There's a lot of electrical, mechanical, and chemical considerations when it comes to developing a custom battery pack. In addition to deciding on the cell chemistry, a customer also must know how the battery pack may perform in various environmental conditions related to the application. They want to know the shelf life of the battery, the charge/discharge rates, and any possible hazards that could occur when the battery pack is in use.
Consumers use battery packs for devices used in diverse environments. While the ideal device would experience cool temperatures without drastic temperature changes and be free from corrosion, chemicals, water, shocks, and vibrations, this setup is not always the case. Some devices used in chemical manufacturing processes may experience chemical exposure. Other devices used outdoors may have to deal with harsh temperatures and an abundance of moisture.
The appeal of lithium-based batteries for products has grown immensely. They provide high amounts of power while being light enough for portable devices. However, the battery chemistry is considered unstable, as it requires a battery management system to monitor the pack's temperatures, State of Health (SoH), State of Charge (SoC), and other factors. If the battery should experience a short or thermal runaway, it could cause the pack to catch fire or explode.
Designing a custom battery pack for your application requires figuring out the power specifications. Yet there are several other considerations that dictate the type of battery chemistry to use. In addition to the current, capacity (amp-hours), size requirements, cell configuration, and the number of cells for the battery pack within the application, the voltage must also be determined.
Manufacturing custom battery packs requires comprehensive input from the customer. A customer offers details regarding the application, the power requirements of the battery, and the type of shelf life for the battery pack. The customer also expects battery testing to occur at the end of production to ensure quality and that the battery will work for the application.
Creating a custom battery pack requires understanding the basics of how much energy density the application needs, how to recharge the battery pack, and the shelf-life of the battery. When a customer looks for a customized solution, they are concerned about the development costs. Usually, these development costs are factored into the final price of the product that will be sold to end-users.
When talking about custom battery packs for portable devices, the most common type mentioned has been lithium-based chemistries. Lithium-based batteries provide high-energy density and a light weight for applications, making them suitable for portable electronics that require long battery life to perform high-speed functions.
It is common to explore different power supply options when designing your applications. However, one that often gets neglected is the differences between the types of battery cells in your portable applications. There are a lot of similarities between battery cells, but also very many differences that make certain cells more efficient than others when it comes to application.
Battery power requirements involve many factors. Beyond having enough power to run the application, customers also take into consideration battery capacity, charging/discharging rates, and environmental conditions that could impact the battery's functions. Before the battery packs development starts, there are other aspects about the power requirements that need to be evaluated. These aspects may impact the size of the battery, if there are any logistical restrictions that come into play and what types of certifications are required.
Applications with high-power needs and complex systems may use lithium batteries to operate. Lithium batteries can pack a high-energy density into smaller pack sizes, making them lightweight and small enough to be used in common everyday products such as cell phones, laptops, tablets, and hoverboards. However, the battery's chemistry can create safety hazards when not being constantly monitored.