There are two types of battery analyzers: the
fixed current units and the programmable devices. While fixed
current units are less expensive and generally simpler to
operate, programmable analyzers are more accurate and faster.
Programmable units can better adapt to different battery needs
and are more effective in restoring weak batteries. One of
the main advantages of the programmable battery analyzer is
the ability to test the batteries against preset parameters.
Fixed current analyzers perform well in organizations
that use medium size batteries ranging from 600mAh to 1500mAh.
If smaller or larger batteries are serviced, the charge and
discharge currents are compromised and the program time is
prolonged. Here is the reason why.
A fixed current battery analyzer with a current
of 600mA, for example, services a 600mAh battery in about
three hours, roughly one hour for each cycle starting
with charge, followed by discharge and a final charge. Servicing
an 1800mAh battery would take three times as long. On the
low end of the scale, a problem may arise if a 400mAh battery
is serviced. This battery may not be capable of accepting
a charge rate higher than 1C and the battery could be damaged.
When purchasing a battery analyzer, there is
a tendency to buy according to price. With the need to service
a larger volume of batteries of a wider variety, second-generation
buyers find the advanced features on upscale models worth
the extra cost. These features manifest themselves in reduced
operator time, increased, throughput, simpler operation and
the use of less trained staff. Adaptation to new battery systems
is also made easier. Figure 12-1 illustrates an
advanced battery analyzer.
Figure 12-1: Cadex 7400
The Cadex 7400 services NiCd,
NiMH, SLA and Li-ion/polymer batteries and is programmable
to a wide range of voltage and current settings. Custom battery
adapters simplify the interface with different battery types.
A quick test program measures battery state-of-health in three
minutes, independent of charge. Nickel-based batteries are
automatically restored if the capacity falls below the user-defined
An advanced battery analyzer evaluates the condition
of a battery and implements the appropriate service to restore
the battery’s performance. On nickel-based systems, a recondition
cycle is applied automatically if a user-selected capacity
level cannot be reached.
Battery chemistry, voltage and current ratings
are user-programmable. These parameters are stored in interchangeable
battery adapters and configure the analyzer to the correct
function when the adapter is installed. In the Cadex 7000
Series battery analyzers, for example, each adapter is
preprogrammed with up to ten distinct configuration codes (C-codes)
to enable service for all batteries with the same footprint.