders, comprising those in fire services, academia, associations, standards organizations, and research institutes, among others.

Under the terms of the pact, an Underwriters Laboratories battery safety expert will lead a training workshop in November on the various safety aspects of lithium-ion batteries and discussions will begin on the development of a battery fire safety NFSC course curriculum.

"Many of today's technological challenges and opportunities call for international collaboration," said Dr. Chris Cramer, Senior Vice President, and Chief Research Officer, Underwriters Laboratories

"Our partnership with the NFSC represents the kind of international effort we need for progress towards a safer, more sustainable future." 

Author : Moulin Oza
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