Safety certifications needed to get a LiFePO4 battery permitted?

fafrd

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I’m curious for members that have gotten battery-based PV systems permitted, what level of safety certifications are being required by local building departments in order to get batteries approved as part of the plan?

For example, here is a Humless LiFePO4 battery listing their safety certifications: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QwJ4NQaVWQXnwH_EQNv0M2MidSKMSQP9/preview

It states ‘Certified to ANSI/CAN/UL STD 1973

Is this enough safety certification to get approval by most local building departments or are there other safety certifications typically being required?
 

Ampster

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The new NEC 2020 requires UL approved battery "systems". I put systems in quotes for emphasis. One would have to check the local authority about which version they are on. Mine is still on NEC 2019.
 

fafrd

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For comparison, here are the safety certifications of the Tesla Powerwall: http://azmag.gov/Portals/0/Document...cumentation 1_3.pdf?ver=2018-02-22-161120-593

‘UL 1642, UL 1741, UL 1973, UL 9540, UN 38.3, IEC 62109-1, IEC 62619, CSA C22.2.107.1’

Tesla obviously has an unlimited budget for compliance / safety testing so I’m trying to understand which of these various safety standards are the most important to the typical building department (ideally here in California).
 

ArthurEld

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My area is at something like 2014. But they would not allow me to assemble batteries with non UL listed cells.
When I asked about it, my local authority immediately said they would never approve any type of DIY battery made from non UL cells from China.
They knew exactly what I was talking about.
They didn't have a problem with 100Ah of AGM batteries that I paid $750 for.
 

fafrd

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The new NEC 2020 requires UL approved battery "systems". I put systems in quotes for emphasis. One would have to check the local authority about which version they are on. Mine is still on NEC 2019.
And how is ‘system’ being defined? Meaning inverter and battery need to have a safety certification when operating together?

Rather than trying to outrace my municipalities shift to NEC 2020, I’d rather understand how it is being applied by the municipalities that have already adopted it.

If the ‘system’ can either have no battery at all (only offset daytime consumption) or can have a minimum-sized lead-acid battery, that strikes me as the better strategy to seek approvals rather than trying to outrace to shift to NEC 2020…
 

fafrd

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My area is at something like 2014. But they would not allow me to assemble batteries with non UL listed cells.
When I asked about it, my local authority immediately said they would never approve any type of DIY battery made from non UL cells from China.
They knew exactly what I was talking about.
They didn't have a problem with 100Ah of AGM batteries that I paid $750 for.
Cool. So it was pretty easy to get a lead acid ‘placeholder’ battery approved and through inspection.

Are you planning to switch to a DIY LiFePO4 battery after you are through final inspection?

And did they have any requirements as far as safety certifications on the AGM batteries you used?
 

Bud Martin

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My area is at something like 2014. But they would not allow me to assemble batteries with non UL listed cells.
When I asked about it, my local authority immediately said they would never approve any type of DIY battery made from non UL cells from China.
They knew exactly what I was talking about.
They didn't have a problem with 100Ah of AGM batteries that I paid $750 for.
Which state/county is this?
 

fafrd

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The new NEC 2020 requires UL approved battery "systems". I put systems in quotes for emphasis. One would have to check the local authority about which version they are on. Mine is still on NEC 2019.
Solark lists batteries which they have achieved UL 9540 safety certification with - so does this constitute the UL approved battery ‘system’ as required by NEC 2020?

 

ArthurEld

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Cool. So it was pretty easy to get a lead acid ‘placeholder’ battery approved and through inspection.
Yes, AMG is the default battery type on the Solark.
Are you planning to switch to a DIY LiFePO4 battery after you are through final inspection?
I have connected my DIY batteries to the Solark but I have no reason to keep them connected. I will only use the DIY batteries if there is an extended outage. Outages are so infrequent that my batteries will last forever.
And did they have any requirements as far as safety certifications on the AGM batteries you used?
When they came for the initial inspection they told me the batteries should be off the floor. So, I put them on 2x4s.
When I submitted my permit paperwork, the engineering part of the package included data sheets for each of the pieces including the AGM batteries.
 

ArthurEld

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Solark lists batteries which they have achieved UL 9540 safety certification with - so does this constitute the UL approved battery ‘system’ as required by NEC 2020?

The batteries I used are UL recognized according to their datasheet - https://www.altestore.com/static/datafiles/Others/Universal_Battery_UB121000_Datasheet_V2.pdf
 

fafrd

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Yes, AMG is the default battery type on the Solark.

I have connected my DIY batteries to the Solark but I have no reason to keep them connected. I will only use the DIY batteries if there is an extended outage. Outages are so infrequent that my batteries will last forever.

When they came for the initial inspection they told me the batteries should be off the floor. So, I put them on 2x4s.
When I submitted my permit paperwork, the engineering part of the package included data sheets for each of the pieces including the AGM batteries.
Cool, thanks.

So you are able to capture and use all of your daytime production with only 100Ah of AGM batteries (4.8kWh total out of which only ~2.8kWh is usable?).

I’m looking for a system that will eventually be discharging as much as 8-9kWh after the sun has gone down (overnight)…
 

ArthurEld

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So I wonder if they allow products like Bluetti, Jackery, etc to be used in the house that are not UL certified.
Do you mean as part of some kind of permit package?
People are allowed to use gas generators with extension cords overloaded. That is probably more dangerous than a Bluetti or Jackery. Though I don't have experience with battery generators like Bluetti and Jackery.
 

fafrd

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Yes, it is my understanding that NEC 2020 only requires UL approval for Lithium chemistries.
Great, thanks.

Is UL approval sufficient or does there also need to be some sort of ‘system’ approval under NEC 2020 (specific battery with specific inverter/charger)?
 

Ampster

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Is UL approval sufficient or does there also need to be some sort of ‘system’ approval under NEC 2020 (specific battery with specific inverter/charger)?
I recall it only refers to battery system. Inverters already need approval. It does include portable systems so theoretically it would require Systems like Jackery, Bluetti and others to become certified. I don't know the specifics nor do I know where California is in terms of adopting it. Then it would go to all the local jurisdictions. There is a thread on this Forum discussing it in more detail if anyone is interested.
 
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