Lithium-Ion Batteries – Safe, Long-lasting, and Rechargeable

  • Lithium-Ion Batteries

    Safe, Long-lasting, and Rechargeable

Most of us rely on lithium-ion batteries in our day to day lives without even realizing it. They are present in power tools, cell phones, and other portable devices the world over. Their prevalence is due to their ability to pack a significant amount of energy into a relatively small space. Li-ion batteries are also rechargeable and hold their charge well. The rugged lithium-ion battery system in the FX250 powers an 8-hour plus run time of autonomous commercial cleaning for facilities like airports, convention centers, and large format retail locations. The FX250 gets 8 hours with deep clean mode on the vacuum and 10-hour plus with the sweeper.

What is a battery and how does it work?
A battery is a chemical reaction contained within a metal canister that expels electrons to help power devices. By connecting the opposite ends of the battery canister, the chemical reaction begins. Once the reaction begins, chemicals inside the battery break apart and then come together to make other chemicals. This process produces a stream of positively charged ions and negatively charged electrons. The electrons move through the device circuit connected to the battery, thereby providing electricity. With a standard battery, the reaction occurs in only one direction and only once, so the battery depletes over time and cannot have an additional charge added to it.

How do rechargeable batteries work?
Rechargeable batteries require specific chemicals, which in turn contribute entirely different reactions. The most significant differences with these reactions are that the reactions can also go in the opposite direction, allowing the ability to add charge back to the battery.  When the battery is powering a device the reaction goes one way; when the battery is charging, the chemical reaction goes the other direction, which absorbs energy and replenishes the charge. This back and forth exchange of energy can happen many times in the life of a rechargeable battery, depending on use and care. At Discovery Robotics we specifically tune our battery system to maximize battery life. We use a battery management system and charging system that was custom designed with a charging profile for our batteries, maximizing their useful battery life.

What are lithium batteries?
Discovery Robotics lithium-ion batteries are a type of rechargeable battery that generates power through chemical reactions between lithium, nickel, manganese, and cobalt, the same combination used by Tesla. The big differentiator with this type of battery is the combination of nickel and manganese. Nickel is known for having high specific energy but has poor stability. Manganese, on the other hand, has low internal resistance, resulting in high stability and low specific energy. The combination of these two metals enhances their strengths while mitigating their relative weaknesses, making for arguably the ideal lithium-ion combination available today.

Are lithium-ion batteries safe?
In a word, yes. Safety is at the forefront of everything we do at Discovery Robotics; it’s part of our DNA.  We built an entire safety monitoring system within our batteries. Our system monitors both temperature and battery charge at all times. The system ensures it is always within proper operating temperatures and remains completely safe.

Our battery system passes the CE marking certification. The CE marking is an abbreviation for Conformité Européenne, meaning European Conformity. This certification proves tested conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards within the European Economic Area. The mark is recognizable worldwide and is similar to the UL certification used in the US or the CSA in Canada.

Speaking of passing certifications or regulations, both our battery system and the FX250 as a whole pass the FCC Part 15 Class B, this is the only requirment to sell within the United States. The Federal Code Of Regulation (CFR) FCC Part 15 is a common testing standard for most electronic equipment. Subpart B deals with unintentional radiators or devices for which the purpose is not to produce radio waves, but which do, such as computers.

How long will the battery charge last?
We use a similar battery structure to the Tesla battery system. About 1/3 of the entire weight of the FX250 is devoted to battery weight. Our lithium-ion batteries are good for about 6 years of battery life, or 1,500 charge cycles, and they last 8-hours plus on a single charge. Many other floor cleaning robots use lead-acid batteries that last around 5 hours, under ideal working conditions.To achieve our battery performance standards, we have been extremely thoughtful, considering safety and efficiency in all battery technology decisions. We understand that a full 8-hour plus shift helps our FX250 maximize its value as a member of commercial floor cleaning teams. The FX250’s battery system is reliable and designed to last.

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