At the conclusion of our webinar – Design Considerations for Lithium Batteries Used in Portable Devices – we had several questions submitted to our presenter, Battery Development Consultant Randy Ibrahim. We compiled these into a readable format on our blog.
Although they may not seem like much of a danger on a day-to-day basis, a lot of people don't realize that all batteries are technically considered to be hazardous by their nature when it comes to the topic of shipping them. This is why, if a consumer goes to the United States Post Office to ship a package, one of the first questions they're asked by a representative has to do with whether or not their parcel contains any items like batteries that could pose a problem during transportation.
When using power sources to run embedded components, it's not always simple to pop in a fresh set of batteries. Newer technologies, from smartphones to electric vehicles to portable power tools, require batteries that can hold a significant amount of energy, be lightweight enough to carry or move, and be safe for the user. Lithium batteries offer all these benefits for portable electronics, vehicles, medical equipment, and even grid energy storage.
Battery packs - especially rechargeable ones - are assets that we tend to take for granted until it's far too late. One minute your battery pack is operating at peak efficiency, the same as it always has. The next minute, it only lasts a fraction of the time it once did between charges and you just can't figure out why.
When we talk about battery backup power systems for commercial settings, most people think about companies in the telecommunications, utilities, and healthcare industries in need of emergency sources of power when the electricity goes out. Yet, small and large companies require backup batteries for a range of operations.
When you are designing a custom battery pack, it is always beneficial to understand the markets intended at the onset of the project. And as you would expect, a battery pack can be designed with several optional features that will ultimately add costs in the end. This blog post provides information on design while helping to keep costs aligned with your needs.
Within the context of a discussion about batteries, defining the term "state of charge" is simple. It's a term that essentially refers to how "full" your battery is, at least in terms of its remaining energy. Compared to how much energy a battery can store at 100%, your current state of charge shows you how much is remaining, thus allowing you to predict when a recharge may be in order.
By and large, lithium batteries bring a wide range of different benefits to the table that are difficult - if not impossible - to replicate in any other way. Also commonly referred to as lithium-metal batteries (due to the fact that they use lithium as an anode), they're typically capable of offering a very high-charge density (read: longer lifespan) than other alternatives that are on the market today.
When developing a custom battery pack, the last thing anyone wants is to hear their development hit a snag. Batteries already have a lengthy timeline going from concept to production, so staying on schedule is incredibly important. Of course, sometimes delays can just happen for reasons you have no control over, making it even more necessary to nail down the areas you can influence. Factors such as knowledge of certification requirements, manufacturing support capabilities, and prototyping processes can help keep your development on the right track.
How a battery pack becomes qualified as “smart” is, quite simply, because of software. The Smart Battery System (SBS) forum defines a smart battery as a battery pack where some level of communication occurs between the battery, the equipment, and the user. As a further technicality, their definition also requires that a smart battery must provide state-of-charge indications (i.e. fuel gauge).