When a company selects an industrial battery for their equipment, it will first ask about its energy efficiency. This means they want to know how much power they can get from the battery against its price.
Battery efficiency is the amount of energy it will produce for you related to the amount of energy you provide. Remember that the amount of energy you get from the industrial battery will be less than what you give it. But still, there are specific factors that affect the battery’s efficiency or performance.
Measuring the energy efficiency of industrial batteries
According to battery factories, you can measure a battery’s energy efficiency using its Coulombic efficiency (CE) or voltage efficiency. The Coulombic efficiency measures the electrons’ transmission during the battery’s charging and discharging, including the lost electrons after the cycle’s completion. If the amount of lost electrons is lower, then the Coulombic efficiency is higher, which ensures longer battery life.
On the other hand, the battery’s voltage efficiency is the difference in the battery’s state when charging versus discharging. Over-potential is what causes the difference.
For every rechargeable battery, the discharge voltage should be lower than the voltage required for charging the battery. The difference between the two is what determines the battery’s efficiency.
5 Factors affecting battery efficiency
Industrial battery manufacturers produce different types of batteries. Therefore, if your company is maintaining an industrial battery supply, it is important to know the factors that affect the efficiency of the batteries you have in stock.
Age of battery
The battery becomes less efficient as it gets older. But you should remember that the battery’s age is not based on years. Lithium-ion batteries last 2,000 to 3,000 cycles, while a lead-acid accumulator lasts only 1,000 to 1,500 cycles. Signs of ageing can be layer build-up on the electrodes of lithium-ion batteries, while the liquid electrolytes in lead-acid batteries dry up slowly.
Changes take place in the internal chemistry when you charge batteries. For example, you can prolong the efficiency and lifespan of a lithium-ion battery by controlling the current at a moderate level while charging.
State of charge
If you are using an electric vehicle such as a forklift, the state of charge is equivalent to the fuel gauge of other vehicles. During the battery’s discharge cycle, its voltage output drops along with its state of charge (SoC). However, the rate of voltage decline is much lower in lithium-ion batteries compared to lead-acid batteries. Therefore, users should know the battery’s SoC so they can maximise their battery’s efficiency.
Size, chemistry, and age affect the battery’s internal resistance. If it is lower, the battery’s efficiency is greater. For example, a lithium-ion battery has the least internal resistance because of its solid electrolyte interface layer. However, over time, it can become a factor in increasing internal resistance.
Learn how to charge industrial batteries at certain temperatures. Manufacturers typically include it in the battery’s manual. Otherwise, exposing industrial batteries to higher temperatures will effectively shorten their useful life.
These are the factors affecting the efficiency of industrial batteries. Following them will ensure you have batteries that will provide you with consistent performance. Moreover, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to use your battery longer.