Improved Measurement and Analysis Yields Cost

Improved Measurement and Analysis Yields Cost
September/October 2010
www.BatteryPowerOnline.com
Volume 14, Issue 5
page 14
Improved Measurement and Analysis Yields
Cost-Effective Standby Battery Monitoring
page 8
Battery Power 2010 Conference Preview
page 16
Machine to Machine, the Future is Here
page 19
Adventures in Microsolar Supported by
Microelectronics and MEMS Techniques
page 30
Li-ion Cell Measurement
Inside this issue of
September/October 2010
Volume 14, Issue 5
…Precisely from mV to ±400V
Editor’s Choice
Chevrolet Volt Provides a Standard Eight-Year,
100,000-Mile Battery Warranty. . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 4
GE Introduces Smart Grid-Compatible Electric
Vehicle Charger. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p 6
Features
Improved Measurement and Analysis Yields
Cost-Effective Standby Battery Monitoring. . . .p 8
GE’s Smart GridCompatible Electric
Vehicle Charger, page 6
UPS Service Plans: How to Maximize
Your Returns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 14
Battery Power 2010 Conference Preview. . . . p 16
Machine to Machine, the Future is Here. . . . .p 19
Surgical Battery Packs for
Hydrogen Peroxide
Sterilization, page 23
Stakeholder Analysis of the Recent Acquisition
Moves in the World UPS Market. . . . . . . . . . . . p 21
New Products
Applications:
* Hybrid-Electric-
Vehicle(HEV)battery
performance
* Li-ionCell
Measurements
* Highvoltage,precision
batterystack,orcell
balancemeasurements
* Highpowerportable
equipment
Performance Without Compromise.
800-525-8528 www.datatranslation.com
* Motorshunt
measurements
* Commercial,military
hybridvehicles
* Fuelcellstacks
* Highvoltagedata
acquisition
* Batteryback-up
monitoring
Batteries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 23
Power Supplies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p 24
ICs and Semiconductors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 25
Charging & Testing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p 26
Synchronous Boost
Regulators, page 25
Departments
Industry News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 27
Calendar of Events. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p 29
Marketplace. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p 29
Research & Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 30
Quallion LLC Develops
Battery for the Boeing X51A WaveRider, page 27
Start or renew your subscription to Battery Power online at www.BatteryPowerOnline.com
www.BatteryPowerOnline.com
September/October • Battery Power
3
Editor’s Choice
Chevrolet Volt Provides a Standard Eight-Year, 100,000-Mile
Battery Warranty
The Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range will provide customers with an
standard, eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on its advanced, lithium-ion battery. It is the
automotive industry’s longest, most comprehensive battery warranty for an electric vehicle,
and is transferable at no cost to other vehicle owners.
The Volt’s comprehensive battery warranty covers all 161 battery
components, 95 percent of which are
designed and engineered by GM, in
addition to the thermal management
system, charging system and electric
drive components.
The Volt has a range of about
340 miles and is powered with
electricity at all times. For up to the
first 40 miles, the Volt is powered
solely by electricity stored in its 16kWh lithium-ion battery, using no
fuel and producing no emissions. When the Volt’s lithium-ion battery runs low, an engine/
generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 300 miles on a full tank
of fuel.
The Volt’s battery management system continuously monitors the battery real-time for
optimum operations. More than 500 diagnostics run at 10 times per second, keeping track
of the Volt’s battery pack; 85 percent of the diagnostics ensure the battery pack is operating
safely, while the remaining 15 percent keep track of battery performance and life.
GM engineers have completed more than 1 million miles and 4 million hours of validation testing of Volt battery packs since 2007, as well as each pack’s nine modules and 288
cells. GM’s Brownstown Township plant, which began building prototype batteries in January, soon will begin regular battery production.
Falcon Electric Unveils First Lightweight Lithium-Polymer Battery Pack for
Mobile Military Applications
Falcon Electric, Inc. has unveiled a new lightweight power conversion system and
ultra-light lithium-ion polymer battery pack. Falcon’s ED LIB series 5 kVA UPS includes
a lithium-polymer battery system, which is the first Department of Transportation-certified
battery for use on-board Mobile Armored Vehicles, High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled
Vehicles and other mobile applications.
Falcon’s power conversion system converts the three-phase, 400 Hz power provided by an auxillary power unit (APU) in
the vehicle and converts this raw alternate
power to a clean, regulated 120 VAC/60 Hz
source for critical computer and communications gear on board. Currently, hundreds
of the new rackmount ED-LIB series 5
kVA models are in use by the US Army in
Iraq and Afghanistan.
Due to its light weight and small size,
the ED-LIB is well suited for powering sensitive computer-based equipment from generator-based APU sources typically incorporated into single and dual-pallet shelters, as well as
tactical, hospital or laboratory shelters. Furthermore, to accommodate mobile applications
the ED-LIB is designed to meet the shock and vibration requirements of RTCA/DO160,
Zone A and the Munson Road Test.
Editor & Publisher • David Webster
Director of Content • Shannon Given
Associate Editors
Nick Depperschmidt,
Heather Krier
News Editors • Jeremy Fleming,
Jessi Albers, Sue Hannebrink,
Laura Mayo
Manager of Administration
Marsha Grillo
Advertising, Sales and Marketing
Jessi Albers, Director of Sales
Jeremy Fleming, Account Executive
Jennifer Graham, Marketing Assistant
Julie Hammond, Production Manager
Director of Support Services
Marc Vang
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Office hours: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST
Cat. No. 54
• Ideal for rechargeable batteries 17-19mm Dia
• Accommodates: A, 2/3A, 17335, 17450, 17500, 17650,
18650, 18500 cells
• Withstands multiple charging cycles
• Low profile
• Low contact resistance
• Unique 3 legged THM design for enhanced strength
& stability
• Applications include: Mobile, Consumer, Industrial
& Telecomm electronic devices
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~ ISO 9001 Certified
®
(718) 956-8900 • e-mail: [email protected] • FAX (718) 956-9040
(800) 221-5510 • Website: keyelco.com
4
Battery Power • September/October
www.BatteryPowerOnline.com
Available from our global distributor network
Editor’s Choice
GE Introduces Smart Grid-Compatible Electric
Vehicle Charger
GE has introduced
the GE WattStation, an
electric vehicle (EV)
charger. Designed to
help accelerate the
adoption of plug-in
electric vehicles, GE
WattStation significantly
decreases time needed
for vehicle charging and,
using smart grid technology, allows utility companies to manage the impact of electric
vehicles on the local and regional grids.
Combining functionality with consumer friendly form, the
GE WattStation on average decreases electric vehicle charging
time from 12 to 18 hours to four to eight hours compared to
standard charging “level 1”, assuming a full-cycle charge for a
24 kWh battery. GE WattStation will be commercially available
globally in 2011. GE will unveil a specialized home version of
the charger later this year.
Underwriters Laboratories Introduces Safety
Requirements for Battery Separators, Aiming to
Further Battery Safety and Integrity
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has announced the establishment of revised requirements addressing the safety of lithium
batteries. The requirements, issued in December 2009 as UL
Subject 2591, are designed specifically for separators, the porous
film that keeps the anode and cathode components of batteries
apart while still allowing ions to flow between them.
Evaluation to Subject 2591 will assist separator manufacturers and manufacturers of lithium batteries who use separators,
to control critical separator parameters in order to reduce the
potential for product failure and enhance consumer confidence
in their products.
“The importance of battery integrity and safety has grown as
the capabilities and demands we place upon our portable electronic devices increase,” said Carlos Correia, vice president, UL
High-Tech Division. “UL has worked closely with members of
the battery and IT industry to introduce separator requirements
focused on reliability and, first and foremost, safety.”
UL now offers testing and certification services pursuant to
the new requirements. UL also provides manufacturers with the
technical information and guidance they need to maintain compliance with the requirements.
Angstron Materials and K2 Energy Solutions to
Develop Hybrid Nanomaterial for Lithium Ion Batteries
Angstron Materials, Inc., has teamed with K2 Energy Solutions to participate in a Department of Energy (DOE) research
project for the development of hybrid nano graphene plateletbased high-capacity anodes for Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. The
team will commercialize its new anode technology, which has the
6
Battery Power • September/October
capability to capture the high charge capacity allowed with silicon
over extended charge/discharge life, using a network of highly
conductive yet inexpensive nanoscale graphite filaments.
Angstron and K2 will conduct the project over three phases
with initial activity focused on demonstrating the commercial
and technical viability of new high-energy anode materials.
This will include delivering data on anodes capable of initial
specific capacities of 650 mAh/g and achieving ~50 full charge/
discharge cycles in small laboratory scale cells (50 to 100 mAh)
at the 1C rate with less than 20 percent capacity fade. Phase II
will target development of process technology for cost-effective
production of the optimized Si-coated NGP/CNF blends.
As the project moves forward, 18650 or larger format cells
will be assembled with the anode material, cycled and examined
to evaluate any failure modes under cycling and calendar aging
as well as demonstrate cells that show practical and useful cycle
life. Upon completion the team will introduce a new nano material platform technology for Li-ion battery anodes. A prototype
Li-ion battery (with a lithium iron phosphate cathode) for
vehicle applications will be constructed and tested.
Connector from ITT Interconnect Solutions Provides
Electric Vehicle Charging Solution
ITT Interconnect Solutions has achieved an electric vehicle
industry first with its new high efficiency J1772 connector.
Based on HEP spring contact technology, the EVC series connectors represent the industry’s first UL-rated, J1772 Level II 75
amp four hour or less full charging solution. Charging options
include 75 A/240 V, 30
A/240 V, 15 A/240 V, and
15 A/120 V. Designed
specifically for electric
vehicle charging applications, the J1772 is capable
of performing Level I and
II charging from a low-end
of 15 A/120 V to a highend range of 75 A/240 V.
The inlet connector
includes finger-tip protection on the power and ground pin contacts and also features an enhanced cable management system
using ITT’s VEAM CIR series backshells. By using a cable with
a greater degree of flexibility, ease-of-use is assured on retractable design charging units.
The J1772 Level I and II electric vehicle charging robust
coupler and inlet connectors are suitable for electric passenger
vehicles, home charging units, public infrastructure charging
units, roadside assistance trucks, electric fleet vehicles and electric motorcycles.
Are You an A, B or C?
Your subscription to Battery Power magazine may be about
to expire. Check your status in the colored box located in the
mailing label on the front cover.
Subscribe online at www.BatteryPowerOnline.com.
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Feature
Improved Measurement and Analysis Yields
Cost-Effective Standby Battery Monitoring
Loic Moreau, Business Segment Manager
LEM
The infrastructure that underpins contemporary society must
operate with very high reliability. In contrast to the advanced
technology deployed in data storage centers, Internet server
farms and communications central offices, most of them rely for
near-100 percent “up-time”, or system-availability, on a very
mature technology; the lead-acid battery. It is standard practice
to provide such critical nodes, and many other essential services,
with back-up power. The first layer of that back-up is usually
an inverter that draws on banks of valve-regulated lead-acid
(VRLA) cells, or the closely-related sealed gel-cell types.
This venerable technology continues in widespread use for
a variety of reasons including that the cells are economical, and
offer excellent reliability. Excellent, but not perfect. VRLA cells
do have a finite life, a design life of 12 years is common, and in
normal use in critical-system standby power they are routinely
replaced on timed basis. Failures can, and do, still occur.
In a typical standby supply the cells do exactly as the name
implies, they are held at full charge awaiting failure of the primary supply. This is achieved by maintaining a small, continuous “float” charge. If the float charge current is below a certain
limit, the gases produce by electrolysis within the cell will recombine. In this condition, cells can be vulnerable to damage if
the float-charge voltage is even a little higher than the standard
value of 2.27 V per cell. A small overvoltage will cause the electrolyte to produce more gas than the recombination chemistry
can cope with, and this will escape through the valve. Excessive
cell temperatures, even with correct charging voltage, will also
lead to loss of electrolyte.
Other failure modes include early sulphation, poor connection between the posts and the grids, poor connection between
the grids and the plates, stratification of electrolyte and accelerated grid corrosion. An infrequent, but catastrophic, mode of
failure is thermal runaway, which is peculiar to VRLA and Gel
batteries and can result in fire or explosion. The only way to
detect its onset is to monitor the internal cell temperature.
It is recognized that simply monitoring the cell voltage gives
very little information about declining capacity of a lead-acid
cell. A failing cell will frequently present nominal voltage until
it is called on to deliver significant current, when it will exhibit
severely reduced capacity with premature collapse of its terminal voltage. Establishing battery condition by measuring electrolyte specific gravity is not possible with the sealed VRLA or gel
construction; conventionally, the only way to verify capacity has
been to discharge the complete battery under controlled conditions, requiring it to be taken out of service. Deep discharge also
reduces the life of lead-acid cells. In an installation that regularly discharge-tests its batteries, and in which the primary power
8
Battery Power • September/October
supply has high reliability, the test regime will be the dominant
factor in determining battery service life.
Newer, non-intrusive electronic methods of continuous monitoring can detect impending failures in individual cells, saving
cost while maintaining full system availability. Early versions
of such systems typically measured parameters such as cell or
monobloc (the battery-industry term for multiple cells in a single
case) voltage, despite the known limitations, plus charge/discharge current and ambient temperature. Some systems attempt,
with varying degrees of success, to measure or infer the cells’
internal resistances.
LEM’s Sentinel system pioneered the transition from reliance on simple analogue measurements of basic parameters, and
is now in its third generation. It uses a combination of analogue and digital techniques implemented in a single, customdesigned, SoC (system on chip) integrated circuit. This device,
deployed in a module that measures terminal voltage, internal
cell temperature and internal impedance, is a key element in
the design of a system that can deliver accurate measurements
within a budget that is affordable for the majority of standby
system configurations.
Cell temperatures, and/or internal resistance values, that
increase in an exponential manner (Figure 1) are indicative
of impending failure, and a data logging system that monitors
trends in the data over time will, potentially, identify an impending failure. Each Sentinel III module has an external temperature
measurement probe or patch, that is applied directly to the case
of the cell or battery, to give the most accurate possible tracking
of cell temperature.
Figure 1. Cell internal impedance is not necessarily a good indicator of impending failure. The exponential shape of the curve means
that early-stage failure is hard to detect, but the later decline in
performance is rapid.
An established technique makes an assessment of internal
resistance while the cell is in service and on-charge. Exact
implementations vary, but typically, a small AC voltage is
superimposed on the DC of the float charge, measuring the AC
LEM Continued on Page 10
www.BatteryPowerOnline.com
Feature
voltage and current yields the internal resistance. The method
has limitations, partly to do with the very shape of the exponential curve. A cell that is about to fail can be well along the path
to failure before the data logger identifies the trend. Conversely,
by the time the problem is spotted, the cell may only be a short
time from complete failure.
LEM, in association with academic partners, has implemented a much more sophisticated algorithm that detects deteriorating cell performance at a much earlier stage. The result is an
extremely dependable test method, which penetrates well into
the cell’s energy layer, to ensure the highest possible degree of
reliability. It is based on the so-called Randles equivalent circuit,
which represents an electrochemical cell as a network of electrical elements, each of which is related to a physical aspect of the
cell’s construction. (See Figure 2)
Figure 3 shows the progression of the parameters over the
life of a cell. The same characteristics are also demonstrated
during a discharge, or loss of capacity. All of the resistance
Figure 2. The Randles equivalent circuit for an electrochemical
cell. Each element of the Randles circuit models a physical process
and/or a failure mode of an electrochemical cell. Rm is the Metallic
Resistance and represents the resistance of the metal and the jointing between components. Re is the electrolyte resistance: electrolyte loss can be one of the main causes of premature failure. Cdl
is the double layer capacitance, a function of the effective plate
area and the dielectric strength of the electrolyte. Rct is the transfer
(Faradaic) resistance which arises due to limitations in the rates of
chemical reaction kinetics at the plate/electrolyte interface. Wi,
the Warburg impedance, is representative of a diffusional mass
transport process. It is a low frequency component, not present during discharge. After separating out these equivalent circuit components, each of which represents some performance-limiting factor,
the cell’s energy source is shown as a pure electrical generation
element, that can be removed during the testing process.
Figure 3. Randles parameter progression over the cell lifetime
or discharge. The various resistance parameters show the same
shape of curve while the double-layer capacitance, in contrast,
exhibits an early detectable change.
10
Battery Power • September/October
aspects of the equivalent circuit follow a similar curve; they do
not change greatly during the early stages of failure, or of capacity loss. If resistance is used as the main indicator of the state of
health of a cell, it will not give any significant indication until
the capacity loss is greater than 25 to 30 percent. Since the industry standard is to replace batteries that fall below 80 percent
of specified performance, it is clear that possible failure must be
identified far earlier.
There is, however, one parameter in the Randles equivalent circuit that does change in the early stages of cell failure
(except purely metallic corrosion, which will be revealed by
an increase in the parameter Rm), and that is Cdl, the double
layer capacitance. Its behavior is indicated in the lower curve in
Figure 3; again, the shape of the curve is similar for a healthy
cell during normal discharge, or a failing cell that is supposedly
fully charged.
In addition to our complete line of larger test equipment
Maccor offers a wide range of desktop test systems
and support equipment, including...
The Monitoring Technique
A detailed description of the technique is beyond the scope
of this article, but it can be summarized as follows.
The test signal is applied on a cell-by-cell basis, with no
requirement to drive high currents through complete blocs or
batteries, and no disturbance of DC connections to external
systems. The original algorithms were developed using a bipolar
test signal, but unipolar signals proved to be more reliable.
However, unipolar signals experienced DC drift during the test.
Simply removing this trend does not preserve the characteristics
of the data set necessary for correct parametric estimation. By
rearranging the varying frequency signal pulses that comprise
the test signal, in a frequency sweep, the cell voltage response
can be made to follow a predetermined curve.
Once the underlying drift curve becomes uniform, firmware
algorithms can be designed to model the drift and remove it,
resulting in a mean zero voltage data set suitable for direct input
to the Sentinel algorithms. This method can reduce drift errors to
less than 0.1 percent without causing significant distortion of the
data set. Algorithms can then be applied to the measured waveforms, and the equivalent circuit parameters can then be derived
with a high degree of accuracy.
Much of the measurement functionality and algorithmic
processing has been integrated into a single integrated circuit
(system-on-chip, or SoC). Sentinel modules can measure at an
individual cell level, or at monobloc level (2 V to 12 V). Up to
250 measurement points, implemented in modular form, can report via a proprietary data bus to a battery data logger, the S-Box.
In a large battery installation, several such streams of data can
be combined and made available to a variety of local or remote
upstream supervisory systems via standard buses or an Internet
connection, using a Web server that is integrated in the S-Box.
Having had the measurement SoC determine every cell’s real
condition, detecting impending failures is not the only benefit
that a sophisticated monitoring architecture can provide; several
other features and services can be programed.
For example, the cells of a battery often have differing
LEM Continued on Page 12
www.BatteryPowerOnline.com
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Feature
internal impedances. Over time, this can cause problems. The
SoC intelligent control system allows such cells to be quickly
detected, and a system, known as terminal voltage optimization,
can divert the float current around the cell that cannot tolerate
further charging.
Active Charge Management for Extended Life: The float
current in VRLA cells is higher than that of flooded types, for
the same terminal voltage. This can accelerate positive plate corrosion and reduce the useful life of the cell by up to 30 percent.
Removing the float charge for a proportion of service life can
reduce this effect. A useful side effect of life cycling is its ability
to reduce the possibility of thermal runaway.
A cell-mounted module can also provide a lifetime log of terminal voltage and temperature to help manufacturers and users.
Exhaustive Discharge Protection: It is normal in charger/
UPS systems, and even battery monitors, to preserve the battery
by terminating a discharge based on the average cell voltage.
However, weaker cells can be of a much lower terminal voltage
than the battery average and may be exhaustively discharged
well before the battery has reached its termination voltage. This
can damage these cells permanently. A highly accurate, dynamic
‘Time To Run’ algorithm has been developed to give warning if
any individual cell is approaching exhaustion.
Monitoring of standby battery parameters must be as comprehensive as possible, to produce results that most accurately
represent the state of the battery. This is not only a technological
issue, but an economic one. Avoiding in-service cell failures is
essential, but prematurely replacing cells that are not approaching end-of-life is expensive. In addition to voltage, impedance
and discharge performance per cell, LEM monitors internal
cell temperature as standard. It is also developing a fluxgatetechnology float-charge transducer capable of better than 10 mA
resolution, with little or no temperature drift and virtually no remanence after a high current discharge, that will further improve
measurement fidelity. Advances such as these can change the
role of the battery monitor from being an expensive addition, to
that of a cost-effective integral life management system.
Loic Moreau is Business Segment manager, New Business
for LEM, responsible for driving the strategic approach marketing within the company. He also created and manages the new
Energy & Automation Division, which develops transducers that
integrate additional electronics to offer added value and increased functionality such as the Sentinel for monitoring standby
batteries and Wi-LEM for wireless local energy monitoring.
Contact LEM at www.lem.com.
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your application is a critical design requirement.
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trade-offs, so we’ve engineered our company to provide key
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• Vast experience with cell selection and validation
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Smaller. Lighter. Longer life. More reliability. Whatever the demanding performance
specification for your next product innovation, Nexergy provides the best chemistry
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Battery Power • September/October
www.BatteryPowerOnline.com
www.nexergy.com • Tel: 800-308-1365
Feature
UPS Service Plans: How to Maximize Your Returns
Art Mulligan, UPS Product Line Manager
Eaton Corp.
Painfully aware of the devastating impact that downtime
can have on their bottom lines, most businesses appreciate the
wisdom of deploying first-rate uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). Yet they often invest far more time and energy in
deciding which UPS to buy than in selecting an accompanying
service plan.
In reality, however, both considerations are vitally important.
With proper servicing, a well-made UPS can operate safely and
reliably for as long as 20 years. Without proper servicing, even
the best UPS is significantly more likely to fail when the business
can least afford it. Protecting mission-critical IT systems from
costly outages, then, involves choosing not just appropriate UPS
hardware but also an appropriate UPS service plan from a service
provider that delivers real value rather than just a low price.
The Basics of Selecting UPS Service
The consequences of UPS failure can be expensive. The
average annual downtime for the US utility grid was eight hours
and 45 minutes as of 2009, according to the Electric Power
Research Institute. Should a UPS fail during a power outage, the
average cost of the resulting downtime can range from approximately $330,000 an hour for companies in the media industry to
a staggering $6,450,000 an hour for financial brokerage firms,
according to the Fibre Channel Industry Association.
A quality UPS service plan can help a business avoid equipment failures and resolve those that do occur quickly. However,
in today’s economy, no organization can afford to purchase either
less or more UPS support than it requires. Thus, UPS buyers
should carefully consider their needs and options before selecting
a service plan. To begin that process, there are six basic questions.
What kind of service provider should you work with?
Generally speaking, there are two kinds of service providers to
choose from:
Manufacturers: These are the companies that design and
build UPSs.
Independent Service Providers: These are third-party companies that service UPSs.
Third-party service providers sometimes charge less than
manufacturers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they provide
greater value. As a rule, the company that designed and assembled
a UPS will have the deepest understanding of how it operates, the
most qualified technicians and the fastest access to factory parts.
What type of UPS service do you need? Most service providers offer three basic service options:
Depot Exchange Repair or Replace: When a problem occurs, the business manager contacts the UPS service provider
and ships the UPS to a repair facility. After it arrives, the repair
14
Battery Power • September/October
shop sends either the repaired unit or a refurbished unit in return.
Advance Swap Depot Exchange: After a problem is reported, the UPS service provider ships a refurbished replacement
unit immediately. When it arrives, the original UPS is returned
to a repair facility in exchange.
On-Site Repair: After reporting a problem, a factory-trained
field technician comes to the site to diagnose and repair it.
Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when deciding
among these options:
• In general, a depot exchange plan is the most cost-effective
choice for organizations that use UPS products rated below
1,000 VA.
• If a UPS is rated above 1,000 VA and is either hardwired to
the data center’s electrical infrastructure or too heavy to ship,
an on-site repair plan is usually the sole practical option.
• Companies with UPS equipment that is rated above 1,000 VA,
light enough to be shipped and not hardwired should choose
either an advance swap depot exchange plan or an on-site
repair offering. On-site repair is often the quickest way to
resolve technical issues, but can also be the most expensive.
Should you buy a support agreement, extended warranty
or pay as you go? Support agreements, or service contracts,
usually combine parts and labor coverage for the UPS’s electronics, batteries or both, as well as one or more annual preventive maintenance inspections. Plans can be tailored to meet
most any need. Special features like remote monitoring, battery
replacement insurance and spare part kits may also be added.
Basic or extended warranties are also available for many
UPS products. A warranty commonly covers specified parts
and labor, such as electronic components, for a fixed period of
time, but does not include 24/7 coverage or guaranteed response
times. Nor do warranties typically include preventive maintenance services, though often there is the option of adding them
if desired. The more services a company adds to a warranty, the
closer it comes to offering the protection of a full-fledged support agreement.
Time and Material (T&M) service is a pay-as-you-go approach in which the service provider conducts repairs as needed
and then bills the company based on how much work the technician performed and how many parts were replaced. Though relying on T&M services is often less costly up front than buying a
service agreement or warranty, it is often more expensive over
the long term, depending on how many problems are experienced and how severe they are. Additionally, some organizations
find T&M response times unacceptably long. When available
field technicians are in short supply, customers with support
agreements always take priority. As a result, T&M customers
must sometimes wait as long as five days, based on their UPS
model and location, before receiving assistance.
What should a service plan cover? When evaluating
service plans, pay special attention to what is and isn’t covered.
www.BatteryPowerOnline.com
Support agreements and warranties for large UPS models usually cover internal electronics only, with battery coverage available as an optional extra. A strong, comprehensive service plan
should cover all of the following:
UPS Electronics Parts and Labor Coverage: This covers a
UPS’s basic electrical components, excluding the battery.
UPS Battery Parts and Labor Coverage: To prevent UPS
failure, batteries should be replaced at least every five years.
Batteries that are discharged frequently or used in a warm
environment should be replaced more often.
Preventive Maintenance: Preventive maintenance visits
allow field technicians to annually inspect, test, calibrate and
upgrade UPS and/or battery components, ensuring factory-specified performance.
Remote Monitoring: Remote monitoring systems automatically send UPS performance data to expert technicians via
the Internet, enabling them to proactively identify and address
potential problems. They also send automatic alerts when a UPS
fails, resulting in quicker
response times.
How much service do you need and how fast do you want
your service delivered? Most service providers offer two options with respect to when service is available:
7 Day, 24 Hour Coverage: A service technician will respond
or deliver service at any hour of any day, including weekends
and holidays.
5 Day, 8 Hour Coverage: Problems will be
resolved only during standard business hours (8
a.m. to 5 p.m.), Monday through Friday.
A business manager can also choose how
quickly the service provider responds to technical issues. Most providers offer two-hour, fourhour, eight-hour and next business day options.
Note that two- and four-hour service plans are
typically available only in markets in which the
service provider has enough field technicians to
meet its response time commitment 99.9 percent
of the time.
The Importance of Preventive Maintenance
Every UPS, no matter how well it is designed and manufactured, can fail for a wide range of reasons, including these:
Batteries: Studies show that up to 20 percent of UPS failures
can be attributed to bad batteries. Lead acid batteries of the
kind typically used in UPS products are sensitive to unusually
high operating temperatures. In addition, every time a lead acid
battery is discharged, it permanently reduces its capacity and
shortens its operating life.
Fans: Though many UPS fans perform well for 10 years or
more, anything from dried-out ball bearings to electrical and
mechanical problems can incapacitate a fan far sooner than that,
leading to dramatically increased risk of overheating.
DC Capacitors: A typical UPS contains a dozen or more
electrolytic capacitors that smooth out and filter fluctuations
in voltage. Like batteries, electrolytic capacitors degrade over
time. When one fails, others must compensate for the additional
workload, shortening their useful lives. In many cases, a capacitor failure will cause a UPS to switch to bypass mode, leaving it
unable to protect downstream loads.
Transient Spikes: Sudden power surges can cause fatal
damage to a UPS’s filter/rectifier side.
A comprehensive preventive maintenance plan is the best defense against such problems. By ensuring that UPS equipment is
thoroughly evaluated, cleaned, tested and calibrated on a regular
Eaton Corp. Continued on Page 18
FIRSTLINE® P 80, 100, 125kVA
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How long should you plan for a UPS to
last and how much should service cost? As a
rule, large UPS products have a 15- to 20-year
life span. Small UPS products can last 10 or
more years, but are often replaced much sooner.
However, routine preventive service can help extend a UPS’s lifespan, as can replacing the unit’s
batteries, capacitors and other parts, or installing
upgrade and modification kits.
As for price, the most basic warranty coverage usually costs five to 10 percent of the product
purchase price, while a comprehensive, premium
support agreement could exceed 35 percent of the
original purchase price per year.
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September/October • Battery Power
15
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The conference is designed for OEM design engineers,
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The Global Battery Market
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Vishal Sapru • Frost & Sullivan
How US Battery Manufacturers and Suppliers are
Changing the Game: A Panel Discussion
Who Needs to Attend
• OEM design engineers of battery-powered systems
• Developers and integrators of rechargeable
battery systems
• System engineers of standby, backup and UPS systems
• System integrators, vendors, distributors
• Manufacturers of batteries and battery packs
• IC and chipset providers
• Manufacturers of charging, monitoring and
testing equipment
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• Product managers seeking new applications
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• Charging and testing system component providers
• Specialized energy materials suppliers
• Battery component providers
Attend a Pre-Conference Workshop
Arrive early and attend one of the pre-conference workshops taking place on Monday, October 18th.
Li-Ion Battery Design will be presented by Robert Spotnitz with
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Li-Ion battery design ranging from materials and processes, to
cells to packs. How to design Li-Ion cells is discussed in detail
with an emphasis on comparing different chemistries.
Battery Power Management: Safety, Charging, Fuel Gauging and Cell Balancing will be presented by Jinrong Qian with
Texas Instruments. This workshop addresses the issues surrounding battery power management for safely charging the battery, smartly monitoring the battery for improving protection and
accurately estimating battery remaining capacity.
US battery manufacturers and suppliers are not only shaping the
battery industry and enabling emerging markets such as electric and hybrid vehicles, but they are also re-energizing the US
economy with stimulus dollars as part of the Recovery Act. Hear
from industry-leading companies on their new facility capabilities,
R&D projects, goals and potential market/industry impacts.
Ann Marie Sastry • Sakti3 • Paul Cheeseman • Exide Technologies
Chris Wheaton • EnerG2 • John Battaglini • International Battery
Overcoming Battery Pack Design Issues • Boston-Power
Using Lithium Polymer Batteries in Commercial Devices • Micro Power Electronics
Li-Ion Myth-Buster • Elithion
Lithium Battery Transportation Regulations • Nexergy, Inc.
Changing Global Regulatory Requirements for Battery Powered Consumer Electronics • TUV SUD America
Your Product’s Battery Failed – What Now? • Exponent
Embedded Energy for Pure Power Solutions • Cymbet Corp.
Notebook Battery Standardization Challenges • Dell, Inc.
Automotive, Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Applications
Battery Performance and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles and Other Electric Vehicle
Adoption • Navigant Consulting, Inc.
Commercial Applications of Lithium Titanate Batteries for Mass Transit • Altairnano
Battery System Integration, Energy Management and Testing • Ricardo, Inc.
Charging, Testing & Monitoring
A Simple Topology for Solar-Charged Battery Systems • Microchip Technology, Inc.
New Advances in Li-Ion Battery Monitoring • Cadex Electronics, Inc.
High Efficiency and High Safety LiFePO4 Battery Charger System for Industrial and
Medical Applications • Texas Instruments, Inc.
Energy Policy in a Battery Charger World • Ecos
The Evolution of Li-Ion Safety Testing Since the Laptop Battery Recalls of 2006 • UL
Stationary, Standby Power & Energy Storage
Ready for the Grid: How Battery Storage will Support Renewable Energy and the Smart Grid • Electric
Power Research Institute
Designing Li-Ion Batteries into Your Application: The Critical Issues You Need to Know • Nexergy
Analyzing the Role of New Battery Technologies in Hybrid Power Systems with High Penetrations of
Renewable Power • HOMER Energy, LLC
Datacenter Trends Creates Sweetspot for Entry of New Materials • Dell, Inc.
Design Advantages and Comparisons of Large Format Li-Ion Batteries • International Battery
Sodium Metal Halide Batteries for Stationary Applications • General Electric
High Temperature Li-Ion and Li-Thionlyl-Chloride Cells • Saft Group SA
Battery Manufacturing
The Cost of Safety, Designing for Safety and the Changing Li-Ion Battery Pack Regulatory
Requirements • Palladium Energy
Safer Li-Ion Battery Design and Development Using Thermal Analysis and Adiabatic
Calorimetry • Netzsch Instruments
Advancement of Ultrasonic Metal Weld Tooling for Battery Applications • Edison Welding Institute
Busbar Joining of Dissimilar Anode and Cathode Metals: The Role of Intermetallic
Compounds • Technical Materials, Inc.
Deciphering Cell Variations in Battery Manufacturing • Hawaii Natural Energy Institute
Nanotechnology Manufacturing Techniques for More Efficient Li-Ion
Batteries • NETZSCH Fine Particle Technology
Upscaling New Battery Technologies from Lab to Fab • Coatema Coating Machinery GmbH
Battery Projects and Developments in Government Labs
This panel discussion will feature the country’s leading government labs actively involved in battery research and development. Hear new projects that they are working on and new
technologies that are expected to impact the market.
Jeff Chamberlain • Argonne National Lab
Claus Daniel • Oak Ridge National Lab
Shriram Santhanagopalan • National Renewable Energy Lab
Portable, Consumer & Medical
Battery Power 2010 will be held at the Gaylord Texan. A special
room rate of $179 is offered to Battery Power attendees. Use the
code A-EMC10 to get the discounted room rate.
Register Today at www.BatteryPowerOnline.com
Exhibitors
Platinum Sponsor
Gold Sponsor
Silver Sponsor
ActivePower
AMREL
Applied Power
Arbin Instruments
Battery Japan
Branson
Cadex
Coatema
CooPower
Detroit Testing Labs
Dunmore
EnerSys
Hudson Technologies
IDI
Intertek
Maccor
Manz Automation AG
MGA Research Corp.
Microsun
Mirwec Films, Inc.
Netzsch
Orbel Precision
Solutions
RedHawk Energy
TDK-Lambda
Technical Materials, Inc.
Toshiba
Valence
Register Today at www.BatteryPowerOnline.com
Feature
Companies that received the recommended two annual visits
experience roughly one-fourth as many losses.
basis, preventive maintenance plans can significantly decrease
the exposure to downtime. In fact, organizations that receive two
preventive maintenance inspections a year, as recommended,
experience approximately one-fourth as many UPS failures as
those that don’t, according to an analysis of Eaton services data
on its own products.
In addition, preventive maintenance can maximize a UPS’s
performance, as systematic inspections, testing and cleaning by
trained technicians help keep a UPS’s electronic and mechanical
components functioning at peak potential.
The Top 10 Features of a Strong UPS
Service Offering
In addition to preventive maintenance, an effective UPS
service plan should also include these 10 elements:
Comprehensive Battery Services: The Valve Regulated
Lead-Acid (VRLA) batteries used in most UPS products typically wear out after three to five years. Given that batteries are a
UPS’s most essential component, any well-structured UPS service offering should include a rigorous battery maintenance plan
that includes regular inspection, cleaning and testing, as well as
prompt replacement of defective batteries as needed.
A Large Team of Skilled Field Technicians: When evaluating service providers, make sure their technicians receive
thorough, ongoing factory training and certification, not only
in the latest UPS equipment but in legacy products as well. In
addition, find out how many technicians they employ and where
those people are stationed. A provider with a limited number
of technicians, or none based near your data center, may have
trouble responding promptly to service incidents.
Access to the Technician of Your Choice: Most service
providers dispatch whoever is available when an issue arises.
The best providers, though, let the business facility request a
specific technician who is familiar with that specific environment and has earned the confidence of the business staff.
A Deep Pool of Escalation Resources: Field technicians are
but one part of a complete support team. The service provider
should also offer 24/7 telephone support, as well as senior engineers capable of assisting field technicians remotely or in person
when they encounter a problem they can’t solve alone.
A Proven Commitment to Safety: Like any complex electrical product, UPSs are potentially hazardous if mishandled.
18
Battery Power • September/October
The service provider’s field technicians should have the OSHA,
IEEE and NFPA tools, arc flash training and personal protection
equipment to protect themselves and the on-site employees from
unsafe work conditions.
An Emphasis on Long-Term Solutions, Not Short-Term
Fixes: If a component of your UPS keeps malfunctioning, does
the service provider just replace it over and over again? A strong
provider not only fixes the immediate problem, but figures out
why it keeps happening.
Prompt Access to Parts: To maximize the technician’s ability to resolve problems quickly, he or she should have a wide
array of parts on hand for immediate use, or stock them locally.
That can help prevent the need for multiple visits to repair a
problem.
Remote Monitoring Services: Choosing a support plan that
includes remote monitoring can help spot potential problems before they cause downtime, address problems that do occur more
rapidly, and even extend the lifespan of UPS batteries.
Multi-Vendor Services: A typical data center power infrastructure includes a variety of products from multiple manufacturers. Working with a service provider capable of supporting
all of those systems will help simplify vendor management,
eliminate finger-pointing and keep critical maintenance issues
from falling between the cracks.
Field Upgrades and Product Modifications: A welldesigned UPS can adapt and grow over time to accommodate
expanding power requirements. To take advantage of this
capability, a service provider must be equipped to perform field
upgrades and install product modifications. Upgrades increase
the capacity and performance of a UPS.
Conclusion
No investment in UPS hardware is complete without an
accompanying service plan. Trained service professionals can
help minimize downtime by detecting and addressing problems
before they have time to develop. They can also help a business
swiftly recover from technical issues that couldn’t be prevented.
Selecting the right service offering is essential. Knowing which
questions to ask and features to look for simplifies that process
and increases the chance of success.
Art Mulligan is a UPS product line manager for Eaton Corp.
where he develops offerings for power quality services.
Contact Eaton Corp. at www.eaton.com/upsservices.
Are You an A, B or C?
Your subscription to Battery Power magazine may be
about to expire. Check your status in the colored box
located in the mailing label on the front cover.
Subscribe online at www.BatteryPowerOnline.com.
www.BatteryPowerOnline.com
Machine to Machine, the Future is Here
Dr. Kerry Lanza
Palladium Energy
I was recently reading about how machines are in charge;
communicating with each other, thinking and influencing (maybe
even controlling) people’s lives. The image that it conjured was
that of some futuristic society of robots having enslaved humans.
This was not a science fiction novel I was reading,
but a product fact sheet on a telematics device for
your car to perform hands-free toll collection and
navigation. The future is here; machine-to-machine
(M2M) communication is happening, and it is
“way cool.”
M2M Technology
M2M refers to technologies that allow both
wireless and wired systems to communicate with
other devices. This is accomplished through the
use of telemetry, which is a language machines
use when communicating with each other. Such
communication was originally accomplished by
having a remote network of machines relay information back to a central hub for analysis, which
would then be rerouted into a system such as a
personal computer.
However, modern M2M communication has
expanded beyond a one-to-one connection and
changed into a system of networks that transmits
data to portable personal electronics. The expansion of wireless networks across the world has
made it far easier for M2M communication to take
place and has lessened the amount of power and
time necessary for information to be communicated between machines. M2M devices and compact
battery power (such as lithium-ion and lithium
polymer) are a perfect marriage and, to a certain
extent, portable power has enabled M2M technology to proliferate. These networks also allow an
assortment of new business opportunities, portable
devices, battery applications, and connections
between consumers and producers.
The origin of M2M communications is cloudy
because of the many different possibilities of its
inception. It probably began around the year 2000,
maybe earlier, when cellular technology first began to learn to connect directly to other computer
systems. An example of an early use is GM’s OnStar system of communication for in-vehicle security and diagnostics. According to the independent
wireless analyst firm Berg Insight, the number of
cellular network connections worldwide used for
M2M communication was 47.7 million in 2008.
www.BatteryPowerOnline.com
The company forecasts that the number of M2M connections
will grow to 187 million in 2014, a compound annual growth
rate of over 25 percent (“Global Wireless M2M Market”, 2009).
Palladium Energy Continued on Page 20
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September/October • Battery Power
19
Feature
M2M Applications
This growth is the result of the almost endless M2M applications. Some of the more obvious applications are satellite
communication and telematics. Telematics is the integrated use
of telecommunications and informatics, also known as ICT (Information and Communications Technology). More specifically,
it is the science of sending, receiving and storing information
via a satellite or other telecommunication devices. Telematics
includes, but is not limited, to Global Positioning System (GPS)
technology integrated with computers and mobile communications technology in automotive navigation systems. Most narrowly, the term has evolved to refer to the use of such systems
within road vehicles for tracking, toll collection, navigation and
security tracking devices. In a recent Frost and Sullivan research
report, they found that in 2007 there were 1.4 million active
satellite M2M units being used globally. By 2012, that number
is expected to reach 22.6 million, most of them being installed
in private vehicles (“Satellite M2M Market Study”, 2010).
Wireless networks that are all interconnected can serve to
improve production and efficiency in various areas including
building cars and letting the automobile owners know when and
why certain components need to be taken in for maintenance.
Such information serves to streamline products that consumers
buy and works to keep them all working at highest efficiency.
Another application is to use wireless technology to monitor
systems such as Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) in the “smart
grid”, water supply and wastewater streams. This would allow
both the owner of the meter and the utility to know use rates,
efficiencies and improve billing accuracy. Traffic control is another dynamic area that can benefit from M2M communication.
Properly located sensors and along with software can manipulate traffic lights to maximize traffic control.
Telemedicine offers another use. Heart patients can wear
specialized monitors that gather information about the heart’s
operation and can deliver a shock to correct an errant rhythm
(Crosby, 2009).
Businesses can greatly enhance productivity and efficiency
by using M2M communications in supply chain management
by tracking inventory and security. Companies can manage their
fleets and track the use of assets in the field, follow freight as it
moves across country and plot the most efficient routes, monitor
fuel usage and even disable equipment if it is reported lost or
stolen. Any business can benefit from M2M. Farmers can even
monitor and keep track of their livestock that may be off grazing
in some remote location. If you can imagine it, you can do it.
Batteries and M2M
For M2M to work, it requires a specific bundle of functional
components: sensors, communication and power. So what are
the battery use, design and application implications for M2M?
The battery function for the majority of applications will be in a
backup power mode. This may be a less glamorous application,
but significant all the same. For many M2M uses, the device’s
most important function may be when there is a primary power
loss, and without a reliable battery, the device would be ren-
20
Battery Power • September/October
dered useless. As a result, the battery’s reliability may be its
most important feature.
For M2M portability, size and weight do matter. Lithiumion and lithium polymer batteries will have the edge here as
lithium provides the best energy density ratio (more energy in
less space) of the available battery chemistries. However, since
many M2M operations are not in climate controlled conditions,
designing for battery temperature tolerance, particularly high
temperatures, will be an issue engineers must contend with.
Nickel-based batteries have a higher temperature tolerance than
a standard lithium battery, but some of the newer lithium chemistries such as Lithium Iron Phosphate and Lithium-Thionyl
Chloride, could prove to be optimal.
If the Future is Here, What’s Next?
Like with any new technology, innovation into unfamiliar
territory is a part of the fast growth experience. M2M may drive
OEMs to build devices so they can work with any manufacturer’s brand. As a result, we may see the emergence of common design platforms that will facilitate communication across
multiple devices. This interoperability across devices may seem
futuristic, but consumers feel otherwise as they become “techsavvy” and are expecting it.
M2M may be a transformational experience for many businesses, requiring new business methods and models as many
approaches may coexist. But one thing is apparent, the telecommunications companies will play a major role in M2M as mobile
operators are well positioned to provide support for networked
devices by leveraging their capabilities without the need for
substantial investment.
So, can we predict what will happen next? I believe the future will be whatever we can envision it to be. Besides, as Yogi
Berra said, “The future ain’t what it used to be.”
References
Crosby, T. (2009). Wireless Sensor Research. Retrieved from
http://news.isu.edu
Global Wireless M2M Market. (2009). Retrieved from
www.berginsight.com
Satellite M2M Market Study. (2010). Retrieved from
www.researchmarkets.com/reports
Dr. Kerry Lanza is strategic marketing manager at Palladium Energy. Palladium has expertise in lithium-based technologies for battery packs that power portable and backup applications across various verticals including medical, data capture,
data storage and consumer electronics.
Contact Palladium Energy at www.palladiumenergy.com.
www.BatteryPowerOnline.com
Stakeholder Analysis of the Recent Acquisition Moves
In the World UPS Market
Anu Cherian, Industry Analyst, Energy & Power Systems
Frost & Sullivan
Emerson Network Power to acquire Chloride Group PLC, a
focused UPS manufacturer with a strong presence in Europe.
The world uninterruptible power supply (UPS) market is
a highly mature market that has witnessed significant market
consolidation in the past two decades. Companies such as Emerson acquired Liebert Corp. to strengthen its position as a global
UPS manufacturer. Eaton acquired Powerware brand of Invensys to create a strong brand of Eaton Powerware UPS. Most
recently, APC was acquired by Schneider Electric to become a
global force in the UPS market. The composition of the tier one
category of this market has become stronger each year, and the
intensity of competition has decreased prices, as well as commoditized products at the lower power ranges.
The key end-user segments of the market are datacenter, industrial and healthcare, as well as niche markets such as military
and government. The market for datacenters has witnessed a
significant increase in the past decade as a result of the convergence of telecom and data communications and global business
integration. Datacenters have been the key driver for growth of
the backup power market, especially in North America, Europe
and Asia Pacific.
This article provides a brief insight into the latest moves by
Emerson’s Bid for Chloride: A Move Toward
Greater Market Consolidation
Emerson Electric Co., which has been trying to acquire the
UK-based Chloride Group PLC since 2008, has finally succeeded in obtaining Chloride’s approval for its latest 375 pence per
share offer, valuing Chloride at approximately $1.5 billion. Two
of Emerson’s previous offers were declined before this approval;
one at 270 pence per share in 2008, which then valued Chloride
at approximately $1.29 billion, and the other earlier this year at
275 pence per share, which valued Chloride at approximately
$1.11 billion. The 275 pence per share offer by Emerson was
also followed by a 325 pence per share offer by the power and
automation giant, ABB, which valued Chloride at approximately
$1.25 billion that has now been outbid by Emerson’s latest offer.
Emerson has already acquired 49,998,079 shares of Chloride
through open market purchases, which is almost 19 percent of
Chloride’s total issued share capital, and the acquisition of complete stake is expected soon.
Frost & Sullivan Continued on Page 22
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September/October • Battery Power
21
New Products •
Feature
Emerson manufactures UPS systems under its Network
Power Business Segment that offers a wide range of power
protection and precision cooling solutions. Emerson also has
businesses in the process management, climate technologies,
tools and appliances and industrial automation areas.
ABB is the largest builder of electricity grids. It is a supplier
of components for transmission and distribution of electricity,
and it also provides solutions for industrial automation.
ABB’s Interests
ABB serves sectors such as power, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, pulp and paper; all huge markets for UPS
systems. This acquisition could have helped ABB to bundle
Chloride’s UPS systems with its existing products. In addition,
it helps them gain access to Chloride’s existing markets for
selling its own products. ABB could have leveraged its financial
strength to grow the UPS business further and position itself as a
total solution provider.
Benefits for Emerson
A complete stake in Chloride holds great potential for Emerson. Presently, Emerson and Chloride have the third- and fourthlargest market shares in the global UPS markets, in which APC
- Schneider Electric and Eaton Corp. hold the first and second
position, respectively. With the acquisition of Chloride, Emerson
can surpass Eaton, to take the second position in this market.
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Although Emerson manufactures UPS systems across all
power ranges, its major strength lies in the high power and
three-phase UPS segments, in which it holds large market
shares. Chloride also holds a significant share in these segments.
Currently, Emerson has the largest market share in the above
200 kVA UPS systems and the second-largest market shares in
the 20 kVA to 50 kVA and 50 kVA to 200 kVA segments. With
this acquisition, Emerson can lead the entire high-power segment of the UPS markets. These power ranges together contribute to almost 40 percent of the overall UPS market revenues
and are expected to grow at a faster rate compared to the lower
power ranges.
Market Segment Benefits
Chloride’s strong line-up of industrial UPS systems will
strengthen Emerson’s business in the industrial UPS markets.
Industrial UPS markets are strong in the Middle East and North
America among the regions worldwide. Industrial UPS markets
are mainly driven by end-user segments such as oil & gas and
power. In addition, industrial UPSs are different from commercial UPSs as they are rugged systems that are designed to handle
shock, vibration and temperature variations, as well as moisture.
Chloride’s power conditioners have leveraged the quality of
their product.
Geographic Benefits
Two of the geographical regions where Emerson is likely to
benefit significantly are the following:
Europe: Chloride’s strong position in the European UPS
markets make this acquisition an opportunity for Emerson to
strengthen its foothold in the European markets where its current
position is relatively weak. Chloride is headquartered in Europe
and its product line is geared to appease the European market as
well as its industry.
Asia Pacific: Chloride’s acquisition of Ascor Power Systems
in Singapore, its 90 percent stake in DB Electronics in India and
its joint venture manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China, have
helped it gain a strong hold in the Asia Pacific UPS markets.
This acquisition will help Emerson strengthen its operations in
this region. This is a region of significant interest for all companies globally.
Future Outlook
This acquisition carries the potential of creating a new UPS
giant with an extremely strong brand and market position globally. It emphasizes the increasing consolidation in the highly
fragmented UPS markets. Despite market maturity, individual
regional players continue to grow in this market. This is an
indication that tier one companies continue to place stock on
regional manufacturers that show consistent growth, product
innovation and target markets that are lucrative and strategic in
their regions.
Contact Frost & Sullivan at www.frost.com.
22
Battery Power • September/October
2010-08-09_Manz_Battery_Show_Pfade.indd 1
www.BatteryPowerOnline.com
09.08.2010 11:34:17
C&D Technologies Introduces Two New Models to
Address Global Telecommunications Market
C&D Technologies, Inc. has released
two new models to the C&D True Front
Access series of batteries. The TEL12105FNS and the TEL12-115FN expand the
product family to six models designed to
global standards.
The battery designs are aligned to a
European footprint, specifically targeting
the global telecommunication network
infrastructure manufacturers, a portion of the market not previously addressed by C&D.
The C&D True Front Access batteries will access the strong
growth of the global wireless telecommunications markets.
These unique batteries will set a new standard of performance
in the wireless and wireline industry, providing infrastructure
power to the ever growing global voice and data networks.
These new products utilize C&D’s unique True Front Access
technology, optimizing footprint, performance, reliability and
ease of maintenance to provide a product that addresses the current and emerging needs of the market.
Micro Power Builds Surgical Battery Packs for
Hydrogen Peroxide Sterilization
Batteries
New Intimidator AGM Battery for Emergency and
Severe Service Vehicles
East Penn Manufacturing has introduced a BCI Group 65
battery to be included in its Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) Intimidator line. This group 65 Intimidator AGM battery is well suited
for emergency, police and other severe service vehicles that need
a specially designed battery that can handle abusive conditions
while delivering superior reliability. It is also suited for passenger cars, light trucks and vans that undergo frequent stop and
start conditions, such as city driving, or have many electronic
devices needing tough battery power.
The Intimidator’s tightly
compressed structure and
reinforced internal design
safeguards against intense
vibration while providing more
starting power. Highly efficient
recharging and additional
power for accessories make
this battery well suited for the
daily needs of severe service
vehicles. A completely sealed
design virtually eliminates gas emissions and acid leakage for
longer and safer operation. Its leakproof design enables installation next to sensitive electronic equipment.
Micro Power Electronics, Inc. has announced the capability
to manufacture rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs that can
be sterilized via hydrogen peroxide
gas without performance degradation.
These battery packs provide surgical instrument manufacturers with
the maximum power for a cordless
surgical device. The sterilization of
rechargeable lithium-ion batteries with
hydrogen peroxide gas enables hospitals to utilize a popular sterilization
Micro Power prototype
process while providing surgeons with
battery developed to
the
most power for their surgical tools.
test sterilization with hyMicro
Power offers rechargeable
drogen peroxide gas.
lithium-ion battery packs capable of
delivering up to 24 volts, 100 amps of current, 10 amp-hours of
capacity, fuel gauging for state-of-charge indication and a serial
communication bus for integration with surgical tools.
In the last two years, Micro Power performed extensive
research and testing to overcome the electrical, environmental,
mechanical and chemical challenges in producing these battery packs. Once the design guidelines were developed, Micro
Power tested and evaluated lithium-ion batteries by repeatedly
subjecting them to the sterilization process, and subsequently
manufactured prototypes for verification of performance after
sterilization. Since OEMs consider product safety and power
delivery of utmost importance, safety and performance was
proven with an array of tests including electrical, environmental
and mechanical tests.
www.BatteryPowerOnline.com
September/October • Battery Power
23
New Products •
Power Supplies
New Staco UPS is Compact and Economical
Staco Energy Products Company has introduced the FLU10S, a second generation to their FirstLine 10 kVA three-phase
uninterruptible power supply (UPS). This true on-line, doubleconversion UPS provides computer grade power quality at a
price that is significantly below comparable kVA models. The
FLU-10S has a standard battery run-time of more than nine
minutes (with optional batteries for extended run times). Sophisticated power electronics technology provides reliable blackout
protection and power conditioning. Front-end harmonic correction eliminates the need for additional filtering, lowering the
cost of operation. Robust double-conversion technology protects
the connected load from sags, swells, harmonics, noise and voltage imbalances without going to battery operation. This UL1778
listed UPS is well suited for a wide range of applications including broadcast, computer networks, medical, university, process
industries, wastewater treatment, food/beverage and manufacturing plants.
FirstLine models are intended for applications with input
voltage of 208, 220 and 480 VAC and a range of +10 /- 20 percent (166 to 229 VAC). Input frequency is 60 Hz +/-5 percent.
Full load walk-in from 25 percent to 100 percent of rated load
in 10 seconds. Inverter output distortion is ≤5 percent THD for
non-linear loads and ≤2 percent THD for linear loads. Output
voltage is regulated to +/-1 percent of nominal at full load.
ICs & Semiconductors
60 Watt Chassis Mount Encapsulated AC/DC
Power Supply
ConTech, a Division of Calex Mfg., has released the PC60
series of AC/DC switching power supplies. The PC60 series offers 60 watts of output power in an encapsulated case, making it
well suited for ruggedized backplane applications. The optional
Din-Rail mount and easily accessible terminal blocks gives
it the versatility to be used as
a power solution in a large assortment of applications.
The PC60 series offers output voltages that range from
5.1 VDC to 48 VDC, with
efficiencies up to 84 percent.
The series also has output
over-voltage protection. The
units are encapsulated with a
thermally conductive potting compound in a plastic resin and fiberglass case that meets
UL94V-0. The enclosed case has external terminal blocks for
ease of connection and is chassis mountable. Adding optional
accessory DIN-03 Base Plate easily converts the chassis mount
case to a standard Din-Rail mount. The PC60 series is rated for
3,000 VAC isolation, is UL approved, and is RoHS compliant.
SAT-AMS
TM
Battery Online Monitor System
String battery voltage and current
Cell inner resistance
Remote access to battery bank data
PC Softwre management
Keeping your system safe and running!
SAT-ACO
Intellectualized AC Load
Test output power and load-bearing ability for UPS facility
and Generating set
Load power 100KW
AC Voltage up to 450V
AC Current up to 200A
Battery Discharge Tester
Constant Current discharge
Online monitoring string voltage and current and capacity
Voltage test range-24V-480V
Discharge current 1A-500A
DC Earthing Fault Checker
Multiple earthing fault checker
High reslution signal sampling DC clamp
System Voltage 220V: O-500K;
110V: 0-250K; 48V:0-50K; 24V: 0-10K
Aitelong Technology Co.,Ltd.
SAT-AR01
Battery Internal Resistance Tester
Internal resistance and Voltage out of gauge alarm
User-exchangeable probes and Clamp
Store up to 999 groups battery parameter.(Max. 500 cell battery per group)
USB flash Drive or RS232 for Data transfer
A301 Qinfeng Pavilion, Xi'an Software Park, Xi'an, Shaanxi, P.R.China 710075
Phone: +86 (29) 87669443 Fax: +86 (29) 87669645 Email: [email protected]
24
Battery Power • September/October
Summit Microelectronics has expanded its
third-generation programmable battery charger
integrated circuit (IC) family for single-cell LiIon, Li-Polymer and Li-FePO4 powered systems.
The SMB328A and SMB328B incorporate functionality that allows automatic matching between
the AC/DC adaptor’s current capability and the
portable device’s charging requirements. Highefficiency operation allows for higher, continuous
charging current levels, thereby ensuring battery charging even during high system load conditions. Like all Summit’s solutions,
digital, non-volatile programmability provides design and system flexibility at no
additional cost.
The SMB328A and SMB328B operate with an input range from +3.5 V to +6.2 V
input and safely withstand continuous input over-voltage up to +20 V (non-operating),
while protecting downstream circuitry.
Synchronous Boost Regulators Enable Less Than 0.7 Volt Operation
With Any PIC Microcontroller
Microchip Technology, Inc. has announced the
MCP1623 and MCP1624 (MCP1623/4) Synchronous Boost Regulators, which bring low-voltage
support to any PIC microcontroller, providing
a customizable solution for single-cell battery
applications. Featuring a start-up voltage of 0.65
V and an operating voltage down to 0.35 V, the
MCP1623/4 regulators reduce the number of batteries needed in a typical design, even enabling
designs to be powered from a single alkaline,
NiMh, NiCd or disposable lithium battery cell.
The MCP1623/4 Synchronous Boost Regulators extend battery life with up to
96 percent typical efficiency, shutdown current of less than one micro Ampere in all
states and a true load-disconnect shutdown. The devices have an operating input
voltage of 0.35 V to 5.5 V and an adjustable output voltage range of 2.0 V to 5.5 V.
In reducing the number of batteries required, the MCP1623/4 regulators enable more
environmentally friendly designs, with lower shipping and operating costs.
Fuel-Gauge ICs Estimate Li+ Battery State of Charge While Eliminating
Discrete Components in Portable Applications
SAT-AL
SAT-EFC100
Summit Switch-Mode Battery Chargers with Programmable
JEITA Support


 

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


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 
 

 

 

 

 

Maxim Integrated Products has introduced the MAX17040/MAX17041 and
MAX17043/MAX17044 one- and two-cell fuel-gauge ICs. Using the company’s
ModelGauge algorithm, these fuel gauges accurately estimate the state of charge
(SOC) of a Li+ battery without requiring current sensing. ModelGauge ICs eliminate
the current-sense resistor and require very few external components, thus saving both
space and cost.
ModelGauge ICs track the battery’s relative SOC continuously over a widely
varying charge/discharge usage profile. These ICs do not require current measurement
and they estimate battery state using voltage measurement alone. Therefore, they do
not need a current-sense resistor and the board layout remains quite simple. Since the
ground remains uninterrupted, troublesome grounding issues are also eliminated.

 


 

 

 


 




www.aitelong.com
www.BatteryPowerOnline.com
www.BatteryPowerOnline.com
September/October • Battery Power
25
New Products •
Industry News
Charging & Testing
Chroma’s 8000 ATS is Turnkey for EV/PHEV Testing
Chroma has introduced versatility in
Automated Test Systems by providing a
full range hardware devices and software
architecture for EV/PHEV related applications such as battery storage system, EVSE
charger station, DC/DC converter unit and
motor traction drivers. The power conversion areas of electric vehicles and charging
stations are composed of several power
electronic units. Chroma’s Automated Test
Systems test the power electronics during the development phase as well as the
production phase.
The Chroma 8000 ATS is a standard
test platform that resolves problems
brought on by conventional self-designed
systems for power electronics testing.
Designed with an open architecture, the
Chroma 8000 ATS includes a wide range of hardware choices
such as AC/DC power supplies, electronic loads, power analyzers, oscilloscopes, digital multi-meters, as well as various
digital/analog I/O cards. This flexibility combined with an open
architecture gives the user a powerful and cost effective test
system for EV/HEV power electronics.
Exide Technologies Introduces Energy Efficient Exide
High Frequency Series Industrial Charger
Exide Technologies has launched the Exide High Frequency (EHF) series industrial charger, a multi-profile range for
standard-flooded, low-maintenance-flooded and valve-regulated
lead-acid (VRLA) motive power batteries.
The EHF series charger line,
with models ranging from 24 V to
80 V, is designed with a number of
environmentally-advanced elements
that contribute to a reduced carbon
footprint because of an energyefficiency design. The charger
uses less electricity resulting in
increased utility savings, a higher
power factor (the percentage of
electricity that is delivered and used
effectively) and efficiency optimization, all which help customers
use batteries to their maximum potential in conventional motive
power applications.
Reduced maximum input currents allow for reduced circuit
breaker, cabling and distribution equipment sizes. The charger
also ensures that the charging current and voltage remain constant during any mains fluctuations, guaranteeing a constant and
optimized charge.
Quallion LLC Develops Lithium-Ion Battery for the
Boeing X-51A WaveRider
On May 26, 2010, on its first flight attempt, the Boeing X51A WaveRider successfully completed the longest supersonic
combustion ramjet-powered flight in history travelling at a top
speed of Mach 5 for nearly three and a half minutes.
For this demonstration, Quallion
developed an advanced
lithium-ion system to
power various components within the
unmanned vehicle. The
program chose to use a
rechargeable lithiumion chemistry over the
traditional silver-zinc
and thermal battery solutions to reduce ground maintenance
prior to launch, which would allow for testing of the system
without the need to replace the battery. Quallion developed a
high energy density and high discharge rate pouch cell, which
served as the basis for three separate battery packs enclosed in
one envelope on the vehicle. This cell design had to be robust
enough to handle three different performance requirements
albe_3014_CRT_BatPower_Half_May/June.qxd
4/6/10 10:43
while
maintaining the program’s weight goals.
The lithium-ion cell was designed for high discharge power
Day Time
It’s Cellcorder® Time.
Avoid downtime
with Albér.
Saft has announced a three-year deal to work with Spain’s
Acciona Energia SA as part of a Eurogia+ labelled project aimed
at improving the viability of photovoltaic and other renewable
energy source power plants. The project will demonstrate the
technical and financial benefits of using a containerized energy
storage, conversion and management system to provide grid
ancillary services as well as power management to help smooth
the plant output.
AM As
Page
part 1of the initial project at a photovoltaic (PV) plant in
Measures 3 Critical Parameters:
Down Time
Saft and Acciona Energia to Offer Improved Stability,
Power Management and Grid Connection
Industry News Continued on Page 28
Fast battery test results you can trust.
Night Time
capabilities with high safety characteristics. “Being able to
design the proper lithium-ion cell to meet the unique envelope,
weight and performance requirements of the X-51A program
was key to meeting the mission requirements and providing the
X-51A power,” said CEO and CTO Dr. Hisashi Tsukamoto.
In addition, due to the unique environmental conditions of
traveling in a vehicle capable of greater than Mach 5 speed,
Quallion utilized its battery packaging designs to reduce the
overall loads and stress on the lithium-ion cells. “Quallion leveraged our experience of designing unique batteries for military
and aerospace applications in order to enable the successful
qualification of this battery design and performance in flight,”
said the VP of Military/Aerospace Power, Vincent Visco.
Albér
CRT-400
Voltage, Resistance, Internal
Cell Resistance
The Alber Cellcorder CRT-400
uses the patented DC Internal
Cell Resistance test method.
The Cellcorder allows trending over
time to detect problems before they
happen.
Results are unaffected by noise and ripple.
Software has versatility to be elementary
or advanced depending on your needs.
Many connection options allow ease of
use for any battery configuration.
Bluetooth option relays voice test status
to speed up testing.
Streamlined design makes carrying easy.
Custom carrying case holds accessories
such as lighted probes, different jaw
options, Bluetooth headset and printer.
Contact: Jennifer Stryker at Albér for
Optional hydrometer sends data to
more
info [email protected]
Cellcorder software for easy exporting
+1-954-623-6660
or 800-851-4632
to Excel.
[email protected] | www.alber.com | 3103 N Andrews Ave. Ext Pompano Beach, FL 33064
26
Battery Power • September/October
www.BatteryPowerOnline.com
www.BatteryPowerOnline.com
September/October • Battery Power
27
Marketplace
Industry News
Tudela, Spain, Saft will develop a modular lithium-ion (LiIon) battery system to be housed inside a six-meter container
designed for industrial applications. The container includes active temperature control systems and a fire suppression system.
The long-life Li-Ion battery offers very high energy efficiency,
no battery maintenance and an easy way to measure the battery
state-of-charge, even while in use.
As part of the system, Saft will be able to offer the customer
1.1 MW power at up to 1,000 V. Each container is easily scalable and will interface with existing power conversion devices.
Palladium Energy Achieves ISO 13485 Certification
Palladium Energy, a manufacturer of high-performance
lithium-ion and lithium polymer battery packs, has achieved ISO
13485 certification, a globally recognized quality standard for
the medical device industry. ISO 13485 certifies Palladium Energy’s consistent performance in systems and processes related
to the medical device field. The certification from the International Organization for Standards positions the company as the
gold standard in battery power for critical medical equipment.
The primary objective of ISO13485 emphasizes meeting
regulatory as well as customer requirements, risk management
and maintaining effective processes, namely the processes specific to the safe design, manufacture and distribution of medical
devices. Attaining the certification demonstrates Palladium’s
ability to engineer, test and manufacture battery packs that
consistently meet customer requirements and regulatory requirements applicable to mission-critical medical devices.
Johnson Controls to Acquire Delkor Corp.
Johnson Controls, Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire
90 percent of its existing joint venture with Delkor Corp., an
automotive battery manufacturer based in Seoul, South Korea.
The remaining 10 percent will be acquired by the local management team.
Johnson Controls will invest approximately $90 million in
the acquisition. The company is also investing an additional $40
million to add 2.7 million units in capacity, increasing Delkor’s
total capacity to approximately 10 million batteries per year.
The Delkor joint venture was part of Johnson Controls’ acquisition of Delphi’s global automotive battery business in 2005.
FIAMM Bringing Alternative Energy Sodium Batteries
To North America
FIAMM and MES-DEA have partnered to create a new
company called FZ Sonick that will manufacture and market
alternative energy storage solutions throughout the world.
Currently, MES-DEA sells advanced battery technology
under the ZEBRA brand for use in electric vehicles. A version
of the ZEBRA batteries is scheduled to power the first electric
vehicle fleet of the European postal service. The new company’s
SONICK-branded sodium-nickel-chloride product portfolio will
improve energy storage in wireless cell sites, telecom data centers, uninterruptible power supplies, wheelchairs, busses, trains,
and electric utility SmartGrid applications.
28
Battery Power • September/October
The SONICK advanced battery technology provides increased capacity, longer lifecycle, zero emissions, low-cost raw
materials, enhanced safety and high energy density that reduces
the battery size and weight compared to lithium ion and lead
acid batteries, according to Nicola Cosciani, FIAMM’s director of strategic development and FZ Sonick’s new managing
co-director.
Based on projected market demand for energy storage solutions, FZ Sonick plans to increase annual production to 170 MW
from the 90 MW level recently achieved by MES-DEA. The
company is evaluating additional manufacturing capacity for
this advanced battery technology in North America.
4,400 Chevrolet Volt Owners to be Eligible for Free
Home Charging Stations
The first buyers of the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with
extended-range capability will be eligible for one of 4,400 free
home charging stations. The program will provide Volt owners
with a 240-volt charge station from either ECOtality, Inc. or
Coulomb Technologies. In many cases, it will include the cost
of home installation. The projects are made possible with a grant
of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds from the
Transportation Electrification Initiative administered by the US
Department of Energy (DOE).
“Many owners will plug their Volt
into a normal 120-volt electrical outlet,
charge overnight and drive to work in
the morning using only battery power,”
said Tony DiSalle, product and marketing director for the Chevrolet Volt. “For
Volt owners who want to install a faster
240-volt charge station, we expect the
Department of Energy project to save
$1,000 and $2,000.”
The US DOE projects were established with two objectives: installing charging stations in residential,
workplace and public areas to encourage consumers to purchase
electric vehicles; and studying electric vehicle usage to optimize
future electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
To study electric vehicle usage, the programs will collect
data such as average charge time, energy usage and the starting and ending time of the charging process. This data will be
analyzed by the US DOE to understand how electric vehicles are
driven, how and when they are charged, and ultimately what is
required for widespread adoption of electric vehicles.
At the time of purchase, Volt buyers will receive a portable
120-volt charge cord, and will have the option of installing a
240-volt charge station available from Chevrolet. Volt buyers
that live within the program cities may apply for a free 240-volt
home charging station through the Coulomb or ECOtality programs if they are willing to share their charging information.
Calendar of Events
October
6-8 - CTIA Enterprise & Applications 2010 Conference and
Exposition, San Francisco, Calif.
12-14 - Advanced Energy Storage 2010, San Diego, Calif.
November
3 - Battery Safety 2010, Boston, Mass.
4-5 - Lithium Mobile Power, Boston, Mass
19-20 - Battery Power 2010, Dallas Texas
Send Calendar of Event listings to Shannon Given at [email protected]
Index of Advertisers
Aitlelong Technology Co Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
www.aitelong.com
Albercorp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
www.albercorp.com
Arbin Instruments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
www.arbin.com
Data Translation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
www.datatranslation.com
Hioki. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
www.hiokiusa.com
House of Batteries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
www.houseofbatteries.com
Ikerlan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25
www.ikerlan.es
Keystone Electronics Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
www.keyelco.com
Maccor, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
www.maccor.com
Manz Automation AG. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
www.manz-automation.com
Miyachi Unitek. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
www.muc.miyachi.com
Reed Exhibitions Japan Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
www.reedexpo.co.jp
Saint Gobain Performance Plastics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
www.plastics.saint-gobain.com
UL International Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31
www.ul.com
Webcom Communications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
www.infowebcom.com
www.BatteryPowerOnline.com
www.BatteryPowerOnline.com
September/October • Battery Power
29
Research & Development
Adventures in Microsolar Supported by
Microelectronics and MEMS Techniques
Sandia National Laboratories scientists have developed
tiny glitter-sized photovoltaic cells that could revolutionize the
way solar energy is collected and used. The tiny cells could
turn a person into a walking solar battery charger if they were
fastened to flexible substrates molded around unusual shapes,
such as clothing.
The solar particles, fabricated of crystalline silicon, hold the
potential for a variety of new applications. They are expected
eventually to be less expensive and have greater efficiencies
than current photovoltaic collectors that are pieced together
with 6-inch- square solar wafers. The cells are fabricated using
microelectronic and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)
techniques common to today’s electronic foundries.
Sandia lead investigator Greg Nielson said the research team
has identified more than 20 benefits of scale for its microphotovoltaic cells. These include new applications, improved performance, potential for reduced costs and higher efficiencies.
“Eventually units could be mass-produced and wrapped
around unusual shapes for building-integrated solar, tents and
maybe even clothing,” he said. This would make it possible for
hunters, hikers or military personnel in the field to recharge batteries for phones, cameras and other electronic devices as they
walk or rest.
Even better, such microengineered panels could have circuits imprinted that would help perform other functions customarily left to large-scale construction with its attendant need for
field construction design and permits.
Said Sandia field engineer Vipin Gupta, “Photovoltaic modules made from these microsized cells for the rooftops of homes
and warehouses could have intelligent controls, inverters and
even storage built in at the chip level. Such an integrated module
could greatly simplify the cumbersome design, bid, permit and
grid integration process that our solar technical assistance teams
see in the field all the time.”
Representative thin crystalline-silicon photovoltaic cells;
these are from 14 to 20 micrometers thick and 0.25 to 1
millimeter across. (Image by Murat Okandan)
30
Battery Power • September/October
Sandia project lead Greg Nielson holds a solar cell test
prototype with a microscale lens array fastened above it.
Together, the cell and lens help create a concentrated
photovoltaic unit. (Photo by Randy Montoya)
Part of the potential cost reduction comes about because microcells require relatively little material to form well-controlled
and highly efficient devices. From 14 to 20 micrometers thick
(a human hair is approximately 70 micrometers thick), they are
10 times thinner than conventional 6-inch by 6-inch brick-sized
cells, yet perform at about the same efficiency.
A commercial move to microscale PV cells would be a dramatic change from conventional silicon PV modules composed
of arrays of 6-inch by 6-inch wafers. However, by bringing in
techniques normally used in MEMS, electronics and the lightemitting diode (LED) industries (for additional work involving
gallium arsenide instead of silicon), the change to small cells
should be relatively straightforward, Gupta said.
Each cell is formed on silicon wafers, etched and then
released inexpensively in hexagonal shapes, with electrical contacts prefabricated on each piece, by borrowing techniques from
integrated circuits and MEMS.
Offering a run for their money to conventional large wafers
of crystalline silicon, electricity presently can be harvested from
the Sandia-created cells with 14.9 percent efficiency. Off-theshelf commercial modules range from 13 to 20 percent efficient.
Solar concentrators, low-cost, prefabricated, optically
efficient microlens arrays, can be placed directly over each
glitter-sized cell to increase the number of photons arriving to be
converted via the photovoltaic effect into electrons. The small
cell size means that cheaper and more efficient short focal length
microlens arrays can be fabricated for this purpose.
High-voltage output is possible directly from the modules
because of the large number of cells in the array. This should
reduce costs associated with wiring, due to reduced resistive
losses at higher voltages. Other possible applications for the
technology include satellites and remote sensing.
www.BatteryPowerOnline.com
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