Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. See you in 2011!


Monday, 20 December 2010

Inspired Energy Nx203x Series now in stock!

I am pleased to say we now have stock of the new NB2037, ND2034 and ND2037 standard smart batteries from Inspired Energy. If you need samples please let our customer services team know.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

The Transportation of Lithium ion Batteries

In this new nine page guidance document from Accutronics we clearly tell you everything you need to know about the the transportation of rechargeable Lithium ion batteries.

  • International rules and regulations
  • UN testing requirements
  • Shipping Exemptions
  • Class 9 Shipping
  • Checked in and carry on baggage regulations

To access this invaluable guide please visit our dedicated webpage where you can read our web based version or download the full document.

Monday, 29 November 2010

UL White Paper Examines Safety Issues of Lithium Ion Batteries

As a developer and manufacturer of rechargeable batteries for professional applications, Accutronics have developed rechargeable Lithium Ion batteries for many years and seen the technology expand into all of the markets we operate in. Safety is always our number one concern and we boast a 100% safety record. We are however never complacent and constantly upgrade our design and assembly techniques to include the latest developments and practices.

In addition to only using Lithium ion cells which hold UL certification, Accutronics hold a number of UL files for those OEM customers who request external regulatory certification at a battery level. As one of the leaders in battery testing UL have released the following paper which will be of interest if you are developing a product requiring a Lithium Ion Battery:

Extract from UL 23/11/2010:

UL recently released the first in a series of white papers that review evolving battery technology. This paper explores many of the issues and opportunities associated with the new technology as well as current and recommended safety standards to address changes in the technology and use.

Lithium-ion battery technologies have evolved over the last two decades, with batteries now offering longer cycle life and improved reliability for products in the areas of consumer electronics, medical devices, industrial equipment and automotive applications.

In this white paper, entitled Lithium Ion Battery Hazard Analysis, UL explains the need for risk assessment as part of the product design and development process to identify and address root causes of safety issues. UL currently conducts risk assessments on the lithium batteries it tests and those assessments used in developing effective standards

Download the paper here.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Compamed 2010

We are all now back from Compamed 2010 which finished on Friday. One word sums up the response we received.. 'amazing'. Accutronics has always been strong in the medical / healthcare market and both existing and prospective customers were able to witness first hand our wide range of products and capabilities for the medical market.

On behalf of Mark Edlin, Gareth Morgan, Rob Phillips, Hans-Martin and myself I want to thank all of the people we spoke to and we look forward to talking to you again very soon.


Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Compamed 2010

The first day of Compamed has been hugely successful with a record number of first day enquiries.

Customers were very interested in our ability to design customised rechargeable batteries which include features such as fuel gauging, charge control and enhanced safety protection.

Our growing range of off the shelf standard medical batteries were of interest to both dealers and distributors of medical products.

Our Managing Director, Mr Rob Phillips will be visiting the exhibition tomorrow to meet with key account customers.
As >75% of our products are smart batteries, we found this cartoon on page 16 of the November edition of New Electronics magazine rather amusing....


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Accutronics Invests in Further Solder Training

As part of Accutronics’ policy of continuous improvement, we have recently undertaken a training programme to further develop the skills required for successful lead-free soldering.

Working with Michele Robinson, a Certified IPC Trainer from the Faculty of Technology and Enterprise and Newcastle-under-Lyme College, Accutronics’ Production Operators, Quality Department and Battery Technician each undertook a days bespoke training covering the following key areas:

  • Principles in lead free soldering theory
  • Lead free soldering techniques
  • Correct soldering tip selection and temperature
  • Tinning of stranded wires
  • Re-work using braid
  • Rework of through hole components using Pace soldering and rework station.
  • Fuse soldering with heat sinks

"With more than 80% of our batteries now containing electronics it is vital that our operators receive the latest training to ensure our product quality remains high" said Gareth Hancox, Engineering and Production Manager. "The feedback we have received from our operators is that the training was useful, interesting and beneficial".

I am pleased to say that everybody who attended the course completed it successfully, and certificates have been awarded to acknowledge this.


Monday, 15 November 2010

Electronica 2010

Electronica 2010 is now over. On behalf of the whole team at Accutronics I want to thank all of our existing and prospective customers for their interest during the show and we look forward to continuing our discussions over the coming days and weeks.

The exhibition was also a time to catch up with colleagues past and present, many of whom were very interested to see the new Accutronics business. I wish them all good health and business for 2011.

We now move onto Compamed in Dusseldorf, Germany where Accutronics will demonstrate a large number of rechargeable batteries, both standard and custom, for the medical and healthcare market.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Electronica Update

We are now starting day three of Electronica and we are very pleased so far with both footfall and enquiries. There is significant interest in both our custom battery expertise and the standard smart battery range from Inspired Energy. Day three looks like it will be just as busy!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Electronica Approaches

We are traveling out to Germany today to set up for Electronica 2010 in Munich. Our stand is number 355 in hall B2.

As well as the full range of Inspired Energy standard smart batteries we will be showing a wide range of custom Lithium Ion and Nickel Metal Hydride smart batteries which have developed for some of the worlds leading OEMs. We also have some exciting new developments for 2011 which are far too exciting for me to talk about on here, you will have to come and see us at the show.

See you in Munich!


Sunday, 7 November 2010


Last week, Carl Banks, our Electronics application engineer celebrated ten years with the company. Carl has been heavily involved in many of our OEM battery projects and has been instrumental in the development of many smart batteries for the medical market. Carl also developed much of the automated test equipment which calibrates the fuel gauge inside tens of thousands of smart batteries each year so they arrive at our customers ready to use.

Thank you Carl.


Wednesday, 3 November 2010


I wanted to post something about Accutronics people today. Mark Edlin, our Sales Manager who covers the United Kingdom, Ireland and Israel has been with the company for 15 years. In addition to his experience with Accutronics, Moltech Power Systems and Energizer, Mark has also worked for Ever Ready and Ultralife. As one of the most experienced people in the business Mark provides tremendous value to our OEM customers.

In addition, our two production supervisors, Lynn Wintle and Tracey Beech have been awarded their Level 2 NVQ in Team Leading. I congratulate them on this achievement.


Thursday, 28 October 2010

Accutronics at Electronica 2010

Just a quick reminder that Accutronics will be exhibiting at Electronica in Munich from the 9th to the 12th of November. Hall B2 Stand 355.

Myself, Hans-Martin Baum, Rob Phillips, Steve Dodds, Gareth Morgan and Mark Edlin will all be there during the week to show you our exciting developments in batteries for professional applications.

See you there!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Inspired Energy NF2030 10.8V 5800mAh

I recently posted about the new NB2037, ND2034 and ND2037 Lithium Ion Standard Smart Batteries from Inspired Energy. I can now announce the fourth battery in this series, the NF2030. At 10.8V and 5800mAh it is the highest energy battery in the new Nx203x series at 62.6Wh. It shares the same compact letterbox profile at just 22.35mm x 42.04mm and is only 216.33mm long. As with the other batteries in this series is has a LCD visual state of charge indicator, standard connector interface, SMBus SBS compliance, Impedance Track(TM)  fuel gauge and enhanced safety protection. At just 340g the NF2030 is light enough for portable applications requiring extended run times.

If you need more information about the NF2030 please contact our Customer Service team or you are free to contact me directly.


Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Nominal Voltage of Lithium Ion Batteries

One question I often get asked is "What is the voltage of Lithium ion cells and batteries?" or "Are Lithium Ion cells 3.6V or 3.7V?"

The headline voltage that is quoted on cell manufacturers data sheets is usually the nominal or average voltage measured at the mid point between full charged and fully discharged based on a 0.2C discharge (where C is the rated capacity of the cell in mAh). This nominal voltage is usually shown as either 3.6V, 3.7V or 3.8V.

The actual voltage profile during discharge depends on the cell chemistry being used, the discharge rate, the temperature and the age of the cells or battery being discharged as I will explain below:

Chemistry. Different cell chemistries have different voltage profiles. The most common system consists of a Cobalt Oxide cathode and a graphite carbon anode. This chemistry provides high capacity for low drain applications and has a running voltage of around 3.6V at 0.2C. For higher drain applications Manganese Oxide can be used as a cathode but this has a lower energy density. It does however have a higher nominal voltage of between 3.7V and 3.8V at 0.2C. Nickel Cobalt Manganese (NCM) provides a compromise between high current capability and high energy density and has a nominal voltage of 3.7V at 0.2C.

Discharge Rate. The discharge rate makes a significant difference to the discharge voltage, especially if the cell is not designed for higher rates. As mentioned above, the nominal voltage is usually based on a 0.2C discharge and the actual voltage will be far lower if the cell is being discharged at 5C or 10C (note that cobalt cells are typically only capable of a 2C max discharge).

Temperature. Data sheet figures are normally based on a discharge at room temperature (+20°C to +25°C). The voltage profile will be slightly improved if the cell is discharged at a higher temperatures (up to +60°C) due to lower internal cell impedance. At lower temperatures the impedance is increased and the voltage is suppressed. At application temperatures below 0°C the selection of a lithium ion cell needs careful consideration, especially if the discharge rate is high as performance between models varies considerably.

Age. The impedance of a lithium ion cell increases as it is cycled and this further suppresses the discharge voltage profile.


The headline voltage of 3.6V or 3.7V on a cell data sheet is only ever going to be a nominal figure that ends up being shown as 10.8V or 11.1V on a three cell series battery. The actual voltage depends on all the factors I have mentioned above. 

So what should you write on your battery? We recommend using the nominal voltage from the cell manufacture data sheet and multiplying it by the number of cells in series. It just makes life far more simple!


Friday, 15 October 2010

Two New Inspired Energy Lithium Ion Standard Smart Batteries

Last week I told you about the new 7.2V 2.9Ah NB2037 from Inspired Energy. Now I can announce two further new products with twice the energy. The 7.2V 5.8Ah ND2037 and the 14.4V 2.9Ah ND2034.

These two batteries have the same 5-way connector interface, LCD visual state of charge indicator, impedance track fuel gauge and use the latest 2900mAh Japanese Lithium ion cells.

Mechanically these two models have the profile as the NB2037 but they are longer.

Mechanical samples are available next week and full production models will be available in early December. If you need batteries for test, please contact our sales office or send me an email directly.


Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Accutronics at HOSDB in March 2011

I am pleased to tell you that Accutronics will be exhibiting at the Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB) exhibition in March 2011. 

The HOSDB 2011 exhibition is the UK's only secure event for displaying the latest security equipment for law enforcement and public security. It focuses on the four key Home Office business areas: Crime and Policing, Security and Counter Terrorism, Identity Management and Border Security.

Accutronics are pleased to be exhibiting for the second year and look forward to meeting new and existing customers to discuss how battery technology can be incorporated in equipment used to fight crime and maintain security.


Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Moulded Lead for Inspired Energy Nx204x and Nx205x Series batteries

For customers who purchase the Nx204x and Nx2050x series Inspired Energy batteries from us there is now a 1m long moulded lead available which I have just added to our website. The 629028 lead fits the NC2040, NF2047, NF2040 , NI2040, NL2044, ND2053, ND2057, ND2054, NH2057, NH2054, NL2050, NL2054 batteries and has five internal conductors for positive, negative, data, clock and T which allows full communication with the battery during charge or discharge.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Accutronics FAQ

One thing that we wanted to create when we set up the accutronics website is a Frequently asked Questions page. We set up our technical section so that it includes the answers to many of the FAQs that our sales managers and technical staff get asked. Of course we have not covered everything yet I welcome your questions at any time.

The FAQ section is here


Thursday, 7 October 2010

Smart Batteries are not all about the electronics…

Accutronics’ Engineering Department have recently upgraded their 3D CAD modelling software, enhancing our mechanical design capability.

Using this new design tool, the Accutronics engineering team can efficiently take a conceptual design, model the components that are to be used within battery, check and verify design constraints, resulting in a clear communication of design intent.

One of the key advantages for none technical people involved with the project is that the days of only being able to review the design using conventional engineering drawings are a thing of the past! The battery concept can easily be visualised, annotated and manipulated “virtually” on any computer, with free design review software (which Accutronics can provide). Modifications that maybe required, can be made quickly and easily by the Accutronics engineers, with the impact of the update seen instantly.

The 3D CAD modelling approach also saves considerable time as the CAD data can be exported directly to manufacture. Conventional 2D drawings, bill of materials and manufacturing instructions can be generated and updated automatically from the 3D model data, which in turn reduces the risk of potential errors (when compared to working with conventional 2D data).

Using the latest rapid prototyping techniques, Accutronics can also provide you with prototype components (in various materials) in a few days directly from the 3D CAD data.

Do your engineers use 3D CAD software and do you already have a 3D model? Accutronics can also accept CAD data from most major 3D CAD software packages available today (AutoDesk Inventor, Pro/Engineer, CATIA, Solidworks etc).

If you would like us to work with you on a concept, drop me an email.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

NB2037 - New Standard Smart Battery from Inspired Energy

I am pleased to introduce the NB2037 - a brand new 7.2V 2.9Ah 20.9Wh Lithium Ion Standard Smart Battery from Inspired Energy.

I recently received a sample of this product and I know it is going to be extremely popular with OEM customers requiring a hard wearing, compact, powerful Lithium Ion battery for their portable application. The NB2037 has the following features:
  • High Energy Density Lithium ion technology - featuring 2.9Ah cells.
  • Impedance Track based SBS rev 1.1 compliant fuel gauge
  • LCD visual state of charge indicator
  • Connector which is compatible with Inspired Energy's range of smart chargers
  • Compact, rugged housing
Our website now has full details of this new battery, including a full data sheet. Samples are available upon request and production will commence during this last quarter. If you need technical advice you can contact me directly by email.


Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Accutronics - Knowledge Transfer Partnership

Production efficiency is key to any manufacturing business. At Accutronics this is no different.

Accutronics, in partnership with Aston University have been awarded a KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership) project. The KTP will  be investigating ways of further improving our manufacturing processes and facilities, enabling us to further support our growing and increasingly complicated product range at our production facility in Newcastle-under-Lyme in the UK.

The KTP is a UK-wide programme that helps businesses and organisations to improve their competitiveness and/or productivity through the better use of the knowledge, technology and skills that reside within Higher Education Institutions.

“We have recently advertised for the position of a KTP 'Associate Operational Strategy Engineer' said Gareth Hancox, Engineering and Production Manager at Accutronics. “This is a very exciting opportunity for us to work with Aston University, one of the UK’s leading academic institutions, learning and implementing best practice techniques, which will allow us to remain competitive within the international market.”

More information on KTP projects can be found at

Monday, 4 October 2010

Inspired Energy Batteries with 2.9Ah cells

Slightly late blog today...

As many of you know, Accutronics distribute the entire range of Standard Smart Batteries, chargers and accessories from Inspired Energy. What you may not know is that most of the battery range will soon be available with high capacity 2.9Ah Lithium Ion cell technology which represents a massive increase in capacity as most batteries are currently available with cells of 2.4Ah or 2.6Ah.

As the products roll out during Q4 I will keep you up to date with more information: data sheet releases, MSDS etc,

In the mean time, you can see the entire Inspired Energy range of batteries here

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Electronica - Munich

Just a quick note to let people know that Accutronics will be exhibiting at the Electronica Exhibition which is held in Munich, Germany between the 9th and 12th of November. We will be on stand 355 in hall B2. Myself, Rob Phillips, Gareth Morgan, Mark Edlin and Hans-Martin Baum will all be present to answer your questions and show off our latest products. More info to be released closer to the show...


Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Energy Density - Myth and Legend

Cell and battery manufacturers often promote their technology and products in terms of Energy Density to demonstrate stored energy with regard to both weight and volume.

Gravimetric Energy Density (GED) is expressed in Watt Hour per Kilogram (Wh/Kg) while Volumetric Energy density (VED) is expressed in Watt Hour per Litre (Wh/l). These figures are useful to battery designers and device manufacturers as they allow comparison between different battery technologies, different cell sizes and different manufacturers.

It is commonly known that out of the three mainstream technologies used for portable batteries, Lithium Ion has the highest energy density with Nickel Metal Hydride in second place and Nickel Cadmium coming in third which explains the transition away from Nickel based chemistries over the past ten years.

The following chart shows the energy density of various cells based on data taken from commercially available data sheets, this clearly demonstrates the advantages of Lithium Ion Technology.

To learn more about energy density please read my article on the Accutronics website.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Smart Battery Gadget

The rechargeable battery industry is not known for its gadgets but the Accutronics Smart Battery Reader is one of those pieces of kit that become invaluable once you have one. They plug directly into any smart battery fitted with a standard Tyco 5-way smart battery interface and draw power from the battery. A 2-line 16-character display shows each piece of smart battery data and the user can toggle between them using two buttons. There is even a serial port on the back for connection to a PC. You can find out more about this product here.

Once you have a reader you will know what you battery is thinking - know its state of charge, who made it, the serial number, the calibration status plus a myriad of other information which is important to the smart battery system.

Accutronics are experts in the development and manufacture of smart batteries for a wide range of professional applications. If you wish to discuss your latest battery powered product please contact us or drop me an email directly. - Neil

Monday, 27 September 2010

Battery Recycling

We often get asked if we can take back batteries for recycling. In accordance with the Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations (2009), Accutronics Limited is happy to take back (for recycling) industrial batteries in both Nickel Metal Hydride and Lithium Ion technologies. Our website covers this subject in great detail - click here to find out more.


Sunday, 26 September 2010

Embedded Technology Conference

Hi, Back in July we were fortunate enough to exhibit at the Embedded Technology Conference in Germany. Accutronics presented a paper entitled "When Power Failure is Not an Option" and I participated in an interview for Embedded News.TV. These are still on-line for all to enjoy. You can download a copy of the presentation here and watch the video by clicking here.