Custom power solutions for defence industry applications

Adam Williams 23 October 2020 (Last Updated October 23rd, 2020 14:16)

The requirement for reliable and high-performing battery packs for military equipment is an essential consideration for any defence organisation.

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Custom power solutions for defence industry applications
Alexander Battery Technologies has maintained facilities dedicated to unique custom battery pack assemblies since its origins. Credit: Alexander Battery Technologies.

The requirement for reliable and high-performing battery packs for military equipment is an essential consideration for any defence organisation.

Alexander Battery Technologies (ABT) has over 40 years of experience in the development of state-of-the-art power solutions for a wide range of applications and industries. The company designs and manufactures Li-Ion, LiFePO4, NiMh, and primary custom battery packs and chargers for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in sectors ranging from defence to healthcare and robotics.

Since its inception the company has been designing and manufacturing mission critical battery packs for a range of applications, from communications equipment to respirators, Alexander has always been a partner the military could rely on.

Army Technology spoke with some of the key figures within Alexander Battery Technologies about the products the company offers, where these are used within defence markets, and some of the key features and benefits of the company’s battery pack solutions.

Custom battery packs and chargers for military applications

Alexander Battery Technologies has a history of designing and manufacturing battery packs for various industries, and is now strengthening its focus on custom Lithium Ion smart battery packs targeted at a wide range of military applications.

Utilising the latest cutting-edge technology available on the market, the company’s smart battery packs can be trusted for use in critical defence applications, including UAVs, robotics, communication systems, and satellite equipment.

Alexander Battery Technology President and CEO Michael Shirley said: “When an OEM that is working on a defence project comes to us with a design that they need for a power pack, we can design a complete solution from start to finish for them.”

Unlike many other suppliers to the defence industry, Alexander Battery Technologies seeks to gain a detailed understanding of individual client requirements before developing a solution, taking into consideration any obstacles or challenges that may need to be overcome.

Head of Sales Greg Weber explains: “We partner with the OEM early on in the design process to understand their application, their needs as a company, and the needs of the end user who will use the product powered by the battery pack.

“From there we are able to develop the battery pack and bring it to them on a timely basis so that they can meet their project demands.”

Advanced smart battery packs for optimal performance and reliability

Alexander Battery Technology has extensive knowledge and expertise in developing smart battery packs that offer enhanced performance, flexibility and maximum levels of reliability, while also benefitting from some of the latest advancements in technology.

Head of Design and Engineering Chris Turl said: “It’s all about having a thorough, detailed understanding of the battery pack requirements, so that we design a solution that can communicate with the host equipment, identify any defects, report charge capacity, remaining run time, and hundreds of other parameters that we can customise for the market and for our customers.

“If you’re in field on the start of a mission, for example, it will tell you how long it has left to run. If it has been out on a number of activities and has perhaps been subject to abuse, then it can identify if there are any issues which the user needs to take into account and replace the battery pack if needed.”

The use of cutting-edge smart technology in battery packs can be a significant advantage in defence applications, such as by enabling the user to monitor cells individually to identify any change in behaviour and take appropriate action.

“It’s going to give you better longevity and information on the application and on how to fine tune it moving forward,” explains Weber.

Durable battery packs for extreme military operations

As a leading manufacturer of custom battery pack solutions, Alexander Battery Technologies has worked on solutions for some of the most demanding applications.

This includes developing Lithium Ion aviation battery packs that needed to be charged at altitude or in sub-zero temperatures, but were also required for use in extremely high temperatures.

Weber added: “We’ve worked on high tech communication equipment and two-way radios that were intrinsically safe battery packs required for use in hazardous locations.”

“We’ve developed some high-voltage, high discharge battery packs that the military may be interested in, but our main focus that a lot of military OEMs would be interested in is our expertise in multi-cell Lithium Ion battery packs.”

Developments for the defence sector

Alexander Battery Technologies’ history in providing solutions for PPE and health and safety applications means it is well-positioned to further expand its presence in the defence sector.

With safety an essential consideration of any military organisation, Alexander Battery Technologies’ solutions are ideal for soldiers and other military personnel and can be trusted when it matters most.

“A lot of the technology we offer is identical to technology which goes into defence markets, it’s just a question of finding those opportunities and bringing that technology into them,” Turl explains.

“We have a spread of capabilities, anything from putting a miniature power source onto a laser sighted rifle, to providing and controlling respirators air flow, all the way through to providing technology to be able to repairing a tank in the field.”

Alexander Battery Technology holds ISO 13485:2016 and ISO 9001:2015 certifications and operates from facilities in the UK and USA.