Hoverboard Explodin Problems

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MAYBE YOU’VE BEEN holding off shopping for a hoverboard as a result of you’re afraid it’ll conflagrate and burn down your house. good you! however because of a replacement certification method, it ought to bestraightforward to search out one that’s so much less probably to explode.

UL, the firm that conducts OSHA-approved safety testing on client product (they’re the people that confirm your circuit cables don’t explode and square measure accountable for the perfection that’s your metal waste can), ismaking an attempt to rid all the hoverboard-related hiccups by introducing pointers for hoverboards. the parents at UL have begun acceptive product submittals for “self-balancing scooters.” The UL can value the development of the devices and, if they pass the company’s tests, certify them as safe underneath a replacement certificationknown as UL 2272. UL2272., conjointly referred to as “Electrical Systems for Self-Balancing Scooters,” can cowlelectrical drive trains, “including the reversible battery and charger system combination to be used in self-balancing scooters.”

Submitting a hoverboard for approval is simple: UL includes a kind wherever you’ll be able to request to be a part of the certification method. (Hilariously, and suitably, UL has even dedicated a replacement landing page to hoverboards.)

“With UL 2272., our professional science, research, and engineering groups have currently developed the acceptable needs and methodology to with confidence value and take a look at the complete self-balancing scooter for electrical and hearth hazard safety as a system,” says UL VP and head for UL’s Energy and Power Technologies, Jeff Smidt.

The testing method can concentrate on the battery—overcharge (to confirm the battery can’t transcend its rated voltage and capacity) temperature (to confirm it doesn’t overheat), and drop tests (to confirm they’ll stand up tostrikes) are conducted. UL says alternative tests can include: “a short-circuit, over-discharge, unbalanced charging, dieleltric voltage, vibration, shock, crush, [and] mildew stress relief tests.”

It’s alittle, necessary leap forward for market that has gone mostly unregulated for the past year. Home fires and private injuries have mostly been infernal on faulty, low cost batteries. low-priced Li-ion batteries, several of them from China, square measure being thrown into boards—and from the surface, all of them look identical; simplyshiny, arduous plastic that helps you float (er, roll) around sort of a badass angel.
Recently, when a spate of fires, regulators and hoverboard-makers took a number of jabs at each other over safety standards. the buyer Product Safety Commission aforementioned it had been attending to investigate howeverthe boards square measure created, and makers tried to argue that they were exploitation certified product to create the things—though that evidenced to not be the case. One specific purpose of rivalry was between hoverboard-maker Swagway and UL. Swagway aforementioned it had been exploitation UL-certified batteries in its boards, and UL processed that the employment of certified batteries didn’t count as total UL certification.

Of course, the {very fact|the actual fact} that lines are very, terribly blurred on however safe or unsafe boundboards square measure is why dedicated certifications have to be compelled to exist. And now, we’ve got a minimum of one. “This is Associate in Nursing uncommon state of affairs, in this the requests for testing and certification square measure returning when a product has been mass made,” says UL client Safety Director John Drengenberg. “Most makers and retailers get and wish safety certification within the early stages of once a product is introduced to the market.” Drengenberg says the UL certification conjointly implies that it’ll follow-up to createpositive the standards square measure met in going forward, ought to makers conceive to modification the creation method or materials used.

You have to surprise, though: By the time this certification method will very set out, square measure we tend toattending to be over hoverboards entirely? Forget the actual fact that you simply can’t even get them into boundcountries, however their quality has a minimum of slightly waned within the face of headlines announcing them dangerous fire-wielders. But hey, perhaps this suggests we’ll have a security certification method in situ by the time real hoverboards square measure here.

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