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How Do You Make a Custom Battery Pack?

Click to ExpandHow do you make a custom battery pack

Batteries provide energy to fuel electrical devices. When connected in a parallel circuit, this power source discharges electrons from a negative terminal (anode) to a positive terminal (cathode). Hence, an electric current is generated to power systems like an electric vehicle (EV) or energy storage system (ESS).

Custom Battery Packs from EVS Supply

At EVS Supply, we deliver a variety of battery types that can be applied to diverse purposes. Our products range from standard to custom battery pack designs. Listed below are the types of batteries we offer:

  • Lithium thionyl chloride: These are non-rechargeable batteries produced from a lithium and thionyl chloride mixture. Lithium thionyl chloride batteries offer a broad range of capacities and come in either spirally wound or bobbin-type constructions. Due to a low self-discharge rate, they have a high operating voltage, excellent service life, and reliability features.
  • Sealed lead-acid: Also called a valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) battery, sealed lead-acids are fully-enclosed rechargeable batteries with a pressure relief valve that automatically activates to allow gasses to escape when the internal pressure surpasses the unit’s safety limits. These batteries have a long life span and high capacity range and are low-cost and maintenance-free.
  • Alkaline: This non-toxic battery is produced through the chemical reaction between zinc metal and manganese oxide. Alkaline batteries are non-rechargeable, tolerant of extremely low temperatures, recyclable, and have minimal leakage risk.
  • Lithium-ion: Like the lithium thionyl chloride type, lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable. They are lightweight, maintenance-free, and have a higher capacity than equivalent lead-acid batteries.

Battery Packs Components

Since a single cell often cannot achieve the minimum voltage requirement a battery pack needs to supply adequate power, multiple cells are merged in sequence to stimulate higher voltage. Additionally, battery packs are composed of numerous smaller branches called battery modules or sub-pack and contain several components.

Cells

Categorized into two types — energy and power — cells are deemed as the most crucial part of a battery pack. Fabricators can mix the materials comprising the cells to produce different battery chemistries with varying specifications and performances.

Electrical Connectors

Busbars, wires, and other distribution conductors are utilized to create parallel connections between cells and groups of cells. These electrical connectors are commonly merged using ultrasonic bonding or laser welding.

Thermal Interface Materials (TIMs)

Pastes, adhesives, and gap fillers are thermal interface materials used to mechanically join battery components. TIMs are essential components of battery packs as it helps enhance thermal properties between surfaces.

Battery Management System (BMS)

The battery management system is devised to safeguard the cells and maintain cell balance by monitoring critical parameters like voltages, currents, and temperatures. This component sustains the cells’ optimal performance at the correct voltage and transmits messages to systems such as engine management and temperature control.

Housing

This rigid or semi-rigid enclosure provides protection against external environmental factors that may damage the battery pack. It also maintains accurate temperature conditions and electrical insulation.

Communications System

This component allows communication between the battery pack and other electrical device components.

Design Considerations for Battery Packs

Whether availing standard or making their custom battery packs, it is vital for companies to partner with manufacturers that possess specific capabilities and expertise in producing such power sources. Businesses should also regard the following considerations when designing battery packs:

  • Environmental requirements: Laboratories must be in state-of-the-art conditions to properly conduct climate, EMC, shock, and vibration tests.
  • Certification management: Manufacturers must be certified by UL, CE, IEC, ITL, and UN 38.3.
  • Quality management: Production management must be ISO 9001:2015 certified/compliant to ensure high-quality prototype production.
  • Hardware development: Manufacturers must be able to provide an independent selection of the optimum cell chemistry, battery management system, and other components to suit refined applications and customer requirements.
  • Software development: Specific configuration algorithms and host and user interface parameters must be readily available.
  • Mechanical development: Battery pack housing and connectors must be customizable.
  • Testing and programming: Manufacturers must be able to engineer all fixtures and programs required to comprehensively develop and test produced battery packs.

Common Types of Battery Packs

Battery packs are assembled using two or more individual cells or batteries and are characterized into two main types: primary and secondary. Primary batteries are non-rechargeable . Meanwhile, secondary batteries can be recharged because of the active materials they contain.

EVS Supply delivers top-selling battery brands to optimize our clients’ electronic devices’ performance, safety, and longevity. Specifically, our clients can use our products in the following industries:

  • Consumer: general applications involving cameras, radio-controlled cars, toys, and laptops
  • Industrial: deep cycle batteries for forklifts and other industrial applications
  • Military: produced batteries adhere to MIL-SPEC requirements

Partner With EVS Supply for Custom Battery Packs

Custom battery packs are power solutions providers for applications that require portable and remote operations. Therefore, companies must associate themselves with suppliers with the manufacturing capabilities and engineering expertise to custom-build battery packs for unique applications.

EVS Supply understands the vital role of battery packs in any industrial operation and endeavor to deliver diverse battery solutions that our clients can use in a broad spectrum of purposes.

Partner with us today and make your own battery pack from EVS Supply! You may also call us at 1-800-776-5267 or email us at sales@evssupply.com.

Military Batteries

Due to modern advancements in defense technology, today’s military equipment such as communication systems, military-grade drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and radar and sensor monitor sets are largely dependent on batteries to function effectively and efficiently. However, each unique application has its own weight, size, capacity, service life, reliability, durability, and temperature-resistance needs.

For critical applications, standard batteries may not be powerful enough. That’s why ITAR-certified supplier and manufacturer EVS Supply provides custom-engineered military battery packs to meet your specific requirements. Learn more about innovation in military battery packs, the various types, and their diverse applications.

Advancing Technology for Military Batteries

Modern military systems and equipment ranging from video or thermal weapon scopes to wireless transceivers and GPS devices are increasingly utilizing battery packs as their primary source of energy or their backup power source. This reliance on battery packs can significantly increase the weight that already overburdened soldiers have to carry, slowing them down and affecting their overall performance in the field. However, technological advancements in military-grade batteries have allowed manufacturers to develop smaller, lightweight battery packs for enhanced portability that are still supremely powerful with excellent reliability.

Testing and Certification of Military Batteries

Military batteries must withstand the harshest and most extreme environments in critical applications. As such, they undergo rigorous testing to ensure they deliver reliable and optimal performance and meet the requirements for various certifications. TLM military-grade battery cells by Tadiran provide excellent operational safety as compared to other lithium batteries given their minimally reactive anode material and the non-toxicity and non-pressurization of their solvents. They have a proven safety record in tests involving charge, crushing, nail penetration, temperatures ranging from -40° C to 85° C, and short-circuiting.

As for certifications, military-grade TLM batteries adhere to MIL-STD 810G requirements for temperature-related and general shock, vibration, spinning (30,000 RPM), acceleration (50,000 gn), altitude, and salt fog. They also meet IEC 60086 and UN 1642 standards for heat, short circuit, impact, crushing, nail penetration, and over-charge.

TLM batteries have a low self-discharge rate and are available in numerous cylindrical configurations as well as medium- or high-power varieties. Featuring a 500-mAh discharge capacity and a 4V open-circuit voltage, these batteries can handle a 15A high current pulse maximum and 5A continuous pulses. They also qualify as non-hazardous goods for shipping. They consist of a multi-metal-oxide cathode, a carbon-based anode, a shut-down separator, and an organic electrolyte to offer superior safety. EVS Supply can easily assemble them into customized battery packs to meet an application’s specific requirements.

Types of Military Batteries

Common types of military batteries include:

  • Lithium sulfur dioxide (LiSO2) batteries. These batteries have widespread uses in military applications for their power density, high energy, and capability to perform well in fluctuating temperatures. They also boast an impressive shelf life and easy storage capabilities.
  • Lithium thionyl chloride (LiSOCl2) batteries. With a shelf life of 10 years or more, LiSOCl2 batteries are another popular military battery type for their ability to operate on stable, high voltage.
  • Lithium manganese dioxide (LiMnO2) batteries. These military batteries come standard in several sizes and power applications such as weapon systems and communications or imaging equipment. Like some other lithium batteries, they provide high energy density coupled with a lasting storage life, and at startup, LiMnO2 batteries don’t experience any voltage delay.
  • Nickel cadmium (NiCd) batteries. Due to their average energy density, high rate of discharge, and long life span, NiCd batteries are optimal for applications exposed to extreme hot or cold temperatures.
  • Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. These technologically advanced replacements for NiCd batteries are lightweight, have a long life cycle, and offer high functionality even in extreme temperatures between -51° C and 75° C, making them ideal for military applications.
  • Lithium-ion polymer batteries. Comparable to Li-ion batteries in their design, lithium-ion polymer batteries have a higher watts-per-hour cost.

Military Applications 

At EVS Supply, we develop and manufacture custom military battery packs for various applications, including:

  • UAVs and drones
  • Ground and underwater vehicles
  • Rugged or tactical computers
  • Control stations
  • Radios
  • Enhanced communication devices
  • Combat training systems
  • Fire suppression systems
  • Military uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems
  • Weapons systems
  • Night vision equipment
  • Head-mounted displays

Custom Military Battery Packs From EVS Supply

Military battery packs from EVS Supply are designed to meet the demanding requirements of military applications ranging from military UAVs, navigation and GPS systems, communications equipment, and much more. We supply our military clients with products that meet MIL-SPEC and other related industry standards, and our engineering capabilities allow us to customize them for virtually any application. Contact us for more information on our battery solutions and brand-name products, or request a quote today.

NiCad vs NiMH Batteries

Both NiCad and NiMH batteries are popular rechargeable battery options, but they feature certain differences that you should know when deciding which to use. The key differences between these batteries involve memory effect, capacity, and eco-friendliness, which could influence your decision. The following details the specific features of each type of battery and how they differ from one another.

NiCad Batteries

Nickel-cadmium (NiCad or NiCD) batteries are a useful solution for many applications. They consist of a nickel(III) oxide-hydroxide positive electrode plate, a potassium hydroxide electrolyte, a cadmium negative electrode plate, and a separator. In 1899, a Swedish scientist developed the first NiCad battery, and many developments have since made these batteries more efficient and durable over the years.

Benefits of NiCad Batteries

NiCad batteries offer several advantages that make them suitable for many applications. These batteries are:

  • Inexpensive
  • Quick to charge
  • Easy to store and ship
  • Capable of handling a high number of chargers
  • Functional in low temperatures

These batteries are capable of withstanding high-rate discharge applications and are often used in medical equipment, electric razors, toys, two-way radios, emergency lighting, power tools, and a variety of commercial and industrial products.

While these batteries offer plenty of benefits, they also come with certain disadvantages. NiCad batteries aren’t as powerful as NiMH and other rechargeable batteries. They also have a tendency to self-discharge when stored. In addition, they contain certain toxic chemicals that make them less eco-friendly compared to other rechargeable batteries. However, many applications rely on them because of their convenience, affordability, amp-load capabilities, and ability to withstand extreme temperatures.

NiMH Batteries

The Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery entered the scene much more recently than its NiCad counterpart. After 20 years of research and development, the NiMH battery was completed in 1987.   These batteries consist of a nickel hydroxide positive electrode plate, a hydrogen ion negative electrode plate, potassium hydroxide or another alkaline electrolyte, and a separator. NiMH batteries feature a higher capacity than NiCad batteries, enabling them to hold a charge for longer. Additionally, they are more environmentally friendly and they don’t experience the same memory effect as NiCad batteries, which means they continue to achieve a full charge with each use.

Benefits of NiMH Batteries

NiMH batteries come with several advantages, including:

  • A higher capacity compared to NiCad and other rechargeable batteries
  • Resistance to over-charging and over-discharging
  • Lightweight construction
  • Environmentally friendly

These benefits make NiMH batteries popular for many applications — specifically for consumer products. NiMH batteries are frequently used in medical instruments, cell phones, automotive batteries, digital cameras and camcorders, pagers, and electric toothbrushes.

Like NiCad batteries, NiMH batteries come with some drawbacks. They’re more expensive than NiCad and other rechargeable batteries, and they have a tendency to cut power suddenly as opposed to gradually. Like NiCad batteries, they are prone to rapid self-discharge when stored, and some are compatible only with the manufacturer’s charger. Despite these disadvantages, their increased capacity, light weight, and environmentally friendly design make these batteries among the most popular.

Reliable Rechargeable NiCad and NiMH Batteries from EVS Supply

Keeping the differences between NiCD and NiMH batteries in mind, you can make the right choice for your application. Both batteries offer numerous advantages that other rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries don’t offer. EVS Supply carries a wide selection of both rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries, including high-quality NiCad and NiMH batteries. Some of the leading brands we sell include FDK, Panasonic, PowerEx, SAFT, Vinnic, and Varta.

For more information about our selection of batteries, including custom batteries that meet unique application requirements, contact us today to learn more and request a quote for any of our products. 

Alkaline vs. Lithium Batteries

When it comes to portable energy, batteries help make the world go round. The two most common battery types—alkaline and lithium—have some critical differences that make each better suited to specific situations. Before buying batteries, it helps to understand these variables so that you can make the right choice for your needs. This page will break down these batteries, how they function, the advantages that they bring, and their ideal application scenarios.

 Lithium Batteries – An Overview

A gray lithium battery

All batteries, including lithium models, use an anode (negative terminal), cathode (positive terminal), electrolyte (conductive material), and a separator to keep the two electrodes apart. When the battery operates, charged lithium ions move from anode to cathode. This transfer generates electricity until all the ions have moved from one side to the other. When charging a lithium battery, the ions return to the anode for reuse.

Features and Benefits of Lithium Batteries

  • Reusability. Unlike most alkaline batteries, lithium products can be charged and reused. These batteries typically have a shelf life of two to three years, regardless of how often they’re used.
  • Consistent output. Since the lithium ions can move back and forth between both electrodes, these batteries don’t lose voltage as they work. While older models can be less efficient, the electrical output should be the same whether the battery is fully charged or nearly empty.
  • Customizable. While alkaline batteries come in standard sizes, lithium batteries can be built to fit different needs. For example, a compact model may work well in a digital camera, while a large piece of portable medical equipment requires a larger battery solution.

When to Use Lithium Batteries

Because of their consistent output, lithium batteries work best in applications where a loss of power is unacceptable. Some examples of products that benefit the most from lithium batteries include:

  • Medical equipment
  • Cameras and photography
  • Wireless outdoor machinery
  • Radio and communication devices

Alkaline Batteries – An Overview

Alkaline batteries work the same as lithium models, but they only transfer ions in one direction. As ions move from the anode to the cathode, the battery will lose voltage as it drains, and the system can’t be recharged. Most standard alkaline batteries use zinc for the anode and manganese dioxide as the cathode. Other varieties, such as those made from nickel and cadmium, are rechargeable, though not as reliably as lithium.

Features and Benefits of Alkaline Batteries

  • Recyclable. Lithium-ion batteries have an exceptionally difficult recycling process, and many recycling centers don’t participate. Alkaline batteries are much easier to recycle.
  • Cost-effective. Because alkaline batteries are mostly single-use items and utilize cheap materials, they cost significantly less than lithium batteries.
  • Lower fire hazard. Where lithium batteries pose a fire hazard when damaged, alkaline batteries have a very low fire risk.

White gold and black realistic alkaline battery set, different types isolated on white background

When to Use Alkaline Batteries

Overall, alkaline batteries work best for items that don’t need a consistent voltage for extended periods. Some examples of ideal products for alkaline batteries include:

  • Consumer Electronics (i.e., flashlights, remote controls, etc.)
  • Wireless microphones
  • Smoke alarms

Get Your Batteries From EVS Supply

Whether you need alkaline or lithium batteries, make sure that you buy them from a reliable supplier. EVS Supply distributes both types of batteries and much more. We can also custom-build batteries to suit your specific needs. Contact us today to see what we can do for you.

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