In the midst of the current discussions surrounding lithium batteries, a pivotal aspect takes centre stage: adhering to the stipulations outlined in the Essential Requirements of the Recreational Craft Directive 2013/53/EU. For electrical systems the Essential Requirement is as follows:
5.3. Electrical system
Electrical systems shall be designed and installed so as to ensure proper operation of the watercraft under normal conditions of use and shall be such as to minimise risk of fire and electric shock.
All electrical circuits, except engine starting circuits supplied from batteries, shall remain safe when exposed to overload.
Electric propulsion circuits shall not interact with other circuits in such a way that either would fail to operate as intended.
Ventilation shall be provided to prevent the accumulation of explosive gases which might be emitted from batteries. Batteries shall be firmly secured and protected from ingress of water
The responsibility to showcase adherence to these requisites rests squarely on the shoulders of the boat builder. Conventionally, the employment of ISO standards has emerged as a go-to strategy, primarily due to their inherent “Presumption of Conformity” with the directives. In simpler terms, aligning with and satisfying the ISO standard implies a presumptive alignment with the Essential Requirements of the Directive. Yet, an intriguing challenge arises— the existing ISO standard 13297 lacks specific directives concerning Lithium batteries. This prompts a critical question for boat builders: How can one convincingly demonstrate compliance with the directive?
Enter a potential solution: the ISO technical sheet ISO/TS 23625. Although not categorized as a harmonized standard or officially recognized as an ISO standard, it currently stands as a pragmatic resource. Amidst the present landscape, this document holds the potential to substantiate compliance efforts and effectively address risk assessments for boat builders.