Articles

Seeking a Safer Future for Advanced Lithium-Ion Battery Technologies

David Lee, CEO, BioSolar
Dr. Sung-Jin Cho, Assistant Professor, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

While there are many different battery technologies currently available and in use, the energy storage industry is focused mainly on advancing lithium-ion battery technology because of its overwhelming advantages over other types of batteries commercially available on the market. For instance, compared to other existing batteries, lithium-ion batteries have a substantially higher energy storage density that requires a smaller footprint. This structure minimizes the weight and size of the devices, and its “memoryless” nature makes it more suitable for use in hybrid vehicles that require constant charges and discharges of its batteries in stop and go traffic. It is also important to note that with a low self-discharge property, the battery’s stored electrical energy lasts longer. Though more substantial energy density improvement may be achievable by the so-called “beyond lithium-ion” batteries in the future, lithium-ion battery is expected to stay the mainstream battery chemistry for the next decade or maybe even longer.  Continue reading

What You Must Do Before Shipping Batteries to India

Jody Leber, Global Battery Manager, SGS

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) recently gave smartphone manufacturers who want to ship batteries to India a little more breathing room. But just a little. In June 2016, the BIS released new norms that for the first time requires handset vendors to test smartphone batteries separately. In September, the BIS pushed the original deadline out to August 2017. Despite the extension, the timeframe remains tight. Let’s examine what manufacturers of smartphones, and any other battery-powered devices, can do today to avoid creating costly go-to-market delays. Continue reading

Adaptive Charging: Extending Battery Life and Reducing Costs in Mission Critical Telecommunications Standby Systems

Alex Rawitz, Business Development Manager, Servato

The accelerating growth of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and applications require continuous investment in telecommunications networks to provide the connectivity for millions of new devices. As more devices connect to the Internet, service outages become more impactful to the people and businesses that rely on IoT applications. Safeguarding telecom networks from power outages is the Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) battery. Stationary VRLAs are ubiquitously used at broadband, wireless and cable sites, and millions are in service across the country. Unfortunately, almost all of these batteries, and thus the sites that depend on them, are vulnerable to a reliability-damaging standard: float charging. While float charging will maintain batteries at full charge, it can have a damaging impact on the service life of the battery, which introduces risk and increases maintenance costs. There is a better way to charge batteries, Adaptive Charging, that mitigates the degrading effects of float charge, extending battery life and reducing maintenance costs. Continue reading

IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations Updated to Reflect 2017-2018 ICAO Technical Instructions

Neil McCulloch, Senior Manager, International Product Development, Labelmaster

Businesses need and want predictability, particularly when it comes to government regulations.  So the fact that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) updates its Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods every two years is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because industry knows the changes that are coming and a curse because there are changes coming. Continue reading

Five Questions Power Supply Professionals Should Ask Themselves about UPS Battery Maintenance and Replacement

Scott Baer, Marketing Manager-Batteries, Vertiv Services

In a recent battery maintenance quiz sponsored by Vertiv, formerly Emerson Network Power, 71 percent of respondents accurately answered that during a power interruption, it only takes one bad cell to cause your data center’s uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to drop a critical load. Batteries are indeed the weakest link in the power chain and are historically a leading cause of costly downtime. Timely battery maintenance and replacement are essential to ensuring critical system availability. Continue reading

A New Power-Cycling Strategy for Testing the Reliability of Power Electronics Modules

Dr. John Parry, Mentor Graphics Corp.

The particular power cycling strategy you choose for high-power semiconductor devices, such as power transistors, diodes, MOSFETs, and IGBTs, during reliability tests can have a significant effect on predicted lifetime results even if the tests have similar initial parameters. Also, how you set up the measurements can affect the results of the power cycling tests. Continue reading

Battery Diagnostics On-the-Fly: Removing the “Black-Box” Stigma by Making Performance Transparent

Isidor Buchmann, CEO & Founder, Cadex Electronics, Inc.     

Battery users imagine a battery pack being an energy storage device that resembles a fuel tank dispensing liquid fuel. For simplicity reasons, a battery can indeed be perceived as a vessel storing electrical energy; however, measuring energy flowing into an electrochemical device and then drawing it out again is far more complex than handling liquid fuel. While a hydraulic fuel gauge measures liquids moving in and out of a tank of known size, a battery fuel gauge reads units of current. Battery size is specified in ampere hours (Ah), and what makes estimating battery state-of-charge (SoC) and state-of-health (SoH) so challenging is an unsteady state; a battery loses capacity with each charge and leaks energy in the form of self-discharge. Continue reading