With the introduction of UL 2056 for power bank certification, consumer confidence in the safer use of power banks can be assured. In addition, manufacturers will now be able to provide evidence that their power bank products have met UL’s stringent testing requirements through compliance with UL 2056. This will add value to and enhance the market competitiveness of their products, thereby gaining market access and securing a solid footing in the market.

As modern lifestyle evolves, electronic devices such as smart phones and tablets are becoming a necessity. Power banks have inevitably become a standard accessory for mobile phones and digital products.

Statistics reveal that in 2014 the domestic market for power banks has reached 16.5 billion yuan, and by the end of 2015 it is expected to grow to 22 billion yuan, an increase of more than 30%. The strong consumer demand has created a rampant supply of counterfeit and sub-standard products. There was no standard to prescribe product quality in this chaotic market, making it difficult for end users to choose the right power bank products.

In the North American markets, there have been a number of incidents and accidents resulting from poor quality power bank products. The introduction of UL 2056, a safety standard for power bank end products, is a result of the US government’s eagerness to find effective solutions to quality control as soon as possible. This is the first standard for power banks in the world, with an aim to safeguard consumers from bodily harm and property damage arising from fires, explosions and other hazards caused by power bank failures, as well as to help protect manufacturers from the risk of costly product recalls and damaged reputations.

UL has more than 120 years of global product safety testing and certification experience. It is an independent third party committed to improving public safety. Hitherto, UL has launched more than 1,490 safety standards, over 70% of which become ANSI standards which are the national standards in the United States.

3013DTAI Alex Liang 341

Alex Liang, UL Principal Engineer

According to Alex Liang, UL Principal Engineer, with a glut of power banks in the market, price competition becomes a norm, which results in manufacturers cutting corners, compromising product quality. Common issues include sub-standard raw materials, omission of certain raw materials, cost cutting, use of recycled materials, etc.

UL 2056 covers products including mains power or portable USB chargers. The output of the devices must be a safe voltage and the instant high-energy must also be within the safety limits.

Key tests for power banks include: electrical testing in relation to overcharge, short circuit, etc.; mechanical testing for drops and crashes when in use; verification testing of the marked input/output current and marked capacity; testing of power overload of output ports as well as testing of flammability of integral PV cells (where applicable).

To comply with UL 2056, specific requirements include:

  1. Failure of a single component will not cause explosion or fires. (In recent years, there have been incidents of fires and explosions due to the failure of a single component. For this reason, UL 2056 places an emphasis on this requirement, which in turn helps corporations in protecting their customers and in building consumer confidence in their product safety.)
  2. The material must be fire resistant.
  3. Product labels, user instructions, etc., must be clear. (As power banks are a consumer product, information on product labels must be clear.)
  4. The testing will also cover accidents caused by lithium batteries.

UL is an authoritative third party certification organization in North America with 120 years of experience and enjoys a wide recognition from consumers, retailers and merchandisers in North America and around the world. A UL Mark on products made in China will be key for these products to instil consumer confidence in the North America markets and amongst consumers internationally. In addition to ensuring compliance with standards and national policy requirements, UL can leverage its leading technological expertise in testing and certification, as well as abundant and all round experience in setting safety standards to help “Made in China” products to gain market access in North America and worldwide by providing an assurance of product quality and reputation.

With the introduction of UL 2056 for power bank certification, consumer confidence in the safer use of power banks can be assured. In addition, manufacturers will now be able to provide evidence that their power bank products have met UL’s stringent testing requirements through compliance with UL 2056. This will add value to and enhance the market competitiveness of their products, thereby gaining market access and securing a solid footing in the market.

Source – CCIDNET.COM (in Simplified Chinese):

http://www.ccidnet.com/2015/1119/10054497.shtml