Intelligent emergency power supply with LiFePO4 battery technology

22nd May 2023
Harry Fowle

Bicker Elektronik has introduced a new DC UPS solution for long-term backup applications, the LiFePO4 battery.

This article originally appeared in the April'23 magazine issue of Electronic Specifier Design – see ES's Magazine Archives for more featured publications.

The 24V emergency power supply is equipped with the particularly safe and durable LiFePO4 battery technology and offers backup times of up to 100 hours.

Consisting of the UPSI-2406D intelligent charging and control unit and the BP-LFP-13250S battery pack, the DC UPS solution is ideal for protecting embedded industrial PCs, controllers, drives, sensors, measuring systems, lighting, safety technology, and many other applications.

In the event of a power failure, voltage dip or flicker, system failures and data loss in safety-relevant applications can thus be effectively avoided. In addition, the new UPS management software ‘UPScom’ with cross-platform technology and an intuitive user interface offers extensive functions for monitoring, parameterisation, and messenger services.

Long-term backup up to 100 hours with LiFePO4 battery pack

The powerful LiFePO4 battery pack BP-LFP-13250S with 330Wh enables backup times of up to 100 hours, for example, for sensor applications or emergency lighting systems. The lithium iron phosphate battery technology (LiFePO4) convinces with over 6,000 charge and discharge cycles and an extended temperature range from –20 to +55°C. The high-performance battery management system (BMS) is integrated into the battery pack to optimise service life and safety, monitors and controls complete the charging and discharging process of each battery cell of the energy storage unit. The integrated cell balancing ensures a balanced and even charge of all cells so that the full capacity of the LiFePO4 battery pack remains permanently usable. The BP-LFP-13250S has a UN 38.3 transport certificate.

Intelligent charging and control unit

The intelligent charging and control unit UPSI-2406D in a robust aluminium housing for DIN rail mounting is connected to the battery pack via two lines. In addition to the power transmission line (BAT PWR), all relevant operating data of the energy storage unit are continuously monitored and controlled on the data line (BAT DATA) via I2C interface. In the event of voltage dips or power failures, a MOSFET disconnects the input within a few microseconds and the connected load is supplied from the energy storage unit without interruption. In backup mode, the UPSI-2406D provides a constantly regulated DC output voltage. The PowerSharing function ensures that the input power is kept constant and distributed to the load and battery charger in an appropriately adapted manner. When the load on the output is low, more energy flows into the charger and vice versa. In backup mode, the minimum load detection monitors the output load to be supplied from the energy storage unit and automatically disconnects the energy storage unit from the charging and control unit if the load at the output falls below a certain limit. This prevents the energy storage unit from being unnecessarily emptied. In addition, the UPSI-2406D has a USB and RS232 interface for data communication as well as a relay contact.

UPS management software 'UPScom' with cross-platform technology

The completely newly developed UPS management software 'UPScom' is available for download free of charge for Microsoft Windows and Linux. The software enables the controlled shutdown and switch-off of the connected devices during a power failure. For setting and pre-programming all parameters of the DC UPS system as well as real-time monitoring with charge status display, the responsive WEB-UI is called up in a web browser. The adjustable parameters include load sensor (mA), shutdown delay, maximum backup time, minimum charge capacity before the system start, notifications via e-mail. The UPS management software 'UPScom' uses the new WebAssembly (WASM) architecture, which is executable in most current web browsers. 'UPScom' runs on x86 compatible systems and also on most ARM-64-based systems under Microsoft Windows and various Linux distributions.

Safe shutdown & reboot function for IPC systems

In the event of a ‘power fail’, the UPS signals the failure of the supply voltage via the integrated USB or RS232 interface, so that a controlled shutdown of the computer system is initiated, and valuable data is saved. A script (batch) can also be executed before the system is shut down in order to process own application-relevant processes. The integrated reboot function of the DC UPS automatically initiates the restart of the supplied IPC after the supply voltage has been restored, without the need for time-consuming on-site intervention by a service employee, e.g., in the case of completely self-sufficient computer systems at inaccessible locations.

Email messenger service

The software 'UPScom' can send corresponding event emails in the event of various events such as loss of connection to the UPS, shutdown of the system, or power fail. These preventive measures can reduce or completely prevent downtimes.

Key benefits at a glance

  • DC UPS solution for long-term backup up to 100h
  • Powerful 24V emergency power supply
  • LiFePO4 battery technology – safe & long-lasting
  • Over 6,000 charge and discharge cycles
  • BMS protection and control functions
  • Battery start function
  • Intelligent input current detection
  • USB & RS232 interface and relay contact
  • UPS management software 'UPScom' included
  • Reboot function for IPC systems
  • Extended temperature range –20 to +55°C
  • UN 38.3 transport certificate

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