Energy storage / accumulators
Our accessibility stands or falls with the energy supply of the equipment we use. If there is no connection to the public power grid where we intend to be, we have to give special thought to the economical use of electrical energy.
For portable applications, an energy storage device is desired that can store as much energy as possible and is also light.
Modern technologies offer these possibilities: Lithium polymer (Lipo), lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO) and lithium-ion batteries (Li-Ion) have the highest energy density - that means the best ratio between weight and stored amount of energy. These are followed by nickel metal hydride (NiMH), nickel iron (NiFe) and nickel cadmium batteries (NiCd). At the end there is the widespread, because robust, lead battery. This is available as a “wet” version, because it is filled with liquid sulfuric acid, or as a “dry” version. The latter are manufactured in a closed design that can be operated in any position. The acid is bound in glass fiber mats (AGM, Absorbing Glass Mat) or as a gel in silica. Their advantage is that no gas is produced during regular charging and there is no need to refill with distilled water. Should gas develop due to improper loading, pressure relief valves open before an explosion can occur.
Capacitors are becoming increasingly interesting as energy stores. These can be charged and discharged like batteries. However, one of the main features is that they can do this in no time.
The reason why there are many different types of batteries is not only due to their power density but also to a number of advantages and disadvantages inherent in the respective technology, such as:
maximum number of charging cycles
Operating temperature range
Deep discharge behavior
and much more.
Important: Every type of battery needs its own charger!