At UL, we are constantly developing new ways to help the world benefit from Sustainable Energy. Our global teams are working to advance the safety and security of the new processes, technologies and products that are transforming the energy industry.
We are spearheading research and updating Standards to help ensure the safe commercialization of lithium-ion batteries. We are conducting experiments to enhance the efficiency of renewable energy sources. We are monitoring and analyzing energy consumption to optimize and secure smart grid technologies. And we are evolving safety standards concurrently with innovations in smart appliances. These are just a few ways we help address rising energy costs, inefficient electrical infrastructure and environmental impact – the forces that are spurring new innovations in energy generation, distribution, management and usage.
Learn more about UL's
more recent articles covering
a range of topics including photovoltaics, lithium-ion batteries and flammable refrigerants.
DOWNLOAD THE NEW SCIENCE
Details how UL consolidated years of PV industry research to create a proven scientific test procedure to screen modules for potential induced degradation (PID).
ADOPTION IN NORTH AMERICA
Learn how UL is bridging fire safety and environmental safety by developing a comprehensive set of new and updated safety standards for the commercial and residential use of EPA-approved flammable refrigerants for HVAC/R equipment.
Examines UL’s innovative approach to understanding the root causes of lithium-ion battery failures, better enabling battery manufacturers to address key issues and improve battery safety.
Learn about the innovative research UL is conducting around Lithium-Ion Batteries using a variety of different approaches and techniques.
APPLYING FAULT TREE ANALYSIS METHODOLOGY
A unique methodology applied by UL to showcase how potential defects can create unsafe operations for a lithium-ion cell.
ADVANCING BATTERY SAFETY STANDARDS
Updates to safety standards covering a variety of applications and uses for small-form and large-form lithium-ion batteries.
INDENTATION INDUCED ISC TESTING
An innovative testing method that was developed to help understand the potential severity of internal short circuits (ISCs).
AGING EFFECTS ON LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES
A series of test results that demonstrate the impact and implications of aging on the safety performance of small-form lithium-ion batteries.
Explore more about UL's advances related to offshore wind power, smart appliances and the smart grid.
MEASURING OFFSHORE WIND POWER
Through measurement sensor technology and the most extensive data to date, we are collaborating with stakeholders in Germany to advance offshore wind power.
THE SAFETY OF SMART APPLIANCES
UL published Certification Requirement Decisions for smart appliances, based on findings around emerging product capabilities, potential user behaviors and safety implications.
ADVANCING THE SMART GRID
UL is participating in a pioneering smart grid research project, Pecan Street Demonstration, compiling the industry's most extensive database of consumer electricity consumption practices.
Director of Principal Engineers, Appliance and Lighting, and Corporate Fellow
Tom Blewitt is currently UL's Director of Principal Engineers for the appliance and lighting industries. He is based at UL's Long Island, New York facility and has spent the majority of his 36-year career in engineering roles involving household and commercial appliances. A William Henry Merrill Society member, Mr. Blewitt is responsible for technical consistency, integrity and engineering quality for UL's standards and certification activities. He has extensive experience in the development of U.S., regional and international standards. Mr. Blewitt is a Technical Advisor for the U.S. National Committee and serves as the head of the U.S. delegation for IEC TC61 plenary meetings. He participates in the U.S. National Electrical Code (NFPA70 CMP17, UL Principal) and is UL's technical representative on the North American standards harmonization (CANENA) committee for appliances. He has actively contributed in a technical capacity to various U.S. and Canadian electrical standards development committees and to the Conference for Food Protection, which provides input to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Mr. Blewitt has published numerous articles on a variety of standards topics. He has regularly presented to trade association and government audiences on product safety, standardization and international standards harmonization. Mr. Blewitt is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of New York and a member of the U.S. National Fire Protection Association. He has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. in Management, both from Polytechnic Institute of New York and recently completed an executive leadership program at the Yale School of Management.
“At this early stage, consumer usage patterns have not fully emerged for smart appliances. Our goal is to help ensure consumer safety without limiting manufacturer creativity.”
— Tom Blewitt
Manager, Principal Engineer, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, Product Safety
Mr. Boyce is UL's principal engineer manager for Energy, overseeing standards development and technical operations for renewable energy, electric vehicles, batteries, fuel cells, and liquid/gaseous/biofuel equipment. He has more than 25 years of experience in safety engineering across a wide range of product sectors, including industrial, high-tech and appliances. He has led and participated in a number of research projects for the U.S. Department of Energy and National Laboratories and serves as a member of National Electrical Code Panel 1. Mr. Boyce holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology and is a registered Professional Engineer.
“We developed an innovative test to determine the susceptibility of PV modules to potential induced degradation. Our test allows us to understand how modules behave in the field.”
— Ken Boyce
Mahmood Tabaddor, Ph.D.
Research Manager and Distinguished Member of Technical Staff
Dr. Mahmood Tabaddor leads the Predictive Modeling Global Center of Excellence. He received his master of science in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and his doctorate in engineering mechanics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He has extensive experience in applying high-performance computing (HPC) tools during his tenure at Bell Labs and DaimlerChrysler. At UL, Dr. Tabaddor is responsible for developing and executing strategies that would further the use of HPC tools in advancing safety science. He also employs a risk management framework for analyzing hazards related to fire and electrical safety.
“To enable the safe commercialization of rapidly evolving technologies such as lithium-ion cells, it is important that consensus-based safety standards reflect the state of technical knowledge. This can only happen through open cooperation amongst a range of stakeholders.”
— Mahmood Tabaddor
Carl K. Wang, Ph.D.
Dr. Carl Wang leads the materials science research team in Taiwan that supports UL's global research activities. He is working on research involving lithium-ion batteries, photovoltaics and biofuels. Dr. Wang has a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Southern California and a master's in mechanical engineering from National Sun Yat-sen University.
“At UL, we test lithium-ion batteries under ‘worst conditions' to determine both the likelihood and severity of battery failures.”
— Carl K. Wang
Bengt Jäckel, Ph.D.
Principal Engineer, Renewable Energy
With a background in surface science, physics and chemistry, and professional knowledge in photovoltaic module assembly and reliability testing, Bengt Jäckel's mission is to move renewable energies forward to make them competitive with fossil energy resources. In his role as principal engineer, renewable energy, at UL, Dr. Jäckel's main responsibilities are defining and developing global testing procedures to ensure the reliability and safety of photovoltaic components like PV modules. His research results are directly used to improve international standards through collaborative work in national (DKE/VDE) and international (IEC/TC-82, UL) code drafting committees as well as international conferences. Dr. Jäckel received masters and doctorate degrees from Technische Universitat Darmstadt in Germany. He also completed post doctoral research at Colorado State University. He worked at Q-Cells for five years before joining UL.
Mr. Alvin Wu specializes in lithium-ion battery (LIB) research in Taiwan. Since joining UL in 2005, his projects have included internal short-circuit test method development, the investigation of LIB thermal runaway mechanisms and an aging effect study on the safety performance of lithium-ion batteries. Before working at UL, Mr. Wu was a research engineer at Taiwan YUASA Co., focusing on the fundamental electrochemistry study and battery design. He received his masters of science in chemical engineering from National Taiwan University in 2000.
“Our research into the effects of aging on lithium-ion batteries is predicated on our findings that after 25% of its designed cycle life, it can become increasingly difficult to predict the behavior of these energetic devices.”
— Alvin Wu
Principal Engineer, Large Format Batteries, Fuel Cells and Capacitors
Ms. Laurie Florence is UL's principal engineer for Large Format Batteries, Fuel Cells and Capacitors. She has responsibility for technical input, determining technical competency criteria for UL staff and supporting UL's certification programs for her categories of responsibility. Ms. Florence is also UL's representative on a number of domestic and international committees and organizations. Since joining UL in 1990 as an engineer, Ms. Florence has worked in numerous categories, including a variety of motor-operated appliances, laboratory and information technology equipment, and gas and oil equipment.
“At UL, we are always looking to advance and update our lithium-ion battery-related standards to reflect current situations, needs and issues.”
— Laurie Florence
Principal Engineer, Small Format Batteries and Micro Fuel Cells
Mr. Alex Liang is UL’s principal engineer for Small Format Batteries and Micro Fuel Cells. He is the Convenor of IECEE CTL Expert Task Force (ETF) 13, which is responsible for batteries, and a member of UL’s International Harmonization Committee (IHC) for batteries as well as for micro fuel cells. Mr. Liang has more than 12 years of experience in product safety, nine years specializing in small batteries. He possesses an in-depth knowledge of testing, evaluation and global certification, as well as building-up testing labs and managing technical staff. Mr. Liang received his bachelors of science in mechanical engineering from National Taiwan University of Science and Technology in 1991.
Jason D. Hopkins
Business Development Manager, Power Transmission & Distribution
Mr. Hopkins holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Washington and California. He currently manages UL's North American renewable energy business with a focus in wind energy. Mr. Hopkins received a UL Mark of Excellence award for his work in developing new photovoltaic certification programs.
“We are building a large-scale outdoor wind turbine test facility in partnership with West Texas A&M University that provides a unique environment. This arrangement provides our clients with world-class expertise, very favorable wind resources and the ability to erect turbines for extended periods of time. These unique attributes serve not only certification needs but also advanced R&D support.”
— Jason Hopkins
to our rigorous requirements every year.