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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #23-0043

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Qnergy

Individual Name: Mr. Allen Peterson

Location State: UT Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

August 24, 2023

Mr. Allen Peterson
Product Applications Mechanical Engineer
300 W 12th St.
Ogden, UT  84404

Reference No. 23-0043

Dear Mr. Peterson:

This letter is in response to your April 14, 2023, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to battery-powered equipment or machinery. In your email, you state that your company offers for transportation stand-alone battery-powered electrical equipment that provides electricity at remote jobsites when gaseous fuel is supplied by customers to enable electrical power generation. You also state that the equipment does not self-contain fuel and is completely purged of all fuel during transport. You further state that this generator equipment contains an upright, non-spillable, wet battery securely installed within the equipment's strong outer enclosure—as well as machinery you describe as a "refrigerating machine" that uses a hermetically sealed mass of heat transport media (compressed helium) to enable cooling of the combustor and conversion between heat transfer, pressure work, motion, and electricity. You request confirmation that this stand-alone battery-powered electrical equipment as described in your email is excepted from all requirements of the HMR in compliance with § 173.220.

In accordance with § 173.220(h), shipments made under the provisions of § 173.220 are not subject to any other requirements of the HMR for transportation by motor vehicle or rail car. Based on the description in your email, it appears that this stand-alone battery-powered electrical equipment would meet these provisions. Please note that a battery-powered generator must meet the requirements specified in § 173.220(c), which states that batteries must be securely installed, and wet batteries must be fastened in an upright position. Batteries must also be protected against a dangerous evolution of heat, short circuits, and damage to terminals in conformance with § 173.159(a) and leakage; or must be removed and packaged separately in accordance with § 173.159.

Further, § 173.220(f)(1) states that items containing other hazardous materials that are integral components of the equipment—and that are necessary for the operation of the equipment, or for the safety of its operator or passengers— are not otherwise subject to the requirements of the HMR. Based on your description of the compressed helium contained in the "refrigerating machine" element of the generator, the "refrigerating machine" would meet this provision. Please note that the item containing other hazardous materials must be securely installed in the equipment.

Lastly, please note that this stand-alone battery-powered electrical equipment may not be excepted from all other requirements of the HMR when transported by aircraft or vessel. Please see the provisions in § 173.220(h)(2) and (3) for transportation by aircraft or vessel.

I hope this information is helpful. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.


T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

173.159, 173.159(a), 173.220, 173.220(c), 173.220(f)(1), 173.220(h), 173.220(h)(2) and (3)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.159 Batteries, wet
173.220 Internal combustion engines, vehicles, machinery containing internal combustion engines, battery-powered equipment or machinery, fuel cell-powered equipment or machinery