Our recent product webinar titled “Lithium Battery Regulations and How They Affect OEM's” had the most response then we have ever had in a webinar we hosted here at Epec. With over 300 registrants and 100+ attendees, which topic confirms that these latest lithium battery shipping changes is a real concern amongst some of the industry’s leading Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s).
In today's battery and charger market companies may provide either battery pack assemblies or battery chargers, but few provide both. In the past buying a battery from one source and a charger from another worked just fine when using the older NiCd batteries with overnight chargers. However, with today’s new battery chemistries and the increasing need for faster charge times, careful matching of the charger to the battery is essential. Without proper battery and charger matching, safety, cycle life, or run-time may be greatly affected.
When you evaluate and examine the true stresses that lithium batteries encounter, most battery packs are designed to last three to five years if used and stored properly. Environmental conditions, not just charge cycling, are the key ingredients to longevity. The worst situation is keeping a fully charged battery at elevated temperatures. When not in use, batteries must be stored in a cool place.
There are several factors when considering the type of cell to use in your battery pack design. Looking at the battery requirements and the dimensional space that is available are important. Another factor that comes up is pricing. The top tier manufacturer brands can be expensive but there are also Asia comparable solutions that will reduce the cost.
Determining the cost of a battery pack with fuel gauge technology will vary depending on the accuracy of the fuel gauge required. The overall size of the battery pack will also have an effect of the total cost. An example of this would be if a high-accurate gauge is required on a small multi-cell battery you could potentially double the cost. The cost of the battery cells are relatively small in compared to the added value electronic components involved within the fuel gauge.
This is a brief overview of our custom battery pack development process works at Epec. The actual completion time of the development of a custom battery pack will vary depending on the requirements of the application itself. Understanding each of the necessary stages and length estimate(s) of concept through production will help you become prepared leading up to development.