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Battery Control Laws in Canada?

Discussion in 'Power Electronics' started by Zeb Naisman, May 10, 2014.

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  1. Zeb Naisman

    Zeb Naisman

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    May 10, 2014
    Hello there electronicspoint community;

    Sometime last year I had a handheld device that I used quite regularly, so much so that the internal battery wore out, leaving it unusable. When I reached out to the manufacturer of the device to obtain a replacement, they were either unable or unwilling to provide me with a replacement part or service. Being the tinkerer that I am, I could not just leave it at that so I opened the device and discovered that the battery was a simple pack made up of two lithium-ion cells in series and a protection circuit. Having worked with 18650 cells on various other projects in the past, I obtained some high capacity Panasonic NCR18650B cells and rebuilt the pack.

    When I showed my fix off to people in an online community forum, many other people were interested in doing it themselves or purchasing a ready made pack that they could simply plug-and-play into their own device. It's a relatively small community of people, so I expected at most I would get 15 - 20 orders or so. I have done a great deal of research on these packs, and I have been using my own for almost a year now with no issues to speak of. I own both an ESR meter and capacity tester, which allows me to match the cells internal resistances and capacities to create balanced cells, and I employ a high quality protection circuit inside the battery, even though the device itself has a built in protection circuit as well. I am confident in the safety and quality of my batteries, otherwise I would not even consider selling them. They outperform any other mass market 2S pack I have been able to find by nearly 40%.

    However, I have been unable to find any concrete information on the legal implications of building or selling these packs from within Canada, save for some environmental stewardship laws which only apply to provinces elsewhere to me; and the UN Requirements for the Transportation of Dangerous Goods/Transportation Canada Guidelines on Hazardous Materials which specify certain certain provisions and considerations that must be taken while shipping. What I have been able to find out, one way or the other, is if there are any laws that would prevent me, a hobbyist, from selling a home made pack on the open market. I have done a great amount of searching but have been unable to find anything. I'm hoping that some of the most experienced community members could chime in and clear the air a little bit.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. chopnhack

    chopnhack

    1,573
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    Apr 28, 2014
    For what it's worth, you should seek out legal counsel on this matter. Many folks may be able to provide anecdotal information or point you to some laws, however, none will be in court with you if something should arise. Best of luck, sounds like you found a great niche market ;-)
     
  3. Zeb Naisman

    Zeb Naisman

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    May 10, 2014
    I appreciate the quick reply chopnhack, and I certainly agree with you. Problem is, I don't really know what kind of lawyer to seek out for this kind of matter. There are a few general purpose lawyers in my area, but I don't want to pay them just to get the phone number of another lawyer. Although I will be reaching out on Monday to try to get a better idea of things.
     
  4. chopnhack

    chopnhack

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    354
    Apr 28, 2014
    Agreed, and you are right, you would be wasting your money. This is a specialty - essentially it would fall under manufacturing/resale laws. I would look for a lawyer that specializes in these areas. They may be difficult to locate, because big companies usually have this type of legal support in house.
     
  5. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,500
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    Jan 21, 2010
    However you may be able to find a lawyer who will refer you to someone, or maybe the Bar association might help?

    I doubt that the issue will be batteries per se, it will be safety and other liability issues.
     
  6. alfa88

    alfa88

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    Dec 1, 2010
    Underwriters Laboratories might be a good starting point.
     
    chopnhack likes this.
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