Cambridge EnerTech’s

Lithium Battery Transportation Safety

Guidelines to Safely Ship Batteries by Air, Land, and Sea

October 22, 2019


Lithium batteries have become the world’s preferred energy source, powering everything from cell phones and laptops to electric cars and buses. As lithium batteries become increasingly prevalent and powerful, the need for safety regulations becomes even more important. During the Lithium Battery Transportation Safety conference, learn about the hazards shipping lithium batteries can present, whether by air, land or sea. Hear from regulators about proper packaging requirements, shipping quantity limits and documentation rules. Learn how governments both foreign and domestic are dealing with lithium battery regulations.

Final Agenda


7:00 am Registration and Morning Coffee


8:30 Organizer’s Welcome

Victoria Mosolgo, Conference Producer, Cambridge EnerTech

8:35 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Bob Richard, President, Hazmat Safety Consulting

8:40 What You Need to Know About the Lithium Battery Test Summary Document

Bob Richard, President, Hazmat Safety Consulting

Effective 1 January 2020, manufacturers and subsequent distributors of cells or batteries and equipment powered by cells and batteries manufactured after 30 June 2003 must make available the test summary as specified in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Revision and Amend. 1, Part III, Sub-section 38.3, paragraph 38.3.5. This presentation will address how to comply with the new requirement and discuss a publicly available test summary management system that is being developed to assist the shipping community.

9:10 Lithium Batteries and Transport Regulations: What Are the Next Big Changes?

George A. Kerchner, Senior Regulatory Analyst, Wiley Rein LLP

9:40 Developing Effective Section II Training

David Anderson, Director, Transportation Logistics, Logistics and Maritime Operations, ProteQ

The key to section II training is for a company to develop proper work aids for use on the job. Once developed, the work aids must be updated as regulations and the battery mix.

10:10 Networking Coffee Break


10:30 Safety Testing of Commercial Lithium-Ion Batteries and Failure Modes Analysis

Romeo Malik, M.Tech., Research Assistant, WMG, University of Warwick

In this study, a comprehensive comparison of thermal runaway mechanisms for two different cathode types, Li(Ni0.3Co0.3Mn0.3)O2 and Li(Ni0.8Co0.15Al0.05)O2 is explored. Both the chemistries were studied for different states of charge, and the various abuse scenarios that lead to thermal runaway is investigated. Abuse tests include mechanical abuse, electrical abuse, and thermal abuse. The physicochemical characterization was performed on cells, prior to and after abuse.

11:00 Safety of Li-Ion Cells at Various States of Charge

Judith Jeevarajan, PhD, Research Director, Electrochemical Safety, Underwriters Laboratory, Inc.

The current transportation regulations for cargo compartments in passenger and cargo aircraft require that Li-ion rechargeable cells and batteries should be shipped at states of charge that are 30% or lower. There is very little data that can be found in the literature on the extent of a cell or battery’s reaction to an off-nominal condition at different states of charge. This study included a set of tests where Li-ion cells of various capacities, formats, and chemistries were subjected to external short and heat at various states of charge between 0 to 100%. The results will be presented.

11:30 Sponsored Presentation (Opportunity Available)

12:00 pm Luncheon Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) or Enjoy Lunch on Your Own

12:30 Session Break


2:00 Chairperson’s Remarks

Kheim Trad, PhD, Researcher, Energy Technology, VITO

2:05 A Fail-Safe Solution for the Safety of Lithium Batteries

Sean Luo, PhD, Research Lead, R&D, Pyrophobic Systems Ltd.

A battery housing made from intumescent fire-retardant polymer composites with one or more holes as self-sealing venting outlet(s) can vent to relieve the pressure and quench a thermal runaway event at the earliest stage. Then porous char formed from the intumescent fire-retardant material when exposed to the heat generated in the thermal runaway embed the runaway battery and contain the thermal runaway within a “dead cell”.

2:35 Safe Transport of Lithium Batteries by Air (SABATAIR) Project Results

Kheim Trad, PhD, Researcher, Energy Technology, VITO

The European project, SABATAIR, is focusing on the assessment of the packaging tests which are being drafted to the packages dedicated to the transport of lithium batteries by air. The project will also give some risk assessment guidelines to air transport operators to safely transport lithium batteries.

3:05 NTSB Investigations of EV Crashes and Incidents with Battery Fires

Thomas Barth, PhD, Senior Accident Investigator and Biomechanics Engineer, Office of Highway Safety Board, National Transportation Safety Board

The National Transportation Safety Board has conducted several investigations of electric vehicle crashes and incidents that involved fires and stranded energy of the high voltage battery. The investigations focused on the emergency response, secondary response, and stranded energy. This presentation will summarize the investigations and current issues being developed for a NTSB Special Report on Electric Vehicle Battery Fire Safety.

3:35 Networking Refreshment Break

4:00 Passive Single Cell Thermal Runaway Limited Large Battery Systems – Maritime

Lars Ole Valøen, PhD, CTO, Corvus Energy

Corvus Energy has developed and deployed more than 100 MWh of large, modular Li-ion battery systems for maritime & sub-sea usage. Different systems have been developed for vehicle ferries, supply vessels, and fast passenger ferries. The different systems use different cell technologies, proving that cell level thermal runaway limitations are possible for a number of different cell technologies.

4:30 PANEL DISCUSSION: Regulations & Infrastructure – What Is Being Done to Keep Battery Transportation Safe?

Moderator: Bob Richard, President, Hazmat Safety Consulting

Panelists: George A. Kerchner, Senior Regulatory Analyst, Wiley Rein LLP

Lars Ole Valøen, PhD, CTO, Corvus Energy

Thomas Barth, PhD, Senior Accident Investigator and Biomechanics Engineer, Office of Highway Safety Board, National Transportation Safety Board

Kheim Trad, PhD, Researcher, Energy Technology, VITO

5:15 Close of Lithium Battery Transportation Safety and Dinner Workshop Registration

6:009:00 Dinner Workshop*

W1: How to Qualify Your Batteries to Prevent Failures & Thermal Events

Vidyu Challa, PhD, Technical Director, DfR Solutions

  • Gain an understanding of lithium-ion battery failure mechanisms and the pathway to thermal runaway events
  • Learn about the top causes of battery field failures, and the major areas where you need to have mitigation strategies
  • Learn how cell design plays a critical role in battery safety and reliability, and what you can do from a design perspective to prevent these failures
  • Learn the basic steps in a lithium-ion cell manufacturing process, and the process controls required to ensure cell safety and reliability
  • Learn about the battery management system and its role in system safety
  • Come away with a checklist of things you should do to qualify your cell manufacturer – pass down requirements, trust but verify (design, manufacturing, compliance-based testing, system-level tolerances, application-specific battery testing, battery management system, cell CT scans and teardowns and lastly, user education)

*Separate registration required.

* The program is subject to change without notice, due to unforeseen reason.

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