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.”