Lithium-Ion Comes of Age
by Alan Lavender
The benefits of the capacity-to-weight ratio
of Lithium-Ion battery technology are well documented, but we are
now starting to see Li-Ion cells which are capable of higher
discharge rates. Li-Ion technology is now more applicable to the
demands of the broadcast industry than ever before. Taking
advantage of these improvements, and with the increasing demand
for more power from lighter battery packs, PAG has launched its
own Li-Ion solution. Those familiar with PAG equipment won't be
surprised to find that this new battery shows many improvements on
Li-Ion technology previously available.
new PAG L75 Li-Ion Time Battery is a 14.8V 5.1Ah pack which
provides up to 75 watt-hours of capacity, making it the most
powerful Li-Ion battery for its size that the industry has seen.
There is no need for piggy-backing to reach higher capacities,
just one PAG L75 will power both a camera and a 35W light. The L75
is the same size as PAG's NMH60, but offers more capacity (75
watt-hours compared to 60 watt-hours) for less weight (680g
compared to 880g).
PAG L75 has been designed for use with the PAGlok system, although
adaptors are available for equipment fitted with either the
'Snap-On' or V-Mount.
L75 is a Time Battery, incorporating PAG's latest capacity
indication technology. The unique built-in Power and Time Display
provides an accurate prediction of run-time, specific to the
equipment being powered, expressed in hours and minutes. The
battery's internal computer calculates this by taking into account
the charge status and condition of the cells, the operating
temperature and any change in load. This is the only capacity
indication system with this level of sophistication, and for this
reason it is also the most accurate. Away from the camera, the
Power & Time Display provides a continually updated and accurate
reading of available battery capacity expressed in both
ampere-hours and percentage.
L75 is compatible with System RTI, PAG's in-the-viewfinder
Run-Time Information system, which is the only system that
accurately predicts when the camera's auto-shutdown will occur; it
displays the information expressed in hours and minutes, with a
near-end-of-discharge warning. Data stored in the internal
computer of any PAG digital battery, such as operating capacity,
percentage state of charge and date of supply can also be
displayed in the camera viewfinder.
Choosing PAG's latest Li-Ion technology does not mean you will
need new, dedicated Li-Ion chargers; all AR Series 2 chargers can
charge PAG Li-Ion batteries. This range of charger/analysers was
launched in the early part of 1999. It is still the most advanced
microcomputer-controlled battery management system available. The
latest AR Series 2 chargers already incorporate the Li-Ion
charging capability. Older models of AR Series 2 charger can be
upgraded to charge Li-Ion batteries, by means of a chip-upgrade.
This is a cost effective option for those people who are reluctant
to part with good equipment, that has served them well.
PAG AR Series 2 chargers include PP90 (2.1mm) sockets suitable for
the connection of a range of PAG charging adaptors, for other
manufacturers batteries. Included in this range is PAG's new
Intelligent Charge Adaptor for V-Mount Li-Ion batteries.
With so many battery technologies in the market PAG has developed
Automatic Charge Rate Selection, which detects the cell chemistry,
state-of-charge, capacity, condition and cycle history using only
the battery's negative and positive terminals. The charger then
applies the correct regime to achieve a fully charged battery with
the maximum capacity potential and extended cycle life. This
revolutionary software was developed by PAG's own R&D engineers in
the company's UK laboratory and provides the easiest and most
efficient way of managing stocks of batteries with varying cell
chemistries, voltages and capacities.
PAG L75 battery can be manually set, allowing the user to choose
between extended battery cycle life or extended capacity,
automatically overriding the charger's Auto-Charge regime. For the
technically minded, maximum capacity is achieved with a charge
voltage of 4.2V per cell. Alternatively, the cycle life can be
extended by charging at 4.1V per cell, although this gives a
slightly reduced discharge capacity (87% approx.).
Contrary to bad publicity, Li-Ion technology is advancing rapidly,
and the latest products from PAG are the first to reflect the
progress that has been made. PAG's new Li-Ion battery and charging
system, with their unique features, are a reliable, safe,
versatile and innovative solution to many broadcast power