What makes difference between industrial batteries and regular batteries? What makes industrial batteries different? Most of the world runs on electricity, but people still need batteries more than ever. So why is the need for batteries higher now? One of the reasons is the availability of more portable devices. You can classify batteries into two categories: consumer and industrial.

You use consumer batteries for consumer products such as laptops, watches, tablets, cameras, and mobile phones. These devices use consumer-grade batteries, such as lithium-ion, primary lithium, or alkaline. In addition, consumer batteries are accessible and inexpensive. On the other hand, industrial batteries can survive long-term use in challenging industrial situations where the batteries are difficult to access.

What makes industrial batteries different and Here are more differences:

What are industrial batteries?

The specific design of industrial batteries makes them last much longer. Applications may include deployment in a remote location where replacing batteries can be challenging. Scientific instruments that monitor arctic climates, underwater seismic measurements, or monitor bridges’ structural stress are some of the applications of industrial batteries.

Sometimes, the number of devices the company uses affects the deployment of an industrial-grade battery. For example, it would be challenging to change the batteries of thousands of automatic metering reading applications that gas and water utilities use.

The durability of the batteries is crucial because most industrial batteries are installed in places where replacing the batteries is impossible or difficult to do.

Types of batteries

  • Primary. The alkaline cell is the most common primary (non-rechargeable) battery that people recognise and use. Alkaline batteries provide power to smoke detectors, TV remotes, flashlights, etc. However, these commercial batteries are short-lived. On the other hand, the primary industrial batteries have more energy and last longer, as they contain more lithium chemistries and materials of higher quality.
  • Rechargeable Li-ion. You can also find rechargeable lithium-ion batteries in industrial and consumer-grade batteries. Many power tools, laptops, and cellphones are typical users of consumer Li-ion batteries. The commercial Li-ion batteries today have more energy density; thus, it requires using an overcharge protection circuitry to ensure safe storage and operation. Conversely, there are industrial grade rechargeable Li-ion batteries that can run for 20 years or 5,000 recharge cycles. Unfortunately, commercial Li-ion batteries can only run for about five years (500 recharge cycles).
  • Bobbin-type Lithium-thionyl chloride (Li-SOCl2) design. Many remote wireless applications use the bobbin type Li-SOCl2 battery because this battery design contains high capacity and high energy density. The bobbin type lithium-thionyl chloride battery minimises the annual self-discharge rate to the lowest rate commercially available cells achieve. Thus, the bobbin-type Li-SOCl2 battery can last for 40 years. It is perfect for backup power devices like uninterruptible power sources (UPS). In addition, Li-SOCl2 batteries can be the right choice for onboard microcomputers, metering systems, measurement instruments, home safety systems, tracking devices, and medical instruments.

Today, many industrial battery products are manufactured with different characteristics to meet the demands of the battery market and the industry itself.

Longer and consistent performance

Industrial batteries are not designed for commercial use. Most personal and home devices use commercial batteries (primary and rechargeable) that last for a few weeks, months, or years. The batteries are affordable and easy to replace. However, commercial batteries can only operate at moderate temperatures. Cellphone batteries, for example, can last between two and five years before they need to be replaced. Typically, rechargeable batteries for tablets and laptops last for about 500 complete recharge cycles or four to five years.

Industrial batteries are rugged and fit for environments where commercial batteries will not survive. Most of them last for several years without recharging or replacement. These types of batteries have ideal power management options to ensure continuous operation. They can operate in various environmental conditions, such as the automated utility meters that have to run for more than 25 years outdoors. Other applications include remote process control and monitoring devices, oceanographic instruments, GPS tracking devices, automotive toll tags, and wireless sensors.

In some industrial applications, the batteries should withstand extreme temperatures, such as high-temperature applications up to 150 °C, cold chain applications down to -80 °C, and different temperatures ranging from -55 to 85 °C. 

Most people know about commercial lithium batteries. However, they have a counterpart in industrial-grade lithium batteries that can withstand harsh environments. For example, the bobbin type lithium thionyl chloride (Li-SOCl2) battery has the highest energy density and highest capacity among lithium chemistries. In addition, its annual self-discharge rate is meagre, while it has the broadest operating temperature range possible. Moreover, it does not leak because a hermetic-glass-to metal seal protects it. 

Many battery manufacturers design bobbin-type Li-SOCl2 batteries with a shelf life of ten years and an annual two to three per cent self-discharge rate. Some manufacturers produce industrial batteries that can last for 40 years with a self-discharge rate of about 0.7 per cent. 

Today, there is an increasing demand for rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries for industrial applications. The market demand is for rechargeable Li-ion that can last for 20 years. In addition, consumers are looking for this type of battery that can operate in a wider temperature range and deliver high pulses.  

Choosing the appropriate industrial battery

If you want the best battery for your industry niche, it is essential to find a power source that will ensure the right and continuous supply of energy. For example, the Li-ion rechargeable batteries are popular because of their low self-discharge rate and high energy density. As a result, they are perfect for aircraft and power machinery. 

The earlier option was lead-acid batteries for motorised wheelchairs, scooters, and motorbikes. But today, Li-ion batteries that are more long-lasting replace the lead-acid batteries. In addition, Li-ion batteries have a low-cost cycle and require minimal maintenance. Lithium-ion batteries are also ideal for aviation devices. 

Make sure that you are using the appropriate industrial type batteries for your industrial operations. Your equipment will not last long if you use the wrong type of battery. At the same time, you should also be very specific when purchasing industrial batteries. Insist on actual in-field performance rather than relying on theoretical battery performance. Finally, verify the battery manufacturer’s claims because the differences between the same types of batteries from different producers may not manifest for years. 

This was the answer to the question – What makes industrial batteries different.

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