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Battery Powered Devices

Designing a product or system to operate efficiently on batteries requires very careful design of the circuits, including radios and peripherals, any embedded software, device drivers or programmable logic devices and of course the battery management itself.

Battery life

It may not be immediately apparent but a smart phone or desktop app communicating with a battery powered device can have a detrimental effect on that device’s battery life. Other aspects of the system such as the server or radio links might also impact battery life. Therefore, it is important to consider the complete system or product design including any gearing, motors, solenoids, or actuators. Even an LED turning on unnecessarily can have a detrimental effect on battery performance.

We have designed battery systems for an extensive array of products including:

  • beyond line of sight drones
  • small sensor and control boards in IoT systems
  • battery powered medical devices including:
    • analgesic pumps,
    • surgical curing devices,
    • an award-winning video laryngoscope that used both primary and rechargeable cells
  • the world’s smallest battery powered video test pattern generator
  • we have even designed a portable, battery powered microwave oven

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Which battery?

The type of battery selected for a product is vitally important.

The available capacity of some battery chemistries drops off significantly even at typical high and low temperatures experienced in a temperate climate like the UK. In some circumstances the capacity is compromised temporarily but in others it can be permanent.

What battery circuits?

Some batteries require protection circuits to prevent fires or even explosions.

Some rechargeable batteries need carefully designed charging circuits and fuel gauges to prolong battery life and to provide clear indication of the remaining battery capacity and ensure the battery is not damaged,

A lot to think about

If you have a battery powered product or system to be designed it is worth working with engineers who understand and look at the whole system. 

Doing so can ensure that you get the most from your battery powered system in the first instance, avoiding the costs and delays associated with fixing unforeseen problems later.