Smart lead acid replacement battery

Jon Lawson

Global battery manufacturer Ultralife Corporation is launching a new 492Wh Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) smart battery.

The URB12400-U1-SMB battery, which features accurate fuel gauging and integrated safety circuitry, is designed to replace and improve on traditional sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries in applications such as medical carts, wheelchairs, scooters, robotics and motor bots or uninterrupted power supply (UPS) systems.

SLA batteries are often used when bulk energy is required for stand-by applications, but this mature technology performs poorly when required to work under a cyclic regime or when the temperature is elevated.

SLA batteries have poor volumetric and gravimetric energy density which is pushing against the tide of modern devices which need to be made smaller and lighter. It is for this reason that Ultralife has introduced the URB12400-U1-SMB – a compact Lithium Iron phosphate battery which can be cycled >2000 times, deliver rated capacity at high currents and can be charged using a regular SLA charger.

In addition, the URB12400-U1-SMB features Ultralife’s proprietary Smart Circuit technology that combines an industry standard communication interface with Ultralife’s advanced battery monitoring parameters, allowing host devices to read pertinent status and accurate runtime predictions directly from the battery.

The URB12400-U1-SMB battery has a nominal voltage of 12.8V and a capacity of 38.4Ah, with a low self-discharge rate of less than five per cent per month. The battery also functions fully at a wider temperature range than SLA batteries, from -20°C to +60°C.

In order to exceed the standards of safety and reliability required for sectors such as medical and military, the URB12400-U1-SMB comes with embedded protection electronics. These protect the battery from issues such as over-charging, over-discharging or short-circuiting. This level of safety is reinforced by the battery being certified to IEC 62133:2012 which has become the go-to safety standard for many battery powered devices.