How Lithium Battery Safety Can Save Your Business From Harm
The equipment powered by batteries, such as mobile computing workstations, laptops, printers, and other devices is critical to operations in healthcare, warehouse, manufacturing and retail environments. To get the most out of your IT investment, it’s crucial that you invest in the Battery Management Systems that help you optimize their performance with long battery life, as well as energy-efficiency, safety, and the greatest return on investment (ROI).
We offer a Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFe) battery system specially designed to promote safety in mobile workstation applications. The benefits of lithium battery safety are unmatched. In this blog, you will learn all about the benefits of lithium Battery Management Systems and how they can improve your business.
When it comes to lithium battery safety, battery chemistry is the most important. Different batteries use different types of electrochemical reactions to ultimately power your equipment. Lead, nickel, and lithium are the most common types of battery chemistry, with lithium-ion being the most widely used. LiFe batteries have become popular due to their key advantages, such as safety and longevity, but there are other options on the market.
Lithium Cobalt Oxide (Li-Co) batteries are commonly found in laptops or mobile phones. They are often selected due to their power density that can provide a longer runtime relative to their size and weight. Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries, while less popular, have been historically used in older medical carts. When compared to Lithium Cobalt Oxide and SLA, LiFe batteries offer several overall advantages:
- Improved Safety: Li-Co batteries have been associated with fires in hospitals; to date, there are no known incidents of fires involving LiFe batteries.
- Longer Cycle Life: As batteries are fully charged and discharged over time, the battery capacity declines. LiFe battery cycle lives degrade much slower and at a steady rate, which increases their longevity and increases your ROI.
- Better Depth of Discharge: LiFe batteries can handle a full discharge and their cycle life is not negatively impacted by a partial discharge. This makes them an incredibly useful and versatile option for any application. SLA batteries typically don’t tolerate a full depth of discharge which doesn’t allow end-users to use the battery to its full potential. Further, SLA battery systems may be limited in their ability to protect the battery from reaching low power levels where safety issues typically occur.
- Charge Rate: LiFe batteries can handle higher charge currents, fully charging the battery within one hour with little impact on its overall cycle life. High rates of currents can cause other battery chemistries to become hot when charging, lowering their cycle life.
- Energy Density: Li-Co batteries have a slight advantage over all others. For equivalent power, the Li-Co battery will be slightly smaller and lighter, but this applies to new batteries only. The LiFe battery can still maintain its initial capacity for more cycles for the duration of the product. Yet, in many cases, you will need to replace a Li-Co battery several times before replacing a LiFe battery, resulting in a high Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
The most significant additional feature we’ve added for lithium battery safety is a fan-less design. While cooling fans are often incorporated in many batteries, fans frequently malfunction. A fan-less system avoids this problem, since the high-quality rugged components can more easily manage the heat that is naturally produced within the system. When a battery system passes medical safety standards without a cooling fan, you know the system is very safe and well designed.
If a device does rely on a fan to stay cool, what happens when the fan is jostled loose or collects dust? The battery system will overheat and a thermal runaway may occur, resulting in personal injury or damage to your facility. In addition to safety, fan-less cooling improves efficiency and runtime of your technology, reduces maintenance costs, and limits the risk of spreading airborne substances.
Battery Management System
Another crucial component of lithium battery safety is the battery management system (BMS). Think of the Battery Management System as the “intelligent” part of the battery system. The BMS effectively tells each component within the complex system how to operate. Safety, performance, overall life and cost depend on the BMS. Our BMS includes advanced features, such as programmable outputs, firmware changes and remote fleet management that drive system performance.
Our BMS also includes advanced safety sensors that protect the system, the end-user and equipment being powered in the event of an incident. When a certain threshold has been reached, the safety sensors will trip, protecting the battery systems and products plugged into them. Sensors such as these are critical to lithium battery safety and will keep your equipment and workforce safe.
Our LiFe batteries are unmatched in the industry, with high capacity, fast recharge, advanced battery chemistry. Our batteries boast the highest level of safety while being significantly lighter than traditional fixed power systems. They fit any make and model of battery-powered mobile cart and come with an industry-leading 5-year warranty.
Contact our experts today for a battery system with unrivaled power that will help you get the job done safely and efficiently, regardless of where you work.