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).
Although the progress of technology moves fast and batteries are more popular for supporting mobile devices, it should be noted that the actual battery chemistries haven’t changed much over the last several years. The shift in hand-held devices are for rechargeable solutions with more energy and lighter weight which targets lithium chemistry.
This blog post provides a quick overview of what is involved in the battery pack potting process. Battery potting can greatly aid in stability and help to optimize the performance of your finished custom battery pack. Potting materials are used to provide mechanical reinforcement to housed-assemblies and to protect components against exposure to harmful chemicals, moisture, mechanical shock and vibrations, and other hazards.
Some additional benefits of using battery potting include low cost shells, hermetic like seal, and good electrical insulation.
This topic is mainly focused on properly shipping lithium ion batteries due to shipping regulations, but could also apply to Ni-MH where appropriate.
When a lithium battery pack is designed using multiple cells in series, it is very important to design the electronic features to continually balance the cell voltages. This is not only for the performance of the battery pack, but also for optimal life cycles.