Micro Power Electronics announced the release of its first lithium-ion battery pack with integrated cell balancing capabilities. According to the company, for larger lithium-ion battery packs, cell balancing extends battery life and system runtime, as well as improves the inherent safety of the battery pack.
The battery pack consists of 27 18650 lithium-ion cells, arranged in a nine series, three parallel configuration. The battery pack provides a nominal 33V and has a 7.8A-hour capacity. The battery pack is used to power untethered undersea sensors that collect seismic data from the ocean floor. This data is used by the oil and gas exploration industry. Long runtime and assured performance in the field are critical features of this battery pack.
The company states that the cell balancing technology moves energy dynamically from cell to cell with very high efficiency, and does not waste excess energy as heat during the energy transfer process. This ensures that a potentially weaker cell within a pack does not negatively affect the overall performance of the pack. The cell balancing occurs at every stage of battery operation; charging, discharging, quiescence and storage. For higher voltage battery packs, advantages of cell balancing include: increased duty cycles throughout the pack life (i.e. longer life), maximizing available capacity and ensuring uniform heat generation by the battery pack.
"Our customers are demanding higher-voltage battery packs using lithium-ion battery technology for their mission-critical applications. We recommend that any lithium-ion battery pack that exceeds 12V take advantage of cell balancing technology," said Jeff VanZwol, Marketing Manager for Micro Power. "Micro Power’s demonstrated experience with cell-balancing technology will ensure our battery packs provide maximum power throughout a much longer life cycle."