Power

Smart batttery features accurate fuel gauging

20th February 2017
Alice Matthews


With the launch of its 492Wh Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) smart battery, global battery manufacturer Ultralife is looking to enrich the U1 lead acid battery market. 

The URB12400-U1-SMB battery, which features accurate fuel gauging and integrated safety circuitry, is designed to replace and improve on traditional Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries in applications such as medical carts, wheelchairs, scooters, robotics and motor bots or Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) systems.

SLA batteries are often used when bulk energy is required for standby applications, but this mature technology performs poorly when required to work under a cyclic regime or when the temperature is elevated. SLA batteries have poor volumetric and gravimetric energy density which is pushing against the tide of modern devices which need to be made smaller and lighter. It is for this reason that Ultralife has introduced the URB12400-U1-SMB – a compact Lithium Iron phosphate battery which can be cycled more than 2,000 times, deliver rated capacity at high currents and can be charged using a regular SLA charger.

In addition, the URB12400-U1-SMB features Ultralife’s proprietary Smart Circuit technology that combines an industry standard communication interface with Ultralife’s advanced battery monitoring parameters, allowing host devices to read pertinent status and accurate runtime predictions directly from the battery.

The URB12400-U1-SMB battery has a nominal voltage of 12.8V and a capacity of 38.4Ah, with a low self-discharge rate of less than five percent per month. The battery also functions fully at a wider temperature range than SLA batteries, from -20 to 60°C.

“SLA batteries often have a higher Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) than their Lithium Iron Phosphate counterparts,” explained Mike Manna, Vice President of product management and technology at Ultralife Corporation. “This is due to the frequent need for maintenance and a high self-discharge rate that often requires trickle charging to account for. The URB12400-U1-SMB combines the longer life and high charge retention of LiFePO4 batteries with smart power management functionality. Our smart technology allows the battery to monitor its own remaining capacity and tells the host device when to shut down which maximises runtime per discharge cycle, improving on the traditional fixed voltage cut-off that most batteries use.”

In order to exceed the standards of safety and reliability required for sectors such as medical and military, the URB12400-U1-SMB comes with embedded protection electronics. These protect the battery from issues such as over-charging, over-discharging or short-circuiting. This level of safety is reinforced by the battery being certified to IEC 62133:2012 which has become the go-to safety standard for many battery powered devices.

The URB12400-U1-SMB smart battery is assembled in the Ultralife NY plant so customers can be assured of exceptional quality and fast delivery times. It joins a range of SLA replacement batteries offered by Ultralife Corporation, which are available across Europe through UK-based Ultralife company Accutronics and numerous distributors.

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