To this end Accutronics, the UK’s leading independent battery design, development and manufacturing company, has launched the Intelligent Power Vault (IPV), a high energy density lithium-ion battery system. The product is an ideal solution for applications where energy reliability, flexibility and safety are paramount, such as medical & industrial applications.

Over the past ten years, Lithium Ion battery technology has become the default choice for powering portable electronic devices as it provides longer runtimes and lower weight than older chemistries such as nickel cadmium (NiCad), nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH) and lead acid. However, the transportation of Lithium Ion batteries by air, sea and road is heavily regulated and Lithium Ion batteries must pass mandatory transportation tests before they can be shipped. Once tested these batteries must be packed in accordance with strict packaging and paperwork requirements and limitations are placed on the number and weight of batteries shipped. Batteries with energy in excess of 100Wh have additional restrictions placed upon them which can make their transport costly for the company or individual trying to ship the battery.

Listening to the requirements from OEMs Accutronics has created an off the shelf, modular battery system that draws energy from removable, Sub 100Wh Lithium Ion smart batteries and feeds them through a central controller, allowing a >100Wh energy system to be manufactured whilst still complying with transportation regulations. Up to eight batteries can be built into one system, providing in excess of 700Wh.

Intelligent Power Vault™ is a power management device that uses multiple Li-ion smart batteries to provide rechargeable battery power to a wide range of devices. The hot-swappable smart battery technology represents a revolutionary way of storing energy for critical applications. Modularisation offers the high energy density and flexibility of smart Lithium-Ion battery technology with reduced shipping limitations.

The Intelligent Power Vault™ consists of a control module on the exterior and slots for between two and eight battery modules. Each of the individual modules contained in the Intelligent Power Vault™ is a compact 86.4Wh rechargeable Lithium-ion battery, called the VR420. Special brackets for mounting in a 19 inch rack are available for units configured with eight batteries.

The loading system allows batteries to be easily removed for transportation without the need for tools. Once taken out of the rack, the individual batteries are excepted from shipping regulations and can be shipped with the Intelligent Power Vault™ under a UN packing instruction that allows the shipment of <100Wh Lithium Ion batteries with equipment. As a result, the Intelligent Power Vault™ can be transported anywhere by air, sea or road without the cost and complexity associated with dangerous goods shipping.

The Intelligent Power Vault™ has been successfully employed in a variety of high tech applications. Weighing less than 8kg, the Intelligent Power Vault™ with eight batteries is two and a half times lighter than an equivalent lead acid battery, making it easy for the integrator to build it into the base of the trolley or cart. The Intelligent Power Vault™ is also used in high-end automated laboratory equipment where power failure cannot be tolerated. Other applications include 3D dental scanners, communications equipment and embedded computing devices – mainly industrial PCs and robotic backup.

Michele Windsor, direct sales & marketing manager at Accutronics says: “Battery backup can be portable, cost effective and reliable, provided the right technologies are used. Unsurprisingly, consumer style energy solutions are not the best way of achieving this and they can’t be relied upon to support critical applications.”

“Lithium-Ion battery technology allows OEMs to guarantee the safety and reliability of the end product, with flexibility and ease of use in mind. And, unlike other similar energy solutions, the IPV can be easily shipped, without any transportation complications or delays.”