In recent years, products such as smart phones and tablets are gaining popularity and with time have become a necessity in modern life.  Many are seeking solutions to address problems such as large power consumption due to increasing usage and short standby time, which contribute to the emergence of power banks.

The quality of power banks available in the market varies amongst brands and due to a lack of relevant standards, incidents resulting from poor quality products have arisen. Issues that need to be addressed without delay in the current chaotic power bank market include establishing a market access system, raising the entry barrier, combating counterfeit sub-quality products and protecting corporate brands.

In view of this, UL, a global leader in product safety testing and certification for over 120 years, recently announced the launch of UL 2056 for power bank end products, in response to the global demand for safety standards for power banks, with an aim to safeguard consumers from bodily harm and property damage, as well as to help protect manufacturers from the risk of costly product recalls and damaged reputations.

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Alex Liang, UL Principal Engineer

According to UL Principal Engineer Alex Liang, with over 120 years of history in the field since inception, UL has in place a comprehensive process for the development of standards and stringent procedures for product certification.  It is a professional, authoritative and 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.

The newly announced 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:
A. 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.)
B. The material must be fire resistant.
C. Product labels, user instructions, etc., must be clear.
D. The testing will also cover accidents caused by lithium batteries.

“Consumer attitudes towards power banks are currently changing and price is not the only consideration.  Consumers are looking for recognized brands which give them greater assurance of product safety,” said Mr Alex Liang, UL Principal Engineer. “As a result, corporations and manufacturers should focus on product safety and quality to attract consumers and improve product differentiation.” With a profound and all round knowledge in safety science, UL has been engaging in the testing of technological equipment for many years, ensuring product safety in every product development stage starting from the initial innovation and concept phase. By offering comprehensive testing and certification solutions, UL continues to help companies differentiate their brands which effectively enhances market competitiveness and builds consumer trust, facilitating successful product launches to target markets.

With the introduction of UL 2056 safety standards for power banks, 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. Having passed a series of rigorous product sample evaluation and assessment by UL professional engineers, the product will be affixed with a UL mark – a mark of consumer confidence.  In addition, UL certification will also help export-oriented manufacturers in China enhance their competitiveness in the global markets and promote brand recognition, thereby gaining market access and securing a better footing in the market.

Source – HC Home Network News (in Simplified Chinese):