UL collaborates with additive manufacturing industry to assess impact on hazard mitigation

Industry leaders are following the rapid rise of 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, with keen interest. The potential impact of this cutting-edge technology goes beyond reproducing plastic objects. It reaches into fields as diverse as aerospace equipment and jewelry production. As a thought leader and expert in engineering safety standards, UL is playing an influential role in this emerging field, partnering with industries to understand and navigate a new set of safety and quality considerations.

No longer only the domain of engineers and designers, 3D printing is now changing the workplace in consumer, commercial, and industrial markets. Many are rushing to get the most out of this technology, but the area of compliances and certifications is segmented, and standards are still being discussed.

UL has been supporting growth in this industry through education. For instance, by organizing round-tables with 3D printing innovators and manufacturers, UL has been soliciting feedback on safety implications. These discussions aid UL in mapping new guidelines for equipment manufacturers which are beginning to explore this field.

UL is also committed to sharing its findings with manufacturers not yet in the field, but curious about its implications – through publications and  extensive education and training.

Tom Juliano, Business Development Manager, UL Digital Manufacturing Technologies

Read the first available overview of the additive manufacturing industry: 3D Printing & Additive Manufacturing Equipment Guideline

Learn about the challenges, benefits and limitations of this new field in the online course Foundations of 3D Printing

Full day, instructor-led Foundations of 3D Printing workshops are also available

To learn more about UL’s 3D Printing services, please visit ul.com/3dprinting

For inquiries regarding 3D printing, please contact Tom Juliano


Pioneering safety in hazardous locations for 100 years through research, testing and certification

Safety takes on a whole new dimension in workplaces such as chemical plants and oil refineries, where a single spark can set off a devastating fire or explosion due to the presence of flammable gases and vapors, combustible dusts, or ignitable fibers and flyings.

In 1894, William H. Merrill founded Underwriters Laboratories (UL) in Chicago, Illinois, with a focus on electrical and fire safety. Soon thereafter, the need was recognized for safety certification of electrical products being installed in locations where explosive gases and dusts were present. To support this need for certified products, codes and standards were needed that could reflect the evolving technology and associated risks.

In response to these market needs, in 1915, UL issued the first hazardous locations (HazLoc) safety certification involving an outlet box. And in 1929, UL published the first HazLoc safety standard addressing electric motors and generators for use in hazardous locations. This began what has become a 100-year journey of serving stakeholders and suppliers in the HazLoc community. Over the past century, there have been many global explosion protection milestones for the industry. UL has been instrumental in many of these market firsts, and has evolved into an important partner for the global HazLoc industry. 

Today, UL continues its journey by providing manufacturers with global technical expertise and market access for the US (UL Mark), Canada (cUL Mark), Europe (ATEX Directive), Brazil (INMETRO Regulation) and internationally (IECEx System).  To provide local support, UL has HazLoc engineering staff in 12 countries across 4 continents, including HazLoc testing capabilities in the US, Europe and Asia. 

Jerilyn Merrill, Business Development Manager, Hazardous Locations, Gas & Oil Industry

For further information on UL HazLoc services, please refer to www.ul.com/hazloc

Live webinar on the Hazloc Atex Directive
UL experts offer advice on products to be used in explosive environments. As a Notified Body for the ATEX Directive, UL offers companies the possibility to efficiently acquire the EX certification required by the EU. UL also offers a globally accepted, bundled ATEX, IECEx and INMETRO audit for IEC hazardous locations standards. Join our informative webinar to learn more about the major changes and main points and their impacts for manufactures.
Date: March 26, 3pm – 4pm CEST (Central European time), presented in English
Register and join here.

For inquiries on HazLoc services in North America, please contact Jerilyn Merrill

For inquires on HazLoc services throughout the rest of the world, please contact Milan Dotlich


UL 2703 evolves to meet PV industry needs

A large number of the photovoltaic (PV) systems being installed these days are roof-mounted. Building codes increasingly require evidence that the fire performance integrity of a roof is not altered or compromised by a roof-mounted PV system (the combination of a specific PV module and the racking system), and UL 2703 is the newly published standard used to determine the fire performance classification of these systems for building code compliance.

UL 2703 is the fruit of five years of industry evolution and intense cooperation. Now approved as a standard, UL 2703 addresses PV mounting-rack construction and installation safety requirements, including bonding to assure electrical continuity and grounding for the elimination of shock hazard. In addition, it covers fire testing at a system level, which is mandatory in California since 1 January 2015.

The new standard pays particular attention to integrating DOE-funded fire research – as well as insight from code authorities and the solar and roofing industries – to define a comprehensive test methodology. When tested in accordance with UL 2703 and installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s installation instructions, the fire performance integrity of the roof is maintained, providing resistance to external fire exposure for the overall installation.

The number of PV installations has grown at an incredible rate over the past five years, with a current total of over 16GW in the U.S. alone. Proving the structural integrity and safety of roof-mounted PV systems is a welcome necessity for the continued growth of PV.

Scott Jezwinski, Business Development Manager, UL Energy & Power Technologies

For further information on PV standards or UL solar energy services, please contact Scott Jezwinski


Leading organizations work together to make solar “smarter”

As the amount of solar and other distributed-generation (DG) power feeding into the grid grows, industry stakeholders increasingly look to smart inverters to better manage the risks of voltage fluctuation inherent to DG resources. Overcoming these risks is crucial to the future of solar energy, and California – at the forefront of solar energy – has awarded special project grants for applied research and development (ARD) to this end.

One project involves UL, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and other industry partners. UL is developing methods for assessing smart inverters for unintended functional interactions, particularly local PV-hosting limitations when multiple systems are installed on the same residential transformer. The project is also exploring the mitigation potential of inverters enhanced with communication interfaces based on IEC 61850-90-7.

Meanwhile, in another project, UL, the SunSpec Alliance and other industry partners are working on the creation of a testing and certification framework for smart-inverter interoperability and high-penetration distributed PV and storage. In particular, UL is focusing on the modification of UL 1741 (e.g., with IEEE 1547a) to incorporate the revisions of the government-sponsored Smart Inverter Working Group (SIWG) to Electric Rule 21. Additional goals include the reduction of system costs and the identification of new revenue models for Distributed Energy Resources (DER).

The goal is to produce well-researched draft guidelines for safe and effective smart solar inverters sometime in 2015, with certification compliance mandatory from 2016. UL is one part of industry team working together for a better solar future.

Bill Colavecchio, General Manager Electric Utility Services, UL Energy & Power Technologies

For further information on smart inverters or UL solar industry services, please contact Bill Colavecchio


DEWI statistics – wind energy use in Germany in 2014

After China, Germany is leading the way in number of new wind installations. 6,182 MW of total new installed capacity marked a new record for German wind energy development in 2014. This brings the total installed wind capacity in Germany to 40,457 MW, generated by 25,373 WT (wind turbines).

Onshore installations in 2014 alone were 4,745 MW (1,761 WT), 1,500 MW more than the 2012 record. These figures include the repowering of old turbines. In total, 588 WT (386 MW) were dismantled and 619 new WT (1,729 MW) were installed.

Several offshore wind farms were also commissioned in 2014; others are under construction. Here the new installed capacity was 1,437 MW (324 WT). 529 MW (142 WT) were connected to the grid.

Download here the data sheet on the 2014 wind installations.

DEWI has been publishing statistics on progress in the wind energy industry for over 20 years. National and international media, federal ministries, market analysts, banks, manufacturers and developers use the figures for their work, so the data is also found in other statistics and analyses.

DEWI Magazin 46 will soon publish more details & figures, which can be downloaded at www.dewi.de

Carsten Ender, Public Relations, DEWI – a UL company

For further information on wind energy statistics or DEWI, you may contact Carsten Ender


UL facilitates discussion between global government officials and leading industry representatives

In February 2015, UL’s Energy & Power Technologies team sponsored a business forum on sustainable solutions, connecting energy and environmental businesses to governmental foreign service officers and industry thought leaders.

The forum hosted panel discussions featuring U.S. and global government officials, industry stakeholders, scientists and academics. UL engineering expertise informed the discussion on navigating the complexities of international green requirements, offering insights into global market trends and best practices.

Discussions with European representatives centered on the Horizon 2020 initiative. Horizon 2020 is the European Union’s largest research program with €80 billion in funding for 2014-2020, with the aim of driving economic growth, innovation and energy research.

UL also held discussions with World Bank representatives that supervise renewable energy investment projects around the world including India and Africa. Last year, the World Bank announced a $5 billion commitment to new technical and financial support for energy projects throughout Africa – the continent with the greatest solar, geothermal and hydropower potential.

UL leverages these partnerships with global government officials to help customers better assess market trends and policy initiatives. UL offers a wide array of advisory services on technical assistance, emerging industry standard guidance, risk assessments, and supply chain assessments.

Samantha Lasley, Global Government Affairs Specialist, UL

For further information UL’s work in government affairs, please contact Samantha Lasley


UL is constantly developing and publishing standards, see what’s new

UL is at the cutting edge of standards development. The company has 120 years of experience accelerating the safe introduction of technology into society. With thousands of standards, outlines and subjects in the UL catalogue, there are countless revisions and updates going on all the time.

To access information on UL Standards, see the UL standards information pages

Register here for “What’s New” to receive e-mails twice a month indicating the new published UL standards, outlines and proposals.

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