Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) and CSA America have announced plans to jointly develop and publish a new standard that will set requirements for micro fuel cell power systems and associated fuel cell cartridges. The new standard, entitled Handheld or Hand-Transportable Fuel Cell Power Units with Fuel Containers, will be developed and proposed as an American National Standard and will parallel work being conducted within the international standards community.
The standard, which has an anticipated completion date of December 2005, will set requirements for minimum safe fueling, design, safety-based performance, installation, and disposal of packaged micro fuel cell power systems and associated fuel cartridges.
Micro fuel cells are expected to be longer lasting than current rechargeable batteries and power packs because of a higher energy density and the elimination of lengthy recharging times due to replaceable or refillable fuel cartridges. With recent technical advancements, developers of micro fuel cells are entering into strategic alliances with battery manufacturers for the future commercialization of micro fuel cells. The energy devices could be used in a variety of electronic devices from portable stereos to flashlights.
As part of the collaborative effort, CSA America and UL will use their collective knowledge and expertise to help industry develop requirements for micro fuel cell power systems and associated fuel containers. UL also will continue to chair the Standard Technical Panel responsible for the new standard. This consensus body will include representatives from both CSA America and UL and a cross-section of micro fuel cell industry leaders, government agencies, regulatory authorities, manufacturers, users and other knowledgeable, interested parties.