Q. What type of Batteries do you use in the powapacs?.
A. We use Lead Acid AGM Batteries and Lithium ION.
Q. What are Lithium ION batteries and why use them?
A. A lithium-ion battery or Li-ion battery is a type of rechargeable battery in which lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during discharge and back when charging. Li-ion batteries use an intercalated lithium compound as one electrode material, compared to the metallic lithium used in a non-rechargeable lithium battery. The electrolyte, which allows for ionic movement, and the two electrodes are the constituent components of a lithium-ion battery cell. Lithium-ion batteries are common in home electronics. They are one of the most popular types of rechargeable batteries for portable electronics, with a high energy density, tiny memory effect and low self-discharge.
Q. How do I take care of a Lithium Ion battery to prolong its life? Should I charge it frequently or drain it fully before charging it?
Lithium ion batteries are particular about their operating conditions, and there are a lot of small things that can contribute to better quality of life. Li-ion batteries have a reasonably finite lifespan and can hold only a fraction of their original capacity after a few years, but things like operating temperature, how long the battery spends plugged in, how the battery is used, and the charge cycling you asked about can contribute to how long the battery lasts.
One of the worst things you can do to a Li-ion battery is to run it out completely all the time. Full discharges put a lot of strain on the battery, and it’s much better practice to do shallow discharges to no lower than 20 percent. In a way, this is like people running for exercise— running a few miles a day is fine, but running a marathon every day is generally not sustainable. If your Powapac is running out of juice on a daily basis, you’re decreasing its overall useful lifespan, and should probably work some charging stations into your day or change your devices’ settings so that it’s not churning through its battery so quickly.
There used to be certain types of batteries whose “memory” of their total charge capacity seemed to get confused by shallow discharges. This is not, and never was, the case with Li-ion batteries.
One common misconception is that Li-ion batteries will only count charge cycles if the battery is drained completely in one session; another is that the battery counts one charge cycle for every instance the device is unplugged and plugged in again. Neither of these is true—Li-ion batteries actually count charge cycles based on a 100 percent discharge even when it’s summed over multiple sessions. For example, if you discharge a battery to 50 percent one day, charge it back to 100 percent, then discharge it 50 percent again the next day, that is counted as one “cycle” of the battery. So shallow discharges, in all these regards, are ideal for a Li-ion battery.
On the other end of the spectrum, keeping a Li-ion battery fully charged is not good for it either. This isn’t because Li-ion batteries can get “overcharged” (something that people used to worry about in The Olden Days of portable computers), but a Li-ion battery that doesn’t get used will suffer from capacity loss, meaning that it won’t be able to hold as much charge and power your Powapac for as long. Extremely shallow discharges of only a couple percent are also not enough to keep a Li-ion battery in practice, so if you’re going to pull the plug, let the battery run down for a little bit.
Keep it cool
Another thing that Li-ion batteries hate is heat. There’s usually not too much you can do about the temperature issue. But for any gadget with a Li-ion battery, keep it out of attics, direct sunlight, the tundra, or anywhere there will be extreme temperatures. Running the battery out very quickly by drawing a lot of power at once is another way to cause it a lot of strain.
Q. Are there different types of Lead Acid Batteries ?
A. Yes, Basically there are two types of lead acid batteries (along with 3 sub categories); The two main types are Starting (cranking), and Deep Cycle (marine/golf cart). The starting battery (SLI starting lights ignition) is designed to deliver quick bursts of energy (such as starting engines) and therefore has a greater plate count. The plates are thinner and have somewhat different material composition. The deep cycle battery (WHAT WE USE) has less instant energy, but greater long-term energy delivery. Deep cycle batteries have thicker plates and can survive a number of discharge cycles.
Q. Why do you use AGM Lead Acid Batteries and not Gell Cell Batteries ?
A. AGM: The Absorbed Glass Matt construction allows the electrolyte to be suspended in close proximity with the plates active material. In theory, this enhances both the discharge and recharge efficiency. Common manufacturer applications include high performance engine starting, power sports, deep cycle, solar and storage battery. The larger AGM batteries we use are typically good deep cycle batteries and they deliver their best life performance if recharged before allowed to drop below the 50% discharge rate. When Deep Cycle AGM batteries are discharged to a rate of no less than 60% the cycle life will be 300 plus cycles.
GEL: The Gel Cell is similar to the AGM style because the electrolyte is suspended, but different because technically the AGM battery is still considered to be a wet cell. The electrolyte in a Gel Cell has a silica additive that causes it to set up or stiffen. The recharge voltage on this type of cell is lower than the other styles of lead acid battery. This is probably the most sensitive cell in terms of adverse reactions to over-voltage charging. Gel Batteries are best used in VERY DEEP cycle application and may last a bit longer in hot weather applications. If the incorrect battery charger is used on a Gel Cell battery poor performance and premature failure is certain.
Q. What does AH mean on the powapacs description ?
A. An amp hour (AH) is a rating usually found on deep cycle batteries. The standard rating is an Amp rating taken for 20 Hours. What this means, say for a 100 AH rated battery is this: Draw from the battery for 20 hours and it will provide a total of 100 amp-hours. That translates to about 5 amps an hour. 5 x 20 = 100. However, it’s very important to know that the total time of discharge and load applied is not a linear relationship. As your load increases, your realized capacity decreases. This means if you discharged that same 100 AH battery by a 100 amp load, it will not give you one hour of runtime. On the contrary, the perceived capacity of the battery will be that of 64 Amp Hours.
Q. How often should I charge my powapac ?
A. Battery Charging – Remember you must put back the energy you use immediately. If you don’t the battery sulfates and that affects performance and longevity. Batteries like to be charged in a certain way, especially when they have been deeply discharged. This type of charging is called 3 step regulated charging. Please note that only special SMART BATTERY CHARGERS using computer technology can perform 3 step charging techniques. You don’t find these types of chargers in parts stores and High street shops. The first step is bulk charging where up to 80% of the battery energy capacity is replaced by the charger at the maximum voltage and current amp rating of the charger. When the battery voltage reaches 14.4 volts this begins the absorption charge step. This is where the voltage is held at a constant 14.4 volts and the current (amps) declines until the battery is 98% charged. Next comes the Float Step. This is a regulated voltage of not more than 13.4 volts and usually less than 1 amp of current. This in time will bring the battery to 100% charged or close to it. The float charge will not boil or heat batteries but will maintain the batteries at 100% readiness and prevent cycling during long term inactivity.
Q. How do I know when my battery is fully charged ?
A . When you purchase your powapac it comes with a smart mains charger. The charger is equipped with a an LED light, the LED light will display Red whilst performing the charge process and then Green once the battery is full and the charger is in trickle/Float charge mode. Do not use the LED display to gage the state of the battery whilst the powapac is charging.
Q. My battery level display reads 100% but the display still shows 2 red bars, is this normal?
A. Yes the display is like a scale and the red indicator bars are to show that you are getting close to discharging the battery once all green bars are gone.
Q. Can I charge my iPad/Tablet from my powapac?
A. Yes all powapacs are tested on various tablets, phones and iPads and we have not be told of any problems.
Q. Can I run an Inverter form my powapac?
A. Yes, However we strongly advice you DON’T run an Inverter from your powapac. Power inverters convert direct current (DC), the power that comes from a 12v battery, into alternating current (AC), the kind of power supplied to your home. This will run your powapac down very very quickly
Q. Is your Powapac patented ?
A. All our powapacs use high quality parts that hold there own patents/patents pending , powapacs have filled to Register the design with GOV.UK more can be found here