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‘Smart VRLA battery to challenge lithium performance in UPS’

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

A new VRLA battery to “close the performance gap” on lithium in the uninterruptible power supply market has been unveiled by US-German battery monitoring firm Generex, lead-acid battery group Leoch International Technology, and the University of Berlin.

The partners behind the prototype ‘Smart Battery’ say it improves the performance of lead-acid in UPS systems by 20%— “closing the capacity gap in performance with lithium batteries, while delivering higher reliability and safety”.

Generex, whose patented integrated battery management and care system (iBACS) technology is integrated into the battery, said the product “will replace 7Ah batteries in most applications seamlessly”.

And Generex— “in a first for lead-acid batteries used in this way”— is offering an eight-year warranty on the 10-year design life of each battery on condition the iBACS system is installed and used correctly.

“The key to both warranty and design life is in iBACS’ approach to charging, which respects the fact that individual cells have their own unique internal electrochemical properties and some batteries will charge at levels more quickly than others,” Generex said. “iBACS eliminates over-charging and under-charging in a battery string and so extends battery life.”

Another Smart Battery feature is that measurement data can be determined without contact, so that even a 100%-insulated system still allows access to measured data.

Generex is conducting tests on the prototypes while seeking potential commercial development partners.

Frank Blettenberger, chief executive of Generex, said: “UPS manufacturers see the battery as the Achilles’ heel of the technology and as they explore the use of other chemistries, the market share of lead-acid batteries has started to fall. Yet a comparison between the two is often based on misconceptions and the perception that lead-acid batteries fail to reach their design life. With the Smart Battery, we can control the quality of every single battery and can grant the warranty the moment the user inserts our new iBACS.”

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