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Application-Specific Development Process Maximizes Battery Performance

Originally Published MPMN January/February 2003

INDUSTRY NEWS

Application-Specific Development Process Maximizes Battery Performance

Zachary Turke

Micro Power Inc. matches a battery with a device using the power source's unique drain and temperature profiles.

Developing custom battery systems for performance-critical applications, Micro Power Electronics Inc. (Hillsboro, OR; www.micro-power.com) uses an application-specific development process to optimize performance. "Battery pack development has evolved from a simple assembly task into a complex systems process," says CEO Greg Love. "In the past, battery packs were simple devices, with one or two cells, a few wires, and a simple fuse, but this is no longer the case. Today's medical devices require more complex solutions, and thus a higher level of battery expertise and sophisticated equipment is needed to maximize battery performance," he says.

Micro Power meets these changing needs using a development process that matches a battery with a device using the power source's unique drain and temperature profiles. "OEMs will simply choose a battery based on its specifications, but these specifications are based on a single common operation point," says Love. "Most devices do not operate on this point, and when you move away from it, each battery performs differently." Micro Power's development process takes this variance into account, using a complex emulation to match a battery with a device. According to Love, this process can increase a battery system's capacity by 10 to 20%.

The new generation of portable devices currently finding use within the medical community stands to benefit the most from this increased capacity. "Portable devices are playing an increasingly more central role in our healthcare systems, making run time, performance, durability, and reliability of battery systems critically more important and leaving absolutely no room for unpleasant surprises, problems, and failures to occur during use," Love says. Increased battery system capacity would minimize these problems and enable the devices to incorporate faster processors, enhanced color displays, wireless networking, and voice capacity.

FDA registered and ISO 9001 certified, Micro Power can supply battery systems for most Class II devices. The company does roughly one-half of its business with medical device firms and offers multiple cell chemistries, fuel-gauging technologies, and smart battery options. It has supplied power units for defibrillators, blood analyzers, patient-monitoring equipment, infusion and heart pumps, data-collection terminals, ultrasound machines, and test and measurement instruments. 

Copyright ©2003 Medical Product Manufacturing News

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