This topic is mainly focused on properly shipping lithium ion batteries due to shipping regulations, but could also apply to Ni-MH where appropriate.
It is important to be aware that certain applications will have battery packs that may be exposed to corrosive elements such as acidic, salt, and on occasion conductive substances and fluids. Over time this type of exposure can slowly corrode the PCBA, components, and solder joints. This type of corrosion can cause premature failure, short circuits, and or dangerous conditions that could lead to fire or even an explosion.
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.
When designing and manufacturing battery packs, it is important to recognize that there will be limitations when dealing with specific cost and performance parameters. You may encounter circumstances where you will have to increase the cost of your battery pack or decrease aspects of the overall performance. We'll help detail some of those limitations and how to find solutions that help move your project forward.
The old saying “to the victor go the spoils” is now starting to apply in the battery supplier industry. Recently, Panasonic announced that it will no longer be supporting any new battery pack development projects that are not in the electric vehicle (EV) or solar storage space.
Shipping of lithium batteries is a very important process that requires significant investment in training and equipment. In April of 2016, new lithium battery shipping regulations were passed that forbid lithium batteries from passenger aircraft and limited the SOC (state of charge) for any battery shipped via air cargo to 30%.
When building a lithium-ion battery pack, there will always be some sort of protection circuitry necessary that will safely separate the cells from the external connections. The protection may be as simple as a pair of charge and discharge Field Effect Transistors (FETs) with voltage and current detectors, or as complicated as adding firmware controlled fuel gauging and secondary protection.
We're very proud to report that our recent product webinar, Lithium Battery Regulations and How They Affect OEMs, had the most viewer responses ever for a webinar hosted here at Epec! Over 300 registered for the event, confirming that these latest changes to shipping lithium battery are of real concern amongst some of the industry’s leading Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).
Over the past several years, shipping lithium batteries via air freight has been serious business and it requires significant investment from any company who manufacturer custom battery packs. Not only do companies need to make sure that battery packs are shipped properly without delays, but also for the safety of the public. As of April 1, 2016 international regulations applicable to air shipments of lithium batteries have changed yet again and will require that all companies that manufacture and ship batteries continue to invest to stay ahead of the requirements.