Battery Reliability Considerations
Chris and Fred discuss battery reliability issues and how batteries fail. This based on feedback from one of our listeners (thanks!) There is a lot of energy in batteries that if failure allows this energy to be able to ‘do something’ … then catastrophic failure is an understatement. But as with everything, it is all about the customer. Is failure (for example) when battery capacity reaches 80 per cent of its original value? Is this 80 per cent figure going to be the advertised capacity? If you would like to learn more, listen to this podcast.
Join Chris and Fred as they talk about battery reliability. There are some massive liquid batteries (for example) that are used in power grids to try and provide power when peak demand is the highest. This can – in some cases – mean the difference between building a new power plant or not. Stored energy is absolutely essential for everyday life.
- What is failure? We know that a battery fails when it (for example) catches fire. But battery capacity diminishes over time – so when does it diminish to the extent that it classified as failure? … is it 80 per cent? … 70 per cent?
- You must know, love and manage your battery. Lead acid batteries typically can’t be discharged below 50 per cent. Why? Because if you do, this accelerates failure mechanisms that greatly diminish capacity. So your lead acid battery only has half the capacity you think it does.
- It is often about the chemistry. You need to know how the chemistry work.
- … and the customer is always right. Well what we mean here is that because there are so many different applications for batteries, and they permeate every aspect of our lives, customers have a really good understanding of what is ‘good’ battery behavior. And different failure modes (catching fire versus diminished capacity). You must understand what the customer wants. And it is not just about reliability – the battery needs to be small, light and fit within the smartphone or laptop.
Enjoy an episode of Speaking of Reliability. Where you can join friends as they discuss reliability topics. Join us as we discuss topics ranging from design for reliability techniques, to field data analysis approaches.