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Long-life 24V battery modules

Murata introduces FORTELION 24V battery modules for industrial applications

Murata has developed an all-in-one 24V standard battery module (LIPY041WWPCSY6), that is suitable for any industrial equipment requiring high levels of output such as automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and robots. 

The FORTELION 24V battery module is equipped with FORTELION, Murata’s proprietary lithium-ion (Li-ion) secondary battery, which uses an olivine type Li-ion phosphate as the cathode material thereby combining long life with an exceptionally high level of safety.

In recent years, the use of lead-acid powered service robots and AGVs in warehouses has expanded in the interests of improving productivity and overcoming manpower shortages. 

However, lead-acid batteries have a long charging time and short battery life, leading to the preference to replace them with Li-ion secondary batteries, which offer faster charging times and longer battery life. 

Lead-acid batteries are also hazardous to the environment and therefore Murata is committed to reducing the use of batteries that contain lead. This new module delivers longer life, rapid charging and a high level of safety as well as being the same size as the equivalent lead-acid battery.

As the new module delivers 24V, it is able to replace two series-connected 12V lead-acid batteries as found in many service robots, AGVs, and electric forklifts.

The module has an IP54 rating, delivering protection against dust and water, and also meets the UL2271 safety requirement for batteries for light electric vehicles, thereby confirming that it is safe for outdoor use.

Murata’s extensive experience with PCs, mobile phones and other devices, along with their unique arithmetic processing technology allows them to accurately calculate the remaining battery capacity. This can be communicated to the wider system via the inbuilt CAN bus.

The new batteries are based upon Murata’s FORTELION technology that has a stable crystalline structure made possible by employing olivine-type lithium iron phosphate (lithium ferrophosphate) as the cathode material. This means that batteries based upon FORTELION are less likely to break or catch fire, even if subjected to a large impact or significant pressure.

FORTELION meets the need for long life in industrial applications. While lead-acid batteries typically require replacement around 500 cycles and regular Li-ion batteries wear out after 2-3,000 cycles, FORTELION technology is designed to complete at least 10,000 charge-discharge cycles.

Time is precious so FORTELION technology can be charged to 90% of its full capacity within one hour and it does not exhibit the memory effect observed in nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) batteries caused by repeated partial discharge events. Additionally, it is less susceptible to voltage effects, so it can be used for long periods.  Mass production of the new FORTELION 24V battery modules starts in April 2020. 

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