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How Important is the Correct Battery Charger?
Posted on 18th June 2019

How Important is the Correct Battery Charger?

When specifying a battery or battery pack for a project, one of the most important questions is “how it will be recharged?” Clearly careful consideration is required here, as an incorrect charger, leading to only partial charging of your battery or battery pack can make or break your product.

Many designers look at the big picture, incorporating fuel gauging, cell protection and charging into their own electronics. Others opt for a stand alone ‘off the peg’ charger. In either case, Euro Energy can work with you to minimise risk, but we’re able to take full responsibility for a project where we supply both the battery and the charger.

Lots of our customers have come to us initially to help them rescue a failing project, our experience and an assessment of the charger, cell and environmental characteristics will often pinpoint their problem. In some rare cases, the cause of the failure is more subtle, requiring supplementary testing to establish where the incompatibility lies. From an equipment manufacturers perspective though, ‘right first time’ is the ideal, and the beginning of your project is best point for Euro Energy to become involved.

We work with a number of European charger manufacturers, so we can select the solution which offers the best balance of features and characteristics, being mindful of the required pricing - a solution for one customer isn’t necessarily right for another. We can also provide bespoke solutions, such as vehicle powered chargers, wired charger PCBs for installation into your own housing, bespoke housings, charge sequence and parameter modification, additional termination methods, along with the ‘add ons’ such as customer specified connectors, regional plugs and broad input voltage ranges for World-wide sales. The good thing is, you don’t need to make a massive commitment to get bespoke features, often less than 30pcs is enough.

To answer the intial question, how important is the correct battery charger? The answer is very important if you want your battery or battery pack to continue to power your application time after time.

So, if you have a Li-Ion, Lithium Polymer, LiFePO4, Ni-MH or VRLA battery or battery pack project, let us steer your charger selection – speak to us and get it ‘right first time’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For further information on Li-Ion, Lithium Polymer, Lithium Iron Phospahate, Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) or Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) cells, batteries & battery packs or to learn more about our custom battery pack design and build service, contact our friendly & knowledgeable Customer Service team on 0116 2340567 or email info@euroenergy.co.uk

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Euro Energy Guide to Battery Chemistries number 3 – Lithium Ion
Posted on 13th June 2019

Euro Energy Guide to Battery Chemistries number 3 – Lithium Ion

It’s approaching 30 years since the first Lithium Ion (Li Ion or Li-Ion) batteries were manufactured commercially.  Constant evolution, driven by the World’s desire to move away from fossil fuels for automotive applications, has resulted in higher discharge current, faster charging and enhanced safety. Whilst success here is the big prize, developments are beneficial across all industry sectors.

Li-Ion has many benefits over other chemistries, such as;

  • Low self-discharge. Around 10% of that experienced with Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH or NiMH)
  • High terminal voltage, three times that of Nickel Metal Hydride
  • Very high energy density, more than twice that of Nickel Metal Hydride
  • A flat discharge voltage profile, with very little voltage reduction during discharge

These characteristics have led to battery packs of a similar voltage and capacity reducing by 55 to 60% in volume and weight when compared with Ni-MH alternatives. Clearly for many products this gives a distinct advantage.

Lithium Ion cells ability to ‘Vent with flame’ is a well- documented phenomenon, and big steps have been taken to ensure this possibility is minimised, primarily by the inclusion of a safety circuit or PCM, or BMS in all lithium batteries. The function of this circuit is to isolate the cells from the output wires should an adverse incident occur. Safety concerns have also led to them being classified by the UN as Class 9 Miscellaneous dangerous goods for shipping purposes, either by road, rail, air or sea. Compliance is a legal requirement, and is a costly process when placing new designs on the market. This is often the prohibitive factor for the use of Li-Ion on small to medium project requirements.    

Euro Energy can lead you through the compliance process, or alternatively we may already have a suitable pre-approved ‘Project Ready’ soft pack in our ever-growing range. If you have a requirement, call our Technical Team to discuss – there’s a good chance we have the solution to your problem!

For further information on Lithium Ion (Li Ion/Li-IOn) cells and battery packs or to learn more about our custom battery pack design and build service, contact our friendly & knowledgeable Customer Service team on 0116 2340567 or email info@euroenergy.co.uk

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Euro Energy Guide to Battery Chemistries number 2 – Valve Regulated Lead Acid
Posted on 4th June 2019

Euro Energy Guide to Battery Chemistries number 2 – Valve Regulated Lead Acid

Valve Regulated Lead Acid batteries (Often known as VRLA, Sealed Lead Acid, SLA or AGM) were first brought to market during the 1950s, but can still offer the ideal solution to power many products. The technology used in lead acid batteries matured many years ago creating a robust, low cost battery, readily available globally from multiple manufacturers.

Their operation allows 99% of all gas produced to be recombined during normal use, so the need for regular topping up is removed and allowing them to be classified as ‘Non-Spillable’. Anyone who ships batteries will know this classification greatly simplifies the delivery process.

Key to the design of lead acid batteries are glass fibre separators which sit between the lead calcium grids. These hold the acid in suspension, so even if stored upside down they won’t leak! This is coupled with a low- pressure relief valve, effectively a rubber cap over the filler spout, which keeps the acid in. In the event of an incident such as over-charging, this will slowly allow the gas to release and disperse to atmosphere. So long as the enclosure is adequately ventilated, sufficiently to prevent a 4% concentration, they remain completely safe.

Some manufacturers are so confident in their lead acid batteries they approve operation in any orientation, including upside down!

The ‘block’ format of VRLA batteries also make them ideal to build into bespoke battery packs in either series or parallel battery pack configurations. Here are a few of the batteries that we build here at Euro Energy that use lead acid batteries, demonstrating versatility of VRLA;


 

 

 

The cycle life and operational time of lead acid batteries are heavily dependent on the way in which the battery is used and maintained. Regular deep cycling will soon reduce capacity, as will high temperature operation (as the result of high ambient temperatures or aggressive charging regimes for example). Storing after a full discharge without recharging is also bad for your battery. This may cause ‘sulphation’, where lead sulphate crystals begin to form within the battery which then act to prevent recharging and normal battery operation.

How to Keep your Lead Acid Battery Healthy

  • Always recharge after use, store fully charged
  • Recharge at least every 6 months if stored
  • Keep the battery in a cool place, cooler the better
  • Use a good quality charger – make sure it’s 3 stage charger if the battery is used in a cyclic application
  • Charge only at room temperature
  • If the battery will be used in a very hot or very cold location, consider reducing or increasing charge voltage in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations

And finally, always make sure the battery specified is the correct type for the intended use. For example, a general purpose battery in a cyclic application will have a very short life. Read our blog about the differences between cyclic & standby batteries here.

Here at Euro Energy, we stock a comprehensive range of Sealed Lead Acid batteries to ensure that most batteries are available for immediate despatch and our intelligent stock management system ensures that our lead acid batteries are in perfect condition when they leave our shelves! We stock batteries from CSB, Cyclon, Fiamm, MK, Panasonic, PBQ, Portalaq, Powersonic, Sonnenschein and Yuasa. You can read more about our range of Sealed Lead Acid batteries here.

For further information on Sealed Lead Acid/Valve Regulated Lead Acid (SLA/VRLA) batteries and battery packs or to learn more about our custom battery pack design and build service, contact our friendly & knowledgeable Customer Service team on 0116 2340567 or email info@euroenergy.co.uk

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Custom Battery Pack Design & Build in the UK by Euro Energy
Posted on 31st May 2019

CUSTOM BATTERY PACKS

For nearly 40 years, Euro Energy has worked with a diverse range of customers, across a wide range of industries, designing battery packs to power their applications, making Euro Energy a leading designer and manufacturer of custom battery packs.

Whether you call them custom battery packs, custom batteries, bespoke battery packs, bespoke batteries or just battery packs, all Euro Energy battery packs are UK manufactured within our ISO 9001:2015 quality standards framework. What's more, a fully dedicated, experienced & knowledgeable Technical team will help guide you through your project from conception to completion. Understanding how and where your application will be used as well as it's power requirement is critical in the design phase of a project as environmental factors and charging expectations have a big impact on selecting the most appropriate battery chemistry for your bespoke battery pack.

Full customer service and technical support are always provided as standard for the life of a project. Both non-rechargeable and rechargeable battery packs can be manufactured that utilise different battery or cell chemistries such as lead acid (SLA or VRLA), nickel metal hydride (NiMh), alkaline, Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) or Lithium metal. Euro Energy works closely with all of it's customers to develop battery packs that fully meet specifications in terms of performance and cost. Please contact Euro Energy to see how we can meet your power needs.  

BATTERY PACK DESIGN

Battery packs can be designed in many different configurations from simple sleeved packs through to complex designs requiring electronics, chargers, mouldings, castings and vacuum formed or ultra sonically welded cases. Battery pack design takes into account, environmental factors, expected useful life of the application, uptime vs downtime, application size and weight and of course cost, all of which must be carefully considered when selecting the most appropriate battery or cell chemistry on which the overall battery pack will be based. All custom battery packs designed and built by Euro Energy are fully compliant with all regulatory requirements. 

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Euro Energy Resources provides a complete project management service, which can begin with an initial consultation, through specification, design, and sourcing of components to prototype or sample battery pack production for testing and analysis before full product launch - with the Customer involved at each key stage. 

QUALITY & TESTING

Battery packs are manufactured within the framework of BS EN ISO 9001:2015 to ensure consistent quality and process control. We frequently undertake testing on behalf of our Customer's using our extensive range of equipment, including our Bitrode MCV5-24 channel test suite. This ensures that each battery pack matches it's specification ready for the environment in which it is intended to work.

REASONS WHY CUSTOMERS USE EURO ENERGY RESOURCES

  • We Listen Carefully To Our Customers’ Requirements
  • Projects Are Managed From Initial Design To Bulk Production
  • Dedicated Technical Team Providing Support For The Life Of The Project
  • Sampling And Prototypes Supplied
  • Small, Medium And High Volumes Produced
  • Testing Available
  • UK Manufactured 37 Years Battery Pack Manufacturing Experience
  • Reverse Engineering Specialists
  • BS EN ISO 9001: 2015 Accredited Supplier
  • NCAGE U6072

More information on our Custom Battery Pack Design & Build Service can be found by clicking here or you can download our Custom Battery Pack information sheet by clicking here.

For further information or to discuss your project with our friendly & knowledgeable Technical Team contact us on 0116 2340567 or email info@euroenergy.co.uk

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Euro Energy guide to battery chemistries number 1 - Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)
Posted on 23rd May 2019

Euro Energy guide to battery chemistries - Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)

Choosing the correct battery or battery pack for your application isn't as simple as matching a required voltage against how long you want the battery to last for. Each battery chemistry will offer different charge/discharge profiles and different operating environments may suit some battery chemistries better than others. There may even be other logistical factors to consider. In this post, we'll look at the benefits of Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH or Ni-MH).
 
Developments in Ni-MH have created many significant advantages over lithium cell alternatives. Manufacturers such as Panasonic understand the importance of Ni-MH in it’s battery portfolio, and the ability of Ni-MH to be adapted to fill requirements which have so far eluded lithium chemistry batteries.
 
Recent additions include cells designed specifically for low temperature discharge, enabling good discharge performance to as low as -30°C. The same cells offer standard Ni-MH performance at 60°C, so performance is assured in portable equipment operating globally. Once the temperature has normalised to between 0°C and 60°C, recharge of nickel metal hydride battery packs can take as little as 1.2 hours. 
 
Additionally cells have been developed for back up use at high temperature during both charge and discharge, with long life types offering up to 10 years of service. Other nickel metal hydride cells are formulated to offer high rate discharge in similar environments at rates as high as 12C.
 
This is in addition to the mature, safe standard Ni-MH cells historically offered.
 
 

When is Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH / Ni-MH) the best alternative?

  • If you need a light weight battery but recognise that featherweight isn’t your goal - sometimes a few grams adds a quality feel to a product.
  • When you want to launch your product without committing to high set up costs.
  • If you intend to ship products overseas by air or sea. Ni-MH is inherently safe with the inclusion of simple protection devices and doesn’t require a Despatch Department to be trained in Dangerous Goods shipping.
  • If an overseas customer perceives a battery to be defective, getting Li-Ion back to you for investigation is often a logistical nightmare, or worse still, impossible. Ni-MH can travel freely across borders by aircraft.
  • Easily configurable into packs of any shape or size with no minimum batch sizes and short lead times.

You can download this information as a pdf by clicking here or by visiting the Downloads section of our website.

How do I learn more?

For further information on Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH/Ni-MH) cells and battery packs or to learn more about our custom battery pack design and build service, contact our friendly & knowledgeable Customer Service team on 0116 2340567 or email info@euroenergy.co.uk

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Euro Energy New Quality Certificate
Posted on 14th May 2019

Euro Energy New Quality Certificate

Euro Energy are proud to confirm that we have retained our ISO 9001:2015 Quality accreditation. Following an audit by UKAS, our certificate was reissued on the 7th May 2019 and remains valid until 7th of May 2022.

Euro Energy have held an ISO 9001 accreditation since 12th November 1996 & remain committed to manufacturing and working within this quality framework.

You can view our current certificate here.

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Do you know the difference between a Cyclic and Standby battery?
Posted on 9th May 2019

Do you know the difference between a Cyclic and Standby battery?

Using the right battery for the right application is vital to ensure your battery performs correctly. But do you know whether your application requires a cyclic or standby battery - what's the difference?

In Cyclic charge and discharge applications, Valve Regulated Lead Acid or VRLA batteries are often pushed to their limits. If the wrong battery is specified, for example a General Purpose model such as the Yuasa NP range, the results can be poor performance and a short cycle life.

Yuasa offer 2 complimentary ranges of batteries specifically designed cyclic use. These are the well-proven NPC range, and the more recent addition of the REC range.

The REC range has capacities available down to 10Ah, and the NPC range has capacities available up to 100Ah, giving an eleven-battery range to suit most applications.

Available capacities are;
REC10-12             12.0V/10.0Ah
REC14-12             12.0V/14.0Ah
REC22-12             12.0V/22.0Ah
NPC24-12            12.0V/24.0Ah
REC26-12             12.0V/26.0Ah
REC36-12             12.0V/36.0Ah
NPC38-12            12.0V/38.0Ah
REC50-12             12.0V/50.0Ah
NPC65-12            12.0V/65.0Ah
REC80-12             12.0V/80.0Ah
NPC100-12          12.0V/100.0Ah
 

According to Yuasa, a cyclic application is defined as:-

A CYCLIC application is one where a battery is discharged and charged on a regular and/or planned basis. 
 
Yuasa consider a CYCLIC application to be where a battery
  • Is regularly (more than twice a month) subjected to charge times of <72 hours between discharges.
  • Is regularly (more than twice a month) discharged to any depth of discharge.
  • Following first use is subjected to periods longer than 1 month without charge in any 6 month period.
  • Following first use is left in a partial state of discharge for >1 week.

Similarly, Yuasa define a Standby application as:-

A float STANDBY application is one where a battery is maintained, using a float charge voltage, in a 100% state of charge ready to support an attached load immediately should the mains supply fail. The float charge voltage ensures the correct current flow to compensate for any self-discharge characteristic.  A typical application for an industrial battery system would be an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS).

Yuasa consider a float STANDBY application to be where a battery has no more discharges than is indicated on table below

DOD ² Allowable Discharges per Year (average)
0.1 – 10% 16-18
OR
11- 30% 10-12
OR
31- 100% 2-3

And also meets the following criteria:-

  • Is expected to have prolonged periods of float charge
  • , > 3months, between discharges on average and at least 72 hours recharge between planned consecutive discharges (unless the battery you are using has repeat duty sizing for reduced charging times).
  • Is expected to spend >99.9% of its life on float charge.
  • Is never left in partially discharged condition.

Depth of Discharge (DOD). 100% Discharge in regards to this document should be considered to be end of calculated autonomy period at any given load. A 10% discharge would be a discharge time of 10% of the calculated autonomy at a given load.

Euro Energy are battery experts and have distributed Yuasa VRLA batteries for more than 30 years. If you would like to discuss your application with our Technical team, or get competitive pricing, please call us on 0116 2340567 or email info@euroenergy.co.uk

 
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Euro Energy Hoist Batteries
Posted on 7th May 2019

Euro Energy Hoist Batteries

Euro Energy have been supplying specialist batteries to the NHS and multiple other sectors (including Care Homes, Construction, Marine, Subsea, Oil & Gas, Defence, Veterinary, Aerospace and Rail) as well as private customers, for nearly 40 years. As a specialist battery supplier of OEM batteries and compatible batteries, we understand that when a specialist battery is needed, it's needed quickly and so we maintain significant stocks of all of our batteries meaning that we can deliver your battery within 1 or 2 working days of receiving your order and, more importantly, you can keep your equipment in working order!
 
Our range of hoist batteries includes batteries for the following hoists:
 
Arjo - Including models Maxilift KKA1100-04, Opera, Tempo, Encore, Sara, Sara+ KPA0100 & NDA0100-03, NDA0100-02, Maximove NDA0200
Molift - Quickraiser 0541000
Sunrise Medical - Oxford Voyager A8500
Liko - Viking M 2006107
Golvo - 8008
Linak - BAJ1
Nesbitt & Evans
Invacare - Opale
 
We also have a wide range of general purpose lead acid batteries, so if your hoist isn't listed above, please contact us with the voltage and capacity of your exhausted battery (dimensions can be a big help too!) and we'll try to identify a battery for you. If you search on our website, you may find the battery you need, but we're always happy to discuss this with you first on 0116 2340567.
 

For further information or to discuss our range of Original Manufacturer medical batteries & Compatible medical batteries, Original Manufacturer medical accessories and general purpose Sealed Lead Acid/VRLA batteries contact our friendly & knowledgeable Customer Service team on 0116 2340567 or email info@euroenergy.co.uk

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Registered Name: Euro Energy Resources Limited
Registered Office: 10 Barrington Business Park, Leycroft Road, Leicester, LE4 1ET, UK
Global Location Number: 5060554170005 | Registered Number: 01576945 | VAT Number GB355306562