The Confederation of European Environmental Engineering Societies, CEEES, is a forum for international co-operation and information
exchange regarding the resistance and integrity of products and systems against environmental influences. It was created as a
co-operative body for the leading European societies in this field.
CEEES was created, some 30 years ago, as an independent non-profit organisation to promote the advancement of science and technology in
the field of environmental engineering. Since its inception CEEES has organised and supported the exchange of information and experience
in all the related fields. CEEES also promotes European participation in national symposia and arranges international conferences on
environmental techniques and their application. It also encourages the member national societies to support each other's activities.
The CEEES stakeholders are active in the establishment of; national and international standards, codes of practice and the generation of educational material. Its stakeholders are particularly active in procedures related to ensuring the resistance and integrity of products and systems against environmental influences. CEEES technical advisory boards encompass mechanical and transportation stresses, stress screening, reliability and the effects of climate and pollution on equipment and structures.
The aims and objectives of CEEES include:
The CEEES Conference on Environmental Testing and Safety of Batteries and Fuel Cells was held on 18th September 2014 at Faunhofer ICT, Prinztal, Germany. The conference attracted over 90 attendees from around Europe and, in addition to two keynote presentations, had 18 technical presentations in two separate sessions. Although, originally intended as a one day event, during the previous afternoon and evening the Faunhofer provided presentations, a guided tour of the Faunhofer ICT airbag and battery test facilities and a welcome reception.
The first keynote presentation was essentially an overview of the use of electric vehicles, of all types, by Franz
Loogen of e-mobile BW Gmbh. The theme of this keynote address was that the customers of electric vehicles expect the
same features as a conventional car concerning comfort, drivability, range and safety. Thus the testing of electric
vehicles on the overall, system and component level is an important step to the serial production of each new model.
Established testing methods include reliability testing, endurance strength, crash and abuse tests, resulting in an
entire inspection plan.
The second keynote address related to battery energy storage testing for safe electrification of transport and was given
by a representative of the European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre (JRC), Institute for Energy and
Transport. The presentation reported that in 2013 the European Commission's Joint Research Centre initiated a
project on Battery Energy Storage Testing for Safe Electrification of Transport (BESTEST project). This project
falls within the scope of an international collaboration on interoperability of electric vehicles between the JRC and
the US Department of Energy, aimed at developing harmonised testing methodologies and global standards related to
electric vehicle rechargeable energy storage systems (including batteries, super-capacitors, etc.). The
project has established new experimental facilities in Petten, The presentation included a description of facilities
under construction for the environmental testing of battery cells and battery packs for performance evaluation in
addition to abuse testing of battery cells for safety evaluation. The facilities complement the existing JRC fuel cell
and hydrogen testing capability.
A major theme throughout the technical presentations on the safety testing of batteries, was undertaking UN transportation testing on different variants of lithium batteries used for automotive and domestic applications. The presentations reported results of tests undertaken on batteries included conditioning against altitude (low pressure), thermal conditions, vibration and shock as well as a series of abuse tests. The abuse tests included external short-circuit, overcharging, extreme discharge, nail intrusion tests and elevated temperature tests.
Several of the presentations highlighted urgent safety issues with certain types of lithium battery technology. A number of presentations included videos demonstrating quite spectacular consequences of the UN transportation tests on both battery cells and installations. The most violent reactions occurring for some battery types due to the external short-circuit test and the nail test. In some cases thermal runaway, of commercially available batteries, was resulting in exothermic reactions producing battery temperatures reaching over 900 degrees Centigrade and with particles distributed energetically.
The most worrying examples presented related to domestic PV energy storage systems. In those cases several installations
were highlighted were a single fault, could lead to severe damage of the system. Safety tests, performed while
intentionally inducing such a single fault event, allowed experimental observation of the resulting hazards. In some
cases the lithium ion cells opened, electrolyte and overcharge reaction products evaporated, caught fire and actively
distributed particles. Recent fire brigade reports were highlighted showing, that this is not only the case under
laboratory conditions but has already taken place in private family houses in Germany, luckily so far without injury
resulting. A significant conclusion of this work was that regulation is urgently needed to subject all stationary
storage systems to strict and mandatory qualification procedures leading to a safety level comparable with electric car
It was stated that there was no particular concern over the use of lithium battery technology within the automotive industry, as standardisation has controlled the use of the most problematic battery technologies. However, this did not encompass some batteries planned for used in some battery assisted bicycles.
At the last CEEES General Assembly, at Pfinztal Germany, on 19th September 2014, the CEEES Presidency and Secretariat
were transferred to the German national society GUS. The transfer occurred at the end of the meeting when the duties of
the existing CEEES President (Harry Roossien) and Secretariat (Eline Hazelager), from the Netherlands
national society PLOT, were formally transferred. For the next two years the CEEES secretariat will be hosted by GUS and
the secretariat will be led by Sabine Aref (Sabine.Aref@ict.fraunhofer.de).
The new CEEES President, Dr Thomas Reichert, has represented the German national society, Gesellschaft für
Umweltsimulation e. V. Society for Environmental Engineering (GUS), for several years and is the long term
chairman of the CEEES Technical Advisory Board for Climate and Air Pollution. Thomas works at the Fraunhofer ICT at
Karlsruhe and is a board member of GUS. Thomas was a driving force in the transition of the Colloquia of the Danubian
Countries into the successful European Weathering Symposiums.
Following the last CEEES General Assembly the role of CEEES Vice President was offered to the French National Society ASTE (Association pour le Développement des Sciences et Techniques de l'Environnement). If accepted, and under the normal rotation, ASTE will take over the CEEES Presidency and Secretariat in the autumn of 2016.