Denchi Expertise Contributes to Supply of Ventilators to the NHS

13th May 2020 – Responding to an urgent requirement that will directly help in the continuing battle against COVID-19, the engineering team at Denchi Group has recently been called upon to supply bespoke batteries for a consignment of NHS ventilator systems. 

The Bank of China recently made a donation of 20 ventilators for deployment in UK intensive care units (ICUs), however safety restrictions relating to the air shipment of Li-Ion batteries prevented them from being imported with their power sources included. Denchi was consequently approached to quickly provide replacement batteries for the newly-procured ventilators. It has managed to do so, by making major modifications to one of its existing products.  

This assignment set the engineering department at Denchi’s Thurso facility several sizeable technical challenges. Firstly, there was no electrical specification data or drawings of the original battery available from the Chinese manufacturer, which meant that the replacement solution had to basically be reverse engineered (via access to one of the ventilators, which could then be studied in detail). Also, the original batteries did not comply with an industry standard form factor, thereby presenting certain difficulties – in terms of mechanically fitting all the cells and the accompanying controller electronics board within the required slot dimensions.  

Despite these challenges, Denchi was able to carry out all the necessary design, prototyping and testing activities within a very short time frame. It needed a turnaround period of just 7 days to complete everything. The company is now in the process of delivering the 14.5V-rated, 5.8Ah capacity batteries to the NHS, so that the donated ventilator equipment can be installed in ICUs and start helping patients straight away. 

“Given that the COVID-19 pandemic is having such a crippling effect on our healthcare system, this ventilator battery project was something we really wanted to be involved in. Our engineers put a huge amount of effort into it, analysing the equipment and coming up with a fully effective and operationally optimised solution,” says Nick Russel, Chairman and Managing Director of Denchi Group. “As a small token of thanks to the efforts of the NHS we have decided to supply our time and the batteries at no cost. We already have further projects in the pipeline that focus on the medical sector. These will, once again, put Denchi’s knowhow in power system design to good use.” 

New Denchi Product to Capture a SLICE of the Energy Storage Market

2nd April 2020 – In order to address heightening concerns about global electricity consumption, help enable greater energy autonomy and accelerate decarbonisation of the energy sector, Denchi Group now announces the commercial availability of SLICE®. Based on the company’s advanced, elevated reliability Li-Ion battery technology, and benefiting from its engineers’ expertise in developing rugged military-grade hardware, Denchi’s SLICE is a highly scalable and adaptable energy storage solution that is designed to deliver maximum return on investment. Through its deployment, the operational costs associated with electricity usage can be significantly reduced. Large enterprise and university campuses, industrial plants, sports stadia and residential complexes can all execute grid balancing, peak shaving, plus TRIAD and Red Zone charge avoidance activities via this new solution. Likewise, smaller agricultural or community microgeneration sites will be able to draw on electricity from renewable resources as needed (regardless of the time of day), or use it to generate revenue by selling electricity surpluses back to the grid when demand levels are high.                    

Delivering a safe, secure and prolonged working lifespan, SLICE employs an innovative modular architecture. Implementations comprise an array of 3.5kWh battery units, using cells of a high-performance, extremely durable and ultra-safe Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) chemistry. Up to 13 of these can be placed in each cabinet. The cabinets are then combined together to meet the specific storage capacity criteria defined by the customer, with no excess needing to be paid for (which is often a major drawback of solutions from other vendors).   

The batteries in the SLICE cabinets are all connected to a sophisticated management subsystem (which relies on Modbus TCP/IP connectivity). In addition to allowing remote control, this subsystem facilitates the monitoring of ongoing operational performance and can assist with other real-time diagnostic tasks – thanks to a cloud interface (which is accessible using either desktop or mobile devices). Among these tasks are analysis of charge/discharge profiles, as well as in-depth assessment of cells’ cycling lifespans. Further key functions for the subsystem include regulating ambient temperature and humidity, so that the highest degrees of efficiency are always maintained. Fault detection mechanisms (over-current, over-voltage, over-temperature and Earth-leak) protect against potential damage during power outages, while fire suppression systems can be activated if situations arise that put safety under threat. 

“Suitable for both grid-connected and off-grid implementations, SLICE represents a simple and convenient way through which our customers can take full control of the energy usage, and gain significant financial rewards as a result,” states Nick Simmons, Sales Director at Denchi Group. “It means charging can be undertaken at off-peak times, when utilities’ pricing is low, then the electricity subsequently consumed as demands dictate. Likewise, energy from renewable resources can be brought online as and when they are needed.”        The SLICE platform has been purposely designed to be easy to integrate into existing infrastructure. It can be installed directly inside customers’ premises, or housed externally within shipping containers placed on site. Underlining its operational robustness, all elements of this solution come with a 10-year warranty. To find out more visit: http://www.sliceenergystorage.com/about-slice/

Denchi Begins Volume Production of Game-Changing 6T Battery for Military Vehicles

18th February 2020 – Denchi Group continues to expand its portfolio of advanced energy storage solutions for the most challenging application environments. After completing extensive and rigorous field trials with certain key customers over the last 12 months, the company’s defence division (Denchi Power) has now announced full availability of its 430935 6T series. Supplied in a NATO 6T format (with 269mm x 256mm x 230mm dimensions), the new rechargeable batteries are based on a Li-Ion chemistry and have built-in charging electronics. The elevated power density levels achieved make these units highly optimized for situations where there are size, weight and power (SWaP) constraints to take into consideration.    

For employment predominantly in lighting and ignition tasks, Denchi’s 6T Li-Ion batteries are suited to incorporation into a wide variety of military ground vehicles – from main battle tanks (MBTs) right through to armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and light armoured vehicles (LAVs). They can also be used in ‘silent watch’ mode to power electronic sights and communications equipment when the vehicle engine is turned off (something which is not possible with theconventional lead-acid batteries normally utilized by the military). These units are capable of delivering a maximum continuous discharge current of 350A, but are of particular value when intense power bursts are required (delivering a 30sec pulse of 1100A). 

The integrated charger electronics represents a major advantage. Whereas other solutions do not have this, which makes them much harder to retrofit into existing designs. A broad input voltage range can be dealt with (going all the way up to 35V). There is the capability for constituent cells to each be charged directly (thus dramatically shortening charge times) with the current being raised from 45A to 270A (and the sinking of a 500A pulse for a 5sec period being possible). Over-/under-voltage, over-current and over-temperature protection mechanisms are included as part of the sophisticated battery management system, as well as self-balancing in order to combat individual cell aging. In addition, easy to read indicators on the exterior of these batteries mean that all essential status information can be quickly accessed.

Offering a simple drop-in replacement for lead-acid batteries in 24V systems, the Denchi 6T products allow two 40kg units placed in series (making up 80kg in total) to be substituted by a single much lighter unit (weighing only 25kg), resulting in a considerable weight reduction. They will support over 4,000 recharge cycles – an order of magnitude more than equivalent lead-acid batteries (and substantially better than competing Li-Ion solutions too), thereby markedly lowering the total cost of ownership and alleviating the related procurement effort. The time taken to fit them is also significantly shorter.Housed within a rugged yet lightweight aluminium casing, Denchi 6T batteries achieve industry-leading operational longevity even when subject to extreme conditions. They have already be been extensively tested on British army vehicles. Their working temperature range spans from -40°C to +60°C. Thanks to internal heaters, use of cold start kits to be avoided. For more details on these batteries visit: https://www.denchipower.com/catalog-2/i9181dup1/6T-Lithiumion-Battery

Denchi Group to Expand its Engineering Capability with Additional Design Team in Heart of Cambridge Technology Cluster

25th November 2019 – Acknowledged specialist in high reliability energy storage solutions, Denchi Group has announced a significant expansion of its operations. As part of the company’s roadmap to proliferate into new markets and strengthen its core technical capabilities, it is opening a product development hub in St Ives, Cambridgeshire. This will complement Denchi’s longstanding engineering resources in Thurso (Scotland).   

At the new Cambridgeshire site, focus will be placed on making major advances in battery and charger design. It will leverage the expertise that the company has built up in mission-critical defence and aerospace applications, and bring this to a wider range of prospective usage models where high levels of reliability, safety and functional longevity are increasingly being mandated. Product areas that newly-recruited staff will be working include renewal energy generation/grid balancing, compact and lightweight high-density batteries for use in portable industrial equipment, plus ultra-reliable lighting and power systems for the mining industry.   

“Denchi, as a company, has witnessed a great deal of growth and diversification over the course of the last few years, states Nick Russel, Chairman of Denchi. “The pace at which the energy storage sector is evolving means that ingenious new approaches to battery electronics, software and mechanical design are going to be required, especially in the high reliability markets we serve. The fact that Denchi’s battery and charging systems are 100% designed and manufactured here in the UK, means we are able to provide our customers with highly-optimised turnkey power solutions that exactly match their application demands.”

“Placing this centre in Cambridgeshire gives us direct access to the wealth of world-class engineering talent that is present there. It also allows us to highlight the great opportunities that also exist at our existing facility in Thurso, Scotland. So, if you are looking for a new challenge, we recommend contacting us to find out about the exciting future career possibilities we are able to offer,” he concludes.To learn more about current job opportunities at Denchi go to: https://www.denchigroup.com/join-us