Skip to main content
  • Press Release

Tohoku Murata Manufacturing Advances Fire Safety Associated with Battery Cells Within a Battery Energy Storage System

UL issued the first test report in Japan in accordance with the test methods specified in UL 9540A, Test Method for Evaluating Thermal Runaway Fire Propagation in Battery Energy Storage Systems to Tohoku Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

Pictured here is a battery energy storage system.  Tohoku Murata Manufacturing is first to obtain UL 9540A Test Report in Japan to verify fire safety hazards associated with battery cells within a battery energy storage system.
June 26, 2019

TOKYO, June 26, 2019 – UL, a global safety science organization headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois, issued the first test report in Japan in accordance with the test methods specified in UL 9540A, Test Method for Evaluating Thermal Runaway Fire Propagation in Battery Energy Storage Systems to Tohoku Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. 

UL 9540A was developed to address safety concerns identified by the U.S. fire and life safety codes and standards community.  UL 9540A was published in November 2017 in response to their concerns, as a test methodology to enable industry to advance the effective use of safety-conscious battery energy storage system design. 

UL 9540A stipulates four incremental levels of testing: (1) cell level test, (2) module level test, (3) unit level test and (4) installation level test.  During each testing of battery cell, module and unit, gases emitted during thermal runaway are analyzed and flammability and explosion hazards are evaluated.   Fire propagation between cells within a module and between modules within an energy storage system is evaluated together with re-ignition hazards of an energy storage system.  Installation level testing is offered to enable evaluation of the effectiveness of fire detection and suppression equipment if testing up to unit level demonstrates the need for additional safety equipment beyond the ESS product.

Mr. Hidehiko Yamajo, UL’s vice president, managing director in Japan said, “Soon after the publication of UL 9540A, the fire department of the City of New York, one of the largest cities in the United States, adopted this test method.  Within its jurisdiction, applicants who are planning to deploy a lithium-ion battery energy system are required to conduct flammability testing and submit a test report in accordance with UL 9540A.  This new test method is also in the process of being incorporated into 2018 ICC (International Fire Code) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 855, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Energy Storage Systems.  UL will continue to contribute to the society through timely development of test methods and standards as well as testing, inspection and certification service offering aligned with social needs and the speed of technological advancement.”  

Mr. Norio Nakajima, senior executive vice president, representative director of Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. also commented,We have been focusing on the research and development and manufacturing to ensure product safety compatible with performance improvement of energy storage systems.  This corporate stance has been proven in the world’s first certification for our FORTELION (olivine type lithium ion phosphate battery) in compliance with UL 1973 for use in stationary batteries.  In addition, the acquisition of UL 9540A test report as first Japanese company will add our product value against fire incidents by which we expect to accelerate the adoption of our energy storage system in large American cities.” 

About UL

UL helps create a better world by applying science to solve safety, security and sustainability challenges. We empower trust by enabling the safe adoption of innovative new products and technologies. Everyone at UL shares a passion to make the world a safer place. All of our work, from independent research and standards development, to testing and certification, to providing analytical and digital solutions, helps improve global well-being. Businesses, industries, governments, regulatory authorities and the public put their trust in us so they can make smarter decisions. To learn more, visit UL.com.

Get in touch

Have questions, need specifics? Let's get this conversation started.

Help and support

How can we help?