Ultralife is set to enrich the U1 lead acid battery market with the launch of its new 492Wh Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) smart battery. The URB12400-U1-SMB battery, which features accurate fuel gauging and integrated safety circuitry, is designed to replace and improve on traditional sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries in applications such as medical carts, wheelchairs, scooters, robotics & delivery bots or uninterrupted power supply (UPS) systems.
The medical market is a challenging environment, and understandably so, with people's lives on the line it is essential that medical practitioners can rely on their equipment to perform under pressure.
The Inspired Energy battery, NJ1020HP, was designed many years ago when Nickel Metal Hydride batteries (NiMH) were the norm and Lithium ion technology was just getting off the ground. Yet the NJ1020HP, used in Phillips M3 and M4 (M3046A) patient monitors, continues to provide outstanding performance for devices and remains extremely popular worldwide.
Here we provide a brief overview of Smart Batteries, Smart Chargers, and the System Management Bus, and their advantages as power solutions for portable products…
“A new industrial revolution”. If I told you that’s how French President François Hollande recently described a form of technology, what would you think he was talking about — Robots, planes or perhaps driverless cars? In fact, Monsieur Hollande was referring to a new lithium battery plant. Batteries are big news in France and they’re constantly evolving. In this piece, Michele Windsor, direct sales and marketing manager of professional battery manufacturer Accutronics, looks at the key features of the French battery industry.
When you think of Germany, what do you think of? Most people will usually say football, beer, and BMWs. What most people won't say is medical technology (medtech). Despite that, Germany’s medtech sector is by far the largest in Europe and the third largest in the world. It’s home to some of the largest Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and presents a wide range of opportunities for technology experts. Here, Michele Windsor, direct sales and marketing manager of professional battery manufacturer Accutronics looks at the key features of the German battery industry.
When requiring a compact primary (non-rechargeable) battery for a military device it’s worth considering the ULTRALIFE UBI-5390XC which uses ULTRALIFE's Lithium Manganese Dioxide / Carbon Monoflouride hybrid cell technology bringing unparalleled performance.
We’ve all been there... Just as you turn on your laptop to deliver the key presentation of your entire career, the infernal machine runs out of power and you are left with a blank screen. It’s not possible! You checked the power gauge before you left the office and it said 80% remaining!
If you work in the battery industry, you have probably already used exactly this analogy to describe the importance of accurate gauging. It’s certainly a story familiar to Carl Banks, one of Accutronics’ fuel gauging experts.
Amongst Carl’s key responsibilities is ensuring that all of Accutronics’ batteries are configured to provide the most accurate gauging possible.
The fuel gauge is a vital part of a professional battery solution. The more accurate it is, the better it can track capacity and the more realistic the device’s predicted run time will be. In mission critical situations, like medical devices and military equipment this can be crucial.
“Of course, there are some applications where the fuel gauge isn’t as important as it is on a medical ventilator or pair of night vision goggles,” explained Carl. “But our customers are leaders in their chosen markets and they demand precise and reliable information whether the battery is brand new or many years old. This is why we test our batteries under various usage scenarios, continually collecting the data that is needed to set-up the fuel gauge.
“The most significant environmental factor that affects fuel gauge accuracy is temperature,” Carl continued. “However, we also have to address non-environmental issues such as charge and discharge rates and cycle life. Put simply, the more the battery is used the more its capacity drops over time, and the fuel gauge must account for this behaviour.”
“We use Texas Instruments’ gauges in many of our products,” Carl went on. “The data we gather from our tests is analysed and used in the programming of the fuel gauges’ FLASH memory. The whole process can take many weeks but it ensures we achieve the best possible precision.”
Carl was keen to emphasise the importance of the ‘impedance tracking’ fuel gauge technology that Accutronics use in their smart battery developments. This technology allows the battery fuel gauge to continually make adjustments to its remaining capacity prediction - even when the battery is not being used, by measuring the battery impedance during periods of inactivity. Older ‘coulomb counting’ gauges had to ‘learn’ about a battery by establishing the top of charge and discharge limits first. As a result, a battery fuel gauge that uses impedance tracking is more accurate and can be used for longer without needing to be calibrated – meaning customers can rely on the fuel gauge information and don’t need to spend time fully charging and discharging their devices to obtain accurate information.
So, next time you’re sitting in front of a redundant laptop, wishing you had a more accurate power gauge, spare a thought for Carl and his quest for fuel gauge nirvana, which helps ensure that genuinely mission critical applications don’t suffer the same problems as your laptop.