December 12, 2019

Severe and Demanding Cell Level UL Testing Demonstrates That ZincFive’s Nickel-Zinc Batteries Are Safe And Do Not Exhibit Thermal Runaway


PORTLAND, Oregon—(December 2019) – ZincFive, the world leader in nickel-zinc batteries, announced today that its batteries have been rigorously tested by UL according to the UL9540A Test Method at the cell level and ZincFive’s nickel-zinc batteries did not exhibit thermal runaway in any of the five arduous and destructive test types that comprise the UL9540A test method.

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ZincFive’s nickel-zinc batteries have achieved a breakthrough in battery safety at the cell level.  UL was able to test the ZincFive nickel-zinc batteries at the cell level because they contain no battery management system or external controls that are required by other battery chemistries to artificially keep the battery from exhibiting thermal runaway behavior.

“One of the world’s premier battery analysis laboratories has just demonstrated that our nickel-zinc battery chemistry is safe at the cell level,” says ZincFive CEO and Co-founder, Tim Hysell.  “The almost daily reports of other battery types going into thermal runaway and causing significant harm to people and businesses globally proves that “safe enough” is not safe.”

The UL9540A Test Method has 4 levels of testing and safe operation at the cell level is the most significant contributor to battery and Energy Storage System (ESS) safety because it eliminates the primary source of safety risk – an unstable battery chemistry.  Addressing battery and ESS safety only at the higher unit level via external controls is a less effective and riskier approach to safety in operation.

Nickel-zinc batteries offer an economically compelling combination of power, reliability, safety and recyclability unmatched by any other rechargeable battery chemistry.  ESS developers and providers have the choice of safe nickel-zinc building blocks, validated by UL, when designing their solutions.

“Today’s electrified world is deploying battery storage at an increasing rate, requiring industry guidelines to maintain public safety,” said Leo Subbarao, President Subbarao Technologies LLC and former Sustainability Unit Manager at Fire Department, City of New York (FDNY).  “This has driven both UL and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to develop methods and standards enabling Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) to deploy energy storage systems safely.”

Understanding the likelihood of a battery or energy storage system (ESS) to exhibit thermal runaway behavior is vital to safe deployments. This has resulted in the creation of the UL9540A “Test Method for Evaluating Thermal Runaway Fire Propagation in Battery Energy Storage Systems” and the NFPA 855 “Standard for the Installation of Stationary Energy Storage Systems”. The two documents work together to characterize the relative safety of battery chemistries and guide deployment of those battery chemistries in larger energy storage systems.  Read ZincFive’s technical note on the UL method and NFPA standard here to learn more.

Media: Steve Jennings 503.505.1749 sjennings@zincfive.com

About ZincFive, Inc.ZincFive is the world leader in innovation and delivery of nickel-zinc battery-based uninterruptible power supplies for mission critical applications in Data Centers and Intelligent Transportation and offers batteries for stationary, motive and start-stop applications. With 107 patents awarded, ZincFive leverages nickel-zinc chemistry within its solutions to provide high power density and performance simultaneous with superior safety and environmental advantages. ZincFive is a privately held Company based in Tualatin, Oregon. zincfive.com.