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Solutions – Critical to Safety

 

Critical to Safety

The Definitive Battery system uses an inherently safe LiFE battery chemistry while removing all fans to ensure that airborne dust is not collected or spread throughout the facility.

 

Battery safety is more important than anything else!
It is well documented by the FDA and other organizations that several mobile workstation battery fires have occurred within hospitals. Sure, it is a requirement that the battery system used within the patient area be certified to IEC60601-1-3rd, but that has proven to be insufficient in eliminating battery fires. While new requirements are actively being written, Definitive Technology Group has developed a battery system that exceeds current safety requirements and rugged enough for real-world use. Here is a list of design considerations included in the Definitive Battery System to make it safe:

Battery Chemistry

Battery Chemistry is the core of any battery system and determines the level of inherent safety. Definitive Technology Group uses and Advanced Lithium-Iron Phosphate battery chemistry. This chemistry is sometimes referred to at LiFE, LiPO4, “Phosphate” and Lithium-Nano™ and has proven to be inherently safer than other lithium-ion chemistries.

Why Lithium-Iron Phosphate (LiFE)?

Let’s keep it simple!

  • LiFE batteries can take more “abuse” than other Lithium-Ion battery chemistries because less heat (the enemy of any battery) is produced during charge and discharge.
  • Most importantly, LiFE batteries do not ‘feed’ themselves if they were to catch fire.
    • Lithium-Metal-Oxide batteries are more dangerous because the Oxygen molecule is released into the fire making for a dangerous situation. Not only is LiFE inherently safer, the overall life of the battery is significantly higher than other Lithium-Ion batteries.

 

Totally Fanless Design

This may sound counterintuitive but when cooling fans are removed from a battery system design, the system is safer. Think about it: The fan within the power system helps control the temperature of the systems components. When the temperature of the components rises, they could fail and cause a safety issue. If the engineers that designed the system were not allowed to rely on the external cooling of a fan, they would be forced to use higher quality components that operate below their maximum output thereby creating a system that is safe, runs cooler and will provide a longer overall life.

Why Fanless?

  1. First, the environment in which the battery is used is filthy. Take a look at the fan on a computer that has been operating for some time. You will likely find that is has collected dust, is at risk for failure and/or requires preventative maintenance.
    • Additionally, the fan spreads airborne substances which could pose an infection control hazard.
  2. Second, the cooling fan creates inefficiency because it is powered by the battery. When battery capacity is used to power a fan, you have less capacity available to power your computer devices.
  3. Third, when the fan is removed from the design, the battery system operates silently.

 

Fewer Failures, Longer Life

The LiFE battery chemistry within the Definitive Battery System is capable of charging/discharging twice as fast as we allow the system to perform, this ensures that heat (the enemy of a battery) is well controlled. Every component used within the system (charger, PSB components, etc) must operate at <80% of its max capability or <50% during normal use. Think about it… when you use any piece of equipment at 50% of its capability and no more than 80% max, you end up with a safer system that has a very long useful life.

 

What’s the catch?

As with everything in life, including battery system design, there are compromises. To build “the most advanced mobile workstation battery system ever developed” we compromise cost cutting. We pay more for the components that we use in the Definitive Battery because it’s worth it. Providing a safe battery system is more important to Definitive Technology Group than using low cost components to drive higher profit margins. Contact us, you will be surprised at what Definitive can do for you.

 

Want to know about the safety record of any manufacturer?

The FDA MAUDE website provides some guidance on the catastrophic failures and fires that have occurred. Enter the manufacturer name and change the date range to see some of the reports:
https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfmaude/search.cfm