Electronically monitored cells optimise battery management
In summer 2020, assembly specialist Desoutter presented its first intelligent battery and charger solutions to its industrial tools division. This division focuses on the supply of assembly solutions and services for the automotive and off-road industry, the aerospace industry and general mechanical and plant engineering. With new standards of IEC62841 & UL 62841 being phased in for power tool manuacturers across Europe and North America, Desoutter selected VARTA to specify, design and assemble the battery and charger, which are now being supplied in mass production.
In collaboration to develop both the new lithium-ion batteries and the corresponding charger, VARTA’s experts tailor-made them to suit Desoutter requirements, with backward compatibility to the existing tools already in use. The collaboration resulted in intelligent batteries with smart electronics, increased safety and robustness and significantly higher capacity, while increasing the life expectancy. This helps to reduce the cost of ownership for Desoutter’s customers.
One of VARTA’s key development tasks was to design the new batteries to be sustainable in terms of achieving the longest possible service life. “We’ve succeeded in increasing the service life of the batteries at least by 20 per cent through electronics, for load management, mechanical design to increase robustness and physical protective measures for improved safety to prevent abuse of the battery. They prevent overcharging, undervoltage and over-discharging,” explains Gordon Clements, General Manager Solutions at VARTA. With addition of new battery data being reported to users, reporting charge cycles and state of health for predictive maintainance, were all additional benefits to users achieved during the collaboration.
The new battery design ensures that the battery cells are safely stored in individual depots. In addition, shock protection on both sides of the housing protects the interior from damage. The electronics control all charging cycles to ensure the longest possible service life. In addition, smart charging and discharging prevent the battery from ageing prematurely. “To achieve the longest possible service life, their batteries are practically never fully charged or completely discharged. VARTA’s battery specialists have accordingly developed smart electronics that monitor the operating status of all cells,” explains Desoutter’s product manager, Michael Loosen. For example, the connections are automatically disconnected in the event of impending high currents or excessively high temperatures during charging and discharging, thus preventing short circuits. This also applies if the voltage surges in one or more cells above a critical value. In addition, the battery electronics detect when the battery is not being used and automatically switch off the battery after five days.
The chargers can be used to charge both new and older batteries, with series interconnections, allowing one electrical outlet socket to power up to ten chargers. Errors during the charging process are indicated by a warning LED, and the progress of the charging is also reported.
For Desoutter VARTA develops and supplies intelligent batteries and chargers for assembly tools.Photos: Desoutter
About VARTA AG
VARTA AG produces and markets a comprehensive battery portfolio, ranging from microbatteries, household batteries, energy storage systems to customer-specific battery solutions for a wide range of applications, and, as a technology leader, sets industry standards in key areas. As the parent company of the Group, it operates in the business segments “Microbatteries & Solutions” and “Household Batteries”.
The “Microbatteries & Solutions” segment focuses on the OEM business for microbatteries as well as on the lithium-ion battery pack business. Through intensive research and development, VARTA sets global standards in the microbattery sector and is a recognized innovation leader in the important growth markets of lithium-ion technology and primary hearing aid batteries. The “Household Batteries” segment comprises the battery business for end customers, including household batteries, rechargeable batteries, chargers, portable power (power banks) and lights as well as energy storage devices. The VARTA AG Group currently employs almost 4,000 people. With five production and manufacturing facilities in Europe and Asia, and distribution centers in Asia, Europe and the USA, VARTA AG’s operating subsidiaries are currently active in over 75 countries worldwide.
Desoutter's solutions are efficient, productive and sustainable. Founded in France in 1914, Desoutter is now a the world's leading suppliers of industrial tools, assembly solutions and services for the automotive and off-road industry, the aerospace industry and general mechanical and plant engineering. Industry 4.0 is Desoutter not just a buzzword: From sophisticated software and hardware for intuitive worker assistance to comprehensive process control, users receive all components for their Smart Factory from a single source. Desoutter has headquartered in Nantes, France, and supports clients in more than 170 countries with its portfolio