Does a Tesla powerwall installer need lithium battery training?

Tesla Power Walls – is it a Battery or is it “Equipment” Containing a Battery?

As some of you may know there are specific exceptions for lithium battery-powered equipment. An iPad for example can be shipped without any marking, labeling, or documentation by any mode of transport, undeclared IF certain provisions are met.

  1. It is a small lithium battery (100Wh or less)
  2. It’s installed
  3. There are no more than 2 batteries per package, and
  4. There are no more than 2 packages per consignment

If all these conditions are met, then you can ship it undeclared, if you want.

What about large lithium batteries?

Well even large batteries enjoy a little bit of an exception if installed in equipment:

  1. No UN specification packaging needed (no drop test, no stacking test)

That’s about it actually. Everything else has to be done as for any other Dangerous Goods (full marking, labeling, and documentation).

So, what about a Power-Wall… is THAT considered equipment? You might think so, as there’s a cabinet and inverter and plenty of other electronics.

But, in the end, it is actually just a big battery and because of that, it would normally need UN specification packaging.

Unfortunately, it’s too large for that, so the packaging has to comply with a Special Permit from the US DOT.

This “SP” which is (technically) unique for each company named in the permit, dictates how the power-wall is to be packaged and the conditions under which it may be shipped. It also requires you to mark the special-permit number on the package.

Along with this, all employees involved in making the shipment must be trained and certified according to US DOT standards. That means that they must have general awareness safety and security training. There is no exception from the training requirement just because you have a special permit.

Our training program can specifically guide you in the steps needed to comply with the packaging, marking, labeling, documentation, and placating requirements for shipping dangerous goods.