Bob Fay, Regional Manager of Excell Battery’s Houston office answers your questions in this ongoing series. From general Li-Ion questions to specific LWD battery pack queries, leave us a message and ask him yourself!
We will be posting all the answers in this YouTube playlist:
The rise in popularity of E-bikes has brought about a surge in demand for lithium batteries, with the industry now a major consumer of lithium battery packs. However, with this increase in demand comes a new set of safety concerns which are leading to new regulations in the industry and a higher awareness of general battery safety requirements. In the case of E-bikes, these regulations aim to ensure the safety of both riders and the environment. As a result, manufacturers of E-bikes and lithium batteries must now adhere to stricter safety standards.
In New York City alone, E-bike fires occurred at a rate greater than one every two days during the first quarter of 2023 with at least five lives lost. As several of these fires occurred in high-rise residential buildings, hundreds of families were also displaced. The problem has become so bad that various building management companies are banning these kinds of batteries from their buildings. As a result, New York City has enacted legislation to require some minimum safety standards for electric bicycle systems, with more on the way.
Meeting New Requirements
The testing of any standard batteries, battery charge system or battery discharge systems usually involves several tests and certifications. All this testing and certification require an initial outlay for a battery or E-bike manufacturer of several thousand dollars for the certification alone. $50,000 would be a rough estimate of the cost for each system component. Ongoing fees to maintain the listing can run on the order of $10,000 per year. This is a significant cash outlay and is reflected in the pricing of the equipment that is tested and listed.
Cheaper battery packs and electric bicycle manufacturers cannot support this kind of expense. An inexpensive battery pack purchased off the internet may be defective and result in a premature failure or possibly tragically with a fire or explosion as a result. As a result, the quality of the suppliers of both the battery packages and cells now needs to be carefully considered.
Ways to Guard Against the Possibility of Battery Failure
Always use a certified battery pack made by a reputable supplier.
Always use the manufacturer’s designated charger and application.
If the battery pack suddenly shows greatly reduced range/performance, dispose of it immediately.
If the battery pack starts to get excessively hot during normal use, charging, or just sitting on a shelf, dispose of the pack immediately.
Any battery pack that has been physically damaged should not be used. Cracked, broken, twisted, leaky or packs that have had their charging connections broken should be disposed of immediately.
Do not leave battery packs to charge unattended. Most of the e-bike fires that have occurred are associated with being charged.
Avoid cheap battery packs purchased over the internet. These are the most problematic battery packs.
Avoid repairing E-bike batteries. Opening a battery pack and trying to repair them can be hazardous in and of itself. Worse, repairs can cause more problems than they fix. The battery management system could be damaged, or if cells are replaced in the pack are not of the correct type, disaster can result.
Battery packs and electrical systems are not a good mix with water of any kind. Salt water is particularly bad. If a battery pack gets water into it, dispose of it immediately.
For details on the new regulations, their impact, and the process of meeting these requirements, Download our white paper on “New Lithium Battery Regulations – The Aftermath of Recent Fires.”
Setting up a Criterion equipped MWD battery is simple. In the video below, Excell Battery Houston Regional Manager Bob Fay walks us through the easy, 3-step setup process in the Criterion App. You’ll be ready to measure downhole conditions in less than 10 minutes.
Before we get started, it’s important to ensure the Interface Unit is connected. To confirm this, check that “US” is displayed at the top left of the screen. Next, check that the battery is connected by looking for the serial number on the top center part of the screen. The voltage and capacity of the battery will also be displayed.
Step 1: Time Configuration
Firstly, go to the configuration screen by clicking on the “Configuration” button. Set the clock by clicking on the orange “Set Time” button. This will synchronize the clock on the Criterion equipped battery with the clock on your computer.
Step 2: Set the logging interval
Secondly, select the login interval by clicking on the drop-down menu and selecting the desired interval. You can change individual parameters by clicking on the pencil icon next to each measurement and typing in a new number. You can also save the new logging intervals as a custom name, which will appear in the drop-down menu for future use.
Step 3: Hit the Blue Commit Button
Finally, click on the blue “Commit” button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. This is a crucial step, as it ensures that the battery remembers the changes you made after disconnecting. If you do not click “Commit,” the changes you made will not be saved.
In summary, to set up a Criterion equipped battery using the Criterion app, follow these three steps: set the clock, select the logging interval, and click “Commit.” By following these simple steps, you will have your Criterion equipped battery set up and ready for your downhole application.
We are excited to announce the release of the latest update (4.2) to Excell Battery’s Criterion 4, the world’s most advanced battery monitoring system for downhole applications. Criterion 4 provides users with the capability to record MWD/LWD battery pack usage and the ability to analyze downhole conditions.
The Criterion 4.2 update consists of several new features and improvements, including:
a new dashboard Layout that displays an Active Time indicator, indicating the gauge’s total active time,
a Gauge Mismatch Notification will alert users of possible short circuits or disconnections between the gauge and the IFU upon connecting, which can help avoid potential safety hazards,
printable status reports,
a Memory Erase button that wipes event and data log data, but keeps historical minimum and maximum data points and scaling variables for each category,
updated Shock Averaging from average to peak settings for both axial and radial shocks. This change will ensure that extreme events recorded are accurately reflected.
Excell Battery’s world-leading Criterion 4 technology meets the requirements of oil and gas downhole tool users by providing complete information on downhole battery pack usage along with the capability to analyze downhole conditions. Complete with an intuitive user interface, The CR4 is integrated into batteries and provides users with capacity used, voltage, temperature, shock and vibration, rotation, and stick slip.
Excell Battery’s North American Supply Chain Advantage
Excell Battery offers a broad range of battery technology and technical support services to our customers that involve engineering and design support for new and existing projects, UN Testing services, and comprehensive battery pack testing services in support of client-driven applied research and development projects.
With a close-knit North American engineering team, North American manufacturing, and primarily North American suppliers, we are able to oversee the entire design and production process with speed and efficiency unaffected by offshore complications.
In industries such as medical, safety, industrial, and data monitoring equipment, applications are demanding increasingly more efficient, effective, and reliable usage out of batteries. While batteries hardware and chemistries are slow to evolve and adapt, the next generation of smart battery packs integrates battery management system software to provide the data needed for both the user and the device to get the most out of the power available. These intelligent lithium-ion battery packs enable longer lifespans, reduced wastage, and more reliable, safer energy storage.
In this webinar, Ian Kane (CEO of Excell Battery), Caron Craig (Excell Battery Regional Manager – Vancouver), and Mike MacWillie (Excell Battery Director of Engineering) discuss:
Industry trends that drive the need for intelligent battery packs.
Steps and best practices to design a device with an intelligent battery pack
Information on Excell Battery’s Criterion iQ intelligent Li-Ion battery pack
Industry trends that drive the need for intelligent battery packs
Steps and best practices to design a device with an intelligent battery pack
You can download a copy of the checklist discussed in this portion here:
Information on Excell Battery’s Criterion iQ intelligent Li-Ion battery pack and Q&A
The Criterion iQ intelligent Lithium-Ion battery pack provides the data needed to ensure the devices is always ready. For more information (including the product’s spec sheet), click here.
As the battery application demands increase rapidly, battery hardware and chemistry are struggling to keep up. Software known as Battery management Systems are becoming increasingly important for meeting these demands through performance optimization. Intelligent battery packs that incorporate these systems can improve battery lifespan, reduce waste, and enhance reliability and safety.
Download the Design Checklist
Click the button below to download Excell’s Intelligent Battery Applications Design Checklist for a step-by-step guide to the process of designing an intelligent battery pack, such as Excell’s Criterion iQ, into your next application.
Battery Management Systems (BMS) are critical components for ensuring the safe and efficient operation of battery-powered medical devices, BMS are integral to keeping batteries from overcharging, overheating, and short-circuiting. In this webinar, Excell Battery, a leading provider of battery systems, discusses the different types of BMS, their respective features, and best practices for design. Watch the webinar, split into three videos, below:
Introduction to Battery Management Systems for Medical Devices:
Battery Considerations for Medical Device Design
Q&A: Battery Management Systems: Designing for Safe and Reliable Medical Devices
Excell Battery, a subsidiary of Ultralife Corporation, today announced the launch of Criterion iQ, a cutting-edge intelligent Lithium-Ion battery pack designed for industrial, medical, and utility applications. This new technology includes features such as battery fuel gauge, state of health monitoring, and real-time communications through SMbus, all housed in a compact and rugged casing.
Criterion iQ was developed to address customers’ demand for reliability in critical devices. It provides real-time, accurate battery state of health information, allowing for maximum device usability and reliability in applications where the devices’s operation is of paramount importance, such as medical and safety/PPE equipment, field instrumentation, and industrial environments with critical infrastructure such as utilities monitoring.
“Criterion iQ addresses the requirement for real-time communication and a detailed understanding of the device’s status,” explains Ian Kane, President & CEO of Excell Battery. “While this capability has previously been available for specific applications, Excell is now making it a standard feature that can be easily obtained off the shelf, eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming custom development.”
Criterion iQ Li-Ion battery packs are available with black box data logging, rugged hard-case housing, and can be customized to meet ATEX/HazLoc compliance requirements, making them suitable for challenging environments and regulatory requirements found in a wide range of industrial, medical, and utility applications. They are available in standard voltages and customizable versions and are designed and manufactured in North America.
An overview of the Criterion iQ Li-Ion Intelligent Battery Packs will take place in the technical webinar “The Next Generation of Intelligent Battery Packs” at 9 AM ET, 12 PM ET, Thursday, January 26. Register here to participate.
About Excell Battery
Excell Battery has 37 years of experience as a leading OEM supplier for medical, industrial, and handheld instrumentation, oil and gas, LEV, and other advanced applications. With a full-lifecycle custom battery design process, including engineering development, volume production, standards certification, and recycling, Excell delivers a broad range of battery solutions that integrate its smart battery technology with cells from top global partners. Visit Excell Battery at https://excellbattery.com for more information.
The USA leads the world in the medical device market. However, there are many that make it difficult for design engineers to choose the right battery for their portable medical devices.
Original equipment manufacturers must address issues as many rely on portable, battery-powered devices. Some of the variables include battery chemistry, long term effects of aging, and battery replacement. All are concerns that continue to perplex many medical device manufacturers.
Several medical devices, usually powered by AC power, rely occasionally on their on-board battery as back-up power. A back-up battery often only receives a shallow discharge before being charged. Back-up batteries must use the appropriate battery chemistry for this type of use.
Device manufacturers must select a battery with internal resistance that is appropriate for the load over the lifetime of the battery. If the battery has a high internal resistance, then the voltage drop can be severe causing the battery to heat up, and it can also quickly reach the device’s cut-off voltage earlier then desired. Critical medical devices, like Ventilators, can require significant amounts of power leading to a drop in voltage if the appropriate battery design and chemistry is not selected. The result of this is a reduction in total run-time, and the device not operating as originally specified.
Battery aging in medical devices is an important topic for manufacturers. Some devices are in constant use, while others are on standby, which poses a challenge for aging estimates. Additionally, batteries react differently under different conditions. Most batteries perform very well at room temperature, and batteries have a longer life if not placed under stress. Fuel gauging can be used with smart batteries to display the remaining life of the battery, but the accuracy can be a challenge. Smart batteries need calibration, through cycling, to maintain accuracy.
Medical device manufacturers need to make users aware of symptoms of an aged battery and when to replace it. Manufacturers should provide information on the point which capacity has degraded to the point that a battery should be replaced. In addition to assuring sufficient battery capacity reserve, device manufacturers must also plan for a worst-case scenario so that batteries are never depleted in critical applications. Device requirements vary per application. Therefore, tighter operational requirements may necessitate the need for the battery to be replaced sooner than would be required in less demanding applications where a potential failure can be tolerated.
Our factories in North America remain open and operational and are positioned to respond fast to OEM requirements. Excell manufacturing facilities are operating at normal production levels and will continue to operate as needed to support our customers.
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Calgary, AB, Canada
Mississauga, ON, Canada
Houston, TX, USA
An exceptional record of quality and service for 35+ years.