Lithium-ion battery chemistry has become the industrial battery chemistry of choice for everything from electric vehicles to energy storage, from commercial to utility to military applications. The advantages of lithium-ion battery chemistries include:
- Higher energy density delivering long run times between charges
- Compact size and lightweight
- Faster recharge times
- Wider operating and storage temperature ranges
- Long cycle life
- Maintenance free operation
A variety of lithium-ion chemistries exist with tradeoffs between voltage, temperature, rate of discharge and capacity. Beckett Energy has chosen a chemistry with a blend of energy and power capabilities, as well as inherent safety features, to be incorporated into our 24Vdc Li-ion battery module.
Battery Management Systems
Unlike traditional batteries, Li-ion battery systems require a battery management system (BMS) to ensure safe operation and protect the life of the battery pack. The BMS can be incorporated into each module, or be external to manage a number of modules in a pack. At Beckett we incorporate protective electronics to monitor the temperature and voltage of each cell within the module. The external BMS / Controller monitors the health and state of charge of the entire battery pack, and takes the necessary corrective action to ensure long life for the battery pack. In addition, the BMS / controller collects and reports performance data and can control contactors and fans.
Balancing Lithium-ion Batteries
With the high energy of Lithium-ion batteries, extra care needs to be taken to make sure the batteries in a pack are balanced, not only upon initiation of the pack, but throughout the charge and discharge cycles. Lithium batteries do not inherently dissipate excess charge, so the BMS must monitor and control them to stay in balance. Beckett’s BMS automatically balances the cells when in operation.
Shipping Lithium Batteries
From cells to completed battery systems, lithium-ion batteries must meet the requirements of UN38.3 Transport of Dangerous Goods, Manual of Tests and Criteria in order to be shipped. In addition, they must be classified to the appropriate UN designation and labeled with the appropriate dangerous goods markings. Beyond this, there are additional restrictions for air – freighting lithium batteries. Beckett’s 24Vdc lithium-ion battery has passed UN38.3 requirements, has a UN3480 classification and is labeled as a class 9 hazardous material for shipping. With its gross packaging weight of about 20 lbs, the Beckett battery module can be shipped by any means to all countries recognizing the UN standards.