Protection Systems for Industrial Applications
VPW provides PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) thermistors, PCM (Protection Circuit Modules) and BMS (Battery Management Systems) for a wide variety of batteries and chemistries. Using these control systems greatly improves safety, performance and longevity of any battery system.
Many rechargeable batteries have very high energy density and very specific charging and discharging requirements. Not properly caring for these batteries can lead to irreversible battery damage and in severe cases battery rupture and even fire. To help assure safe battery operation, peak performance and maximum longevity, battery protection circuits are often included within the battery pack, wired in line with the device being powered or integrated into the device itself.
PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient)
Some times referred to as a resettable fuse or polymeric positive temperature coefficient device (PPTC), the PTC is typically utilized with Nickel battery chemistries to provide basic resettable protection for over current and short circuit. These simple devices come in a variety of sizes and mounting options to fit virtually any application and can be implemented quickly and cost effectively.
PCM (Protection Circuit Module)
Typically designed to provide basic protections such as overcharge, over discharge and short circuit protection, these are fairly simple circuits offering a limited degree of control and safety. Because they do not require software integration they can be implemented quickly and cost-effectively making them an excellent first-line approach to improving battery safety and cycle life.
BMS (Battery Management System)
When a higher degree of control is required a BMS system can be utilized to perform a much broader range of controls including short circuit protection, cell balancing, individual cell monitoring for internal resistance, temperature and more.
BMS modules are available as stand-alone circuits or as Smart BMS for communicating with your computer, charging system and flight controller. Many communication methods are available including I2C, SMB, USB, RS232, among others. Because software integration is required integration of battery management systems requires additional lead-time and development cost.
Protection circuits may not be utilized in instances where power requirements are very high, cost requirements are low and the development schedule is limited. Risk assessment is a large part of the decision to exclude protection circuitry for customers that may be willing to accept the potential risks or where the device the battery is utilized with contains the means for proper battery protection. VPW strongly urges customers to consider the use of some means for proper battery protection both for safety and longevity of the battery system. Some form of protection will be required for lithium battery chemistries to ensure compliance with UN38.3 transportation requirements for a lithium battery.
Since battery protection requirements can vary widely, Vertical Partners West works closely with our customers to make sure the selected protection device is properly specified and implemented to the specific customers project requirements.