Connecting the batteries for service has always been a challenge

July 25 [Thu], 2013, 15:47
Batteries are commonly tested by measuring the capacity through a full discharge. While voltage and internal resistance provide a rough indication of the battery condition, these readings do not disclose the capacity, the leading health indicator of a battery. Voltage and resistance tend to reveal anomalies only when the lithium Satellite U500 is in a fault mode. Most batteries keep a normal voltage and low resistance while the capacity gradually fades with age. Read about How to Measure Internal Resistance.

There is a move towards rapid testing, however, current methods only provide an estimation of the battery performance and the results can be in accurate. Rapid-test methods work best with single-cell Li-ion packs; series and parallel connection of cells can distort the readings. Public safety, medical and defense organizations still apply a periodic full discharge/charge cycles, and this is normally done with a battery analyzers.

Battery analyzers became popular in the 1980s and 1990s to restore nickel-cadmium batteries affected by “memory.” Today, battery analyzers serve in identifying packs that no longer meet requirements; they form a vital part in maintaining fleet batteries. Read about How to Maintain Fleet Batteries. Typical battery analyzers are the Cadex C7000 Series, workhorses that serve a broad range of batteries. These devices accommodate lead-, nickel- and lithium-based batteries, feature automated service programs and operate in stand-alone mode or with PC software.

The Cadex analyzers include Custom programs in which the user sets a unique sequence of charge, discharge, recondition, wait and repeat. The Lifecycle program cycles battery until the capacity drops to the preset target capacity while counting the delivered cycles. OhmTest measures the internal battery resistance, and Runtime discharges at three different current levels to test battery runtimes within a simulated user pattern. QuickSort? sorts lithium-ion batteries in 30 seconds into Good, Low and Poor; Boost reactivates packs that fell asleep due to over-discharge. Further programs include Self-Discharge to measure losses in 24 hours, and Prime to prepare new and stored batteries for field use.

Connecting the batteries for service has always been a challenge. Cadex solved the battery interface with the SnapLock? adapter system consisting of custom adapters for common batteries and universal adapters for specialty packs. The custom adapters are easiest to use as they are designed for a battery type and the pack can go in only one way. The adapters include configuration codes that store up to 10 unique battery types and feature a thermistor to monitor temperature. Installing thelithium Satellite U505 adapter configures the analyzer to the correct setting. Editing is possible with analyzer’s menu function or via the PC-BatteryShop software. See Cadex's list of available adapters.

With the proliferation of cellular batteries and the need for a quick and simple battery interchange, Cadex developed the RigidArm?. This universal battery adapter features spring-loaded arms that meet the battery contacts from the top down. Read about How to Service Mobile Phone Batteries. A third option is the Smart Cables (Figure 3) featuring alligator clips and a temperature sensor to monitor battery temperature.