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Ultralife
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Ultralife design, develop & manufacture a wide range of cells, batteries, chargers, power solutions & communications systems for customers worldwide across multiple industries
Ultralife design, develop & manufacture a wide range of cells, batteries, chargers, power solutions & communications systems for customers worldwide across multiple industries

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ACTIVE VS. PASSIVE RFID SYSTEMS

RFID systems can be powered in two different ways; either the tag itself is battery powered (active) or the tag reader is (passive).

Active RFID tags are commonly used as “beacons” to accurately track the real-time location of assets. Active tags provide a much longer read range than passive tags. Although active RFID systems are more expensive than passive, the ability to accurately track assets can be invaluable.

Passive RFID tags are used for applications such as supply chain management, smart labels and more. The lower price point per tag makes employing passive RFID systems economical for many industries.

WHICH BATTERY SHOULD I CHOOSE?

For active RFID, the compactness of the battery is likely to be a major factor, as OEMs aim to keep the tag as small as possible. Ultralife Thin Cell batteries are manufactured as thin as 0.4mm but offer significantly better performance than coin cells of the same capacity (with continuous discharge currents 10 times greater). ER cylindrical (Li-SOCI2) batteries are equally compact; some measuring the same as an AA battery.

As handheld devices continue to get smaller and lighter, passive RFID tag readers can also benefit from compact batteries like the Lithium Thionyl Chloride range. However, one of Ultralife’s best-selling products is the 9V lithium battery that has proved to be a hit in many handheld scanners; offering a 10-year shelf life that is ideal for devices that suffer from long periods of dormancy.

All these batteries have been pre-engineered at Ultralife’s ISO 9001 certified facility in Newark, USA and are available to buy online with no NRE costs.

With the increasing threat of counterfeit medical devices or components being used in hospitals across the US, it has never been more important to get RFID tags and readers on the market. However, it is vital to ensure that every component is genuine, down to the battery.

To find out more, please complete our inquiry form at http://bit.ly/2PNJNMM
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9V BATTERIES THROUGH THE YEARS

1956 – Alloy transistors were introduced, meaning radios that had previously been powered by 22.5V were able to operate from lower voltages. Although originally marketed for vacuum tube hearing aids, the 9V battery found its first home.

1991 – fast forward to the 90s and our story with the 9V begins; as Ultralife Batteries Inc was formed from the Ultra Technologies Battery Division of Kodak. During our first year of operation, a major focus was put onto reviving the Kodak manufacturing facility. Extensive tests on Kodak's 9-volt battery indicated the need for design improvements, which resulted in the first Ultralife 9-volt.

1996 – Ultralife’s production facility in Newark quickly became one of the most automated and efficient lithium battery production facilities of its kind in the world for 9-volt lithium batteries. Products were already achieving a 10-year service/shelf life and proving well-suited for smoke alarms, medical instruments and security devices.

2003 – in May of this year, to fill a multi-million-dollar order from a major consumer-products company, Ultralife began production of a private-label version of its 9-volt lithium battery. Employees worked 13 out of every 14 days to keep up with demand.

2012 – up until now 9V batteries had used cylindrical cells in a square formation but Ultralife’s engineers realized that this wasted vital space, so the thin cell battery was developed as a pouch with square cells. The resulting product weighs 37 grams, 12% lighter than the original Ultralife Lithium 9V battery, making it ideal for next-gen devices. Not only is the design improved but it resulted in performance enhancements, achieving a capacity of 1200mAh compared to the 800mAh boasted by the leading brand-named lithium competitors.

Since the 50s, 9V batteries have been relied upon to power the latest technological devices and that is set to continue. This battery legend can now be found in the latest wearable and IoT devices, remote monitoring systems, security sensors and surgical lighting. It is little wonder then that over 100 million of the longest lasting lithium 9-volt batteries from Ultralife Corporation have been sold worldwide, and its exploitation continues to go from strength to strength.

To find out more, visit http://info.accutronics.com/ultralife-9volt-battery-the-longest-lasting
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POWERING SMART DOOR LOCKS WITH THIN CELL BATTERIES

From a power perspective, smart locks are often retrofitted onto existing doors and, given the location of the locks, they cannot be wired to the mains supply. However, the manufacturer must ensure they choose a reliable battery. If the lock was to fail due to a battery that suddenly runs out of power, or needed changing regularly, this could lock someone out of their home.

Choosing a battery from a well-respected manufacturer is therefore essential, as consumer off-the-shelf batteries are often insufficient for a security system. Innovative technologies that improve capacity, such as Ultralife’s Thin Cell technology, are essential in these applications. However, capacity must be balanced by size.

POWERING SECURITY SENSORS

Security sensors are used in smart security applications to detect movement. If any movement is detected when the homeowner is out an alert can be sent to the connected smartphone, so they can use the camera to identify a potential threat or a false alarm.

For this system to be effective the sensors must be discreet, meaning the avoidance of mains wires, or an intruder could identify and try to avoid them. Worse yet, an intruder could cut the wires to disable the system, but it is impossible to cut a wireless connection! The smaller the sensor, the better, so a small yet reliable battery is essential for this type of application.

For more information on Ultralife’s Thin Cell batteries, please visit https://www.ultralifecorporation.com/ECommerce/category/all-products/battery-and-energy/non-rechargeable/thin-cell
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DETERMINING THE FUTURE OF ROBOTICS POWER

~ Battery manufacturer wants engineer input on survey on service robots ~

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/robot_batteries

The wide adoption of service and industrial robots to perform tasks alongside humans in hazardous environments has led to the power demands of today’s robots to vary drastically. To address this, global battery manufacturer Ultralife Corporation is inviting design engineers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to take part in its market research about the next generation of power solutions for the robotics sector.

The global take-up of industrial robots grew by 15 per cent in 2015, reaching over 253,000 unit sales that year according to a report from the International Federation of Robotics. With the integration of collaborative robots (CoBots) and developments in artificial intelligence, smart proximity sensing and actuation, the market doesn’t expect to slow down anytime soon.

To overcome power failure in robots, Ultralife has designed batteries for robotics using non-rechargeable Lithium Thionyl Chloride and Lithium Manganese Dioxide cells. The focus now, however, is to tackle the issues concerning service robots.

Predominantly powered by portable batteries, there has been a significant rise in the number of service robots used in commercial, warehouse and hospital environments.

“The power requirements for service robots can differ substantially,” explained Michele Windsor, global marketing manager of Ultralife Corporation. “They can be used to move shelves and pallets across a warehouse, guide an autonomous vehicle in a factory or even a trolley in a hospital. With more robotic applications being adopted across industries, we expect that existing power solutions may be quickly outgrown.

“At Ultralife, we’re interested to learn more about the technologies and devices that are currently in development, to see how existing power sources measure up. Our survey aims to find out the most popular battery characteristics for newer applications including the voltage, amount of power it’s expected to consume and the run-time between charges.

“With the robot market forecasted to reach $14.29 billion by 2023, making sure OEMs and design engineers have the right power sources to integrate is critical.”

To participate in Ultralife’s robotics survey, please visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/robot_batteries.

All participants will be given the option to receive an anonymised copy of the results once the research has been completed.
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POWERING YOUR MILITARY DEVICE

If the US Army were a city, it would be the 10th largest in the US, with over one million soldiers relying on battery-powered devices. This checklist highlights what to consider when choosing the best battery for a military device.

HOW LONG MUST THE BATTERY LAST?

If a military device runs out of power, soldiers’ lives can be put at risk. Often soldiers need their devices to last a 24-hour mission before needing a recharge. Time needs to be carefully considered.

WHAT TEMPERATURES WILL BE EXPERIENCED?

Above 60 degrees Celsius, the performance of lithium-ion batteries deteriorates and below zero degrees Celsius, charging becomes challenging. Does the battery need heaters or thermal insulation?

HOW WILL THE DEVICE BE STORED?

Some military devices, such as surveillance devices, must lie dormant for long periods, but rapidly activate when needed. Therefore, they require a battery that can store power, but release it instantly when needed.

WHAT ARE THE DEVICE’S DIMENSIONS?

Size and weight are paramount when considering military equipment design, especially for long mission use. Soldiers may need small, lightweight batteries to fit into their small, lightweight devices.

WHAT PHYSICAL CONDITIONS WILL BE FACED?

Soldiers travel with their devices on most of their missions. This means the batteries must withstand harsh conditions including rough terrain and high humidity.

IS A SMART BATTERY REQUIRED?

Many military devices use smart batteries that communicate with the user. For example, they can inform the user of the state-of-charge or the need to be cooled down.

For advice on how to integrate batteries into your military devices, contact Ultralife Corporation on +1 (315) 332 7100 or visit our website at https://www.ultralifecorporation.com
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'THE GOLDILOCKS OF BATTERIES'

9 could be considered the ‘goldilocks’ voltage. It is not too high and not too low to power many common devices such as test and instrumentation equipment. It is not too big to fit inside today’s compact devices but not too small to make maintaining it a challenge. With a wide operating voltage, it is also suitable for use in both indoor and outdoor environments.

These factors have resulted in a non-rechargeable battery that is so commonplace many OEMs turn to it knowing their customers will easily be able to source a replacement once it reaches the end of its cycle life. Yet the 9V battery used in products today may not be the traditional alkaline. As Lithium emerged as a leading battery chemistry, 9V batteries evolved to take advantage of this. Many (including Ultralife Corporation’s) still have the same footprint as an alkaline, to preserve the ease of replicability.

Lithium takes the 9V battery to the next level, lasting 5x longer than a traditional alkaline, which is ideal for use in devices that have long periods of dormancy like smoke alarms. Looking to the future, it is likely that the 9-volt will be increasingly used in next-gen applications, such as remote patient monitoring, where its small size and ability to shutdown safely should it become too hot will prove invaluable.

These are just some of the reasons why the 9V battery is widely used by OEMs today and should continue to be in the future.

To find out more, please visit http://bit.ly/2JPTN4P
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BATTERY & ENERGY SPECIALISTS

Our website features an All Products page where you can browse through the wide range of battery and energy products, designed and manufactured by Ultralife Corporation and Accutronics Ltd, quickly and easily. Broken down as follows:

RECHARGEABLE

* Li-ion Soft Packs
* Li-ion Hard Packs
* Lead Acid Replacement
* UBI-2590
* Land Warrior

NON-RECHARGEABLE

* 9 Volt
* Thin Cell
* Cr Cylindrical (LiMnO2)
* Er Cylindrical (LiSOCI2)
* Xr Cylindrical (Cfx/Mn02)
* Military

POWER SYSTEMS

CHARGERS & POWER SUPPLIES

CABLES & ACCESSORIES

AUTOMOBILE TELEMATICS

To view the page, please visit http://bit.ly/2JhuesQ
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HOW TO SELECT AND MAINTAIN NON-RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES

Last month in the blog we asked, 'Are your rechargeable batteries maintenance heavy?' – this month we look at ways to choose the optimum non-rechargeable (primary) batteries for applications as diverse as government & defense, home security, medical and IoT; as well as how to preserve their energy and extend shelf life.

STORAGE

One consideration that should be made before purchasing a primary is the maximum time that non-rechargeable batteries can be safely stored. Various factors can influence this, such as the type of sealing that is used, for instance, Hermetic glass-to-metal sealing allows for more effective electrolyte to be used which extends storage times. Ultralife’s CR17335-10 battery is hermetically sealed and has a 10-year shelf-life.

It is this long shelf life which has resulted in the enduring popularity of primary batteries. However, to get the maximum service life from a non-rechargeable battery, they should be stored at the correct temperature, which varies from battery-to-battery. Many manufacturers – including Ultralife Corporation – publish this information on their websites.

For instance, Ultralife’s long-lasting Lithium 9V can be stored between -40 to 60°C but, to extend the service/shelf life up to 10-years, storage at less than 30°C is recommended. These batteries utilize technology from Ultralife’s Thin Cell range for wearable devices. If stored at room temperature, Thin Cell batteries can retain >98% of their capacity after one-year of storage, meaning the energy is there when required.

OPERATING TEMPERATURE

In addition to storage temperature, operating temperature should also be assessed. A recent whitepaper showcased how Ultralife’s thin cell batteries perform at high, room and low temperatures (compared to CR2025 coin cells from three tier one manufacturers). Ultralife thin cell provided the highest voltage and capacity in all tests.

When focusing on operating temperature, OEMs should bear in mind the environment in which their device will be used. For example, military personnel may be called for duty across the globe, Lithium Manganese Dioxide Cylindrical cells are an excellent choice, as they can operate in places as cold as -40°C up to those as warm as 72°C. Even more impressive are Ultralife hybrid cells that can operate from as low as -30°C up to 72°C.

SELF-DISCHARGE

As well as focusing on the temperature at which the device will be stored and operate, the rate at which power will be drawn should be assessed. Non-rechargeable batteries are ideally suited for devices such as smoke detectors, security sensors and medical telemetry that draw power infrequently (where they are also more cost effective than secondary, rechargeable solutions). However, it is important to choose cell chemistry with a low rate of self-discharge for such applications, as this means that the battery performance is not reducing dramatically when not in use.

To address the self-discharge that can occur with Lithium-ion batteries (Li-ion); Ultralife developed hybrid batteries that boast a self-discharge rate of just 0.1% per year. A passivation reaction forces the electrodes to become insulators rather than conductors, allowing the electrolyte to form a thin, high resistance layer on the surface of the lithium anode.

Just as with storage considerations, the way the battery is sealed can impact it's self-discharge. The sealing of the CR17335-10 gives it a lower rate of self-discharge, making it ideal for beacons and emergency location transmitters, metering systems and sonobuoys.

ENERGY DENSITY

Non-rechargeable batteries are also well-suited for inclusion in small and light IoT devices due to their high energy density. For example, Ultralife’s Thin Cell range can be manufactured as thin as 1.2mm, which is compact enough to be incorporated into embedded and wearable devices. This is not at the expense of performance, as this pioneering technology can produce around 500Wh/l and 400Wh/Kg compared to just 300Wh/l and 260Wh/kg for the best lithium coin cells.

For the military, energy density is vitally important in reducing the weight that soldiers carry in the battlefield. To assist in this area, Ultralife developed the UB0032 LiCFx/MnO2 chemistry battery that has 307Wh/kg of energy density.
With so many factors to consider – such as storage, operating temperature, self-discharge and energy density – it can be difficult to choose the right battery for your application. However, Ultralife Corporation specifically designs primary batteries with the end user and product in mind, making selection and maintenance hassle-free.

To find out more about Ultralife non-rechargeable batteries contact us directly on +1 315 332 7100 or visit our website at http://bit.ly/2Hp81gE
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Lithium Coin Cells or ULTRALIFE® Thin Cells?

This handy guide will help product designers decide whether to power their latest low power portable device or IoT gizmo with traditional Lithium coin cells or instead embrace the latest in primary lithium battery technology – Ultralife Thin Cells.

VOLTAGE

Although both Coin cells and Ultralife Thin Cells share the same Lithium Manganese Technology, Ultralife Thin Cells have a higher running voltage during discharge, meaning less current consumption in today’s constant power-driven applications.

DISCHARGE CAPABILITY

Coin cells are ideal for applications where the discharge current is low and continuous. When applications impose higher or pulsed loads, Ultralife Thin Cells offer significantly better performance with continuous discharge currents 10 times that of coin cells of the same capacity.

LOW TEMPERATURE

When ambient temperatures drop the internal resistance of a battery increases causing a reduction in voltage and capacity. Coin cells suffer from a falloff in performance at low temperatures whereas the low internal resistance construction of the Ultralife Thin Cells mean they can provide twice the capacity of the best performing coin cells at -10°C.

To view the infographic, please visit https://www.ultralifecorporation.com/PrivateDocuments/Lithium_Coin_Cells_or_ULTRALIFE_Thin_Cells_Infographic.pdf

For more information or to discuss how to integrate Thin Cell into your next device development, please call +1-315-332-7100 or e-mail sales@ultralifecorp.com.
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CR123A MANGANESE DIOXIDE LITHIUM BATTERY

Ultralife CR123A 3.0V Crimp seal 1500mAh non-rechargeable cells will power many portable applications such as, digital video cameras, SLR cameras, flashes, portable lights, smoke alarms, security systems, beacons and Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELT), handheld electronics and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Product benefits include:

* Compact, lightweight cells with relatively large voltages
* High energy density
* Wide working temperature range
* Very small self-discharge
* High reliability
* 10-year shelf-life

To find out more, please call +1 (315) 332-7100, e-mail sales@ulbi.com or visit http://bit.ly/2sl2bD9
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