Runtime and battery capacity are the most important factors in selecting battery chemistry and technology in portable products, according to an engineering and marketing survey conducted by Nexergy Inc. The manufacturer of battery packs and chargers said the survey also indicated a lack of familiarity and understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of the many battery chemistries available on the market today.
Runtime and capacity led the way with both design engineers and marketers. Cost was fifth out of seven criteria for engineers, and only sixth for marketers. Rounding out the most important factors, in order of priority, were safety, cycle life, power, and size and weight. When asked is battery packs are seen as a commodity, engineers disagreed strongly. On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being strongly agree, the respondents averaged a 1.92.
“Runtime, cycle life, and power are at the beginning of nearly every discussion we have with our customers,” noted Phil Glandon, Nexergy president and CEO. “Based on what we see in the survey data, engineers and designers believe that with the proper cell selection and battery electronics they can create a competitive advantage for their products with a better battery pack.”
The rapid evolution in new battery technology during the past few years has caused confusion in the marketplace among both marketers and design engineers, according to the study. When asked questions related to battery chemistry, the number of “don't know” responses throughout the survey was surprisingly high, said Glandon.