GUEST ARTICLE: How artificial intelligence can significantly improve power tool charging

  • 29 Aug 2019

Imagine if improvements could be made in the way we charge power tools. What if the cordless drills, grinders, and saws that we use daily could be charged in 10 minutes flat? Fast charge would mean less downtime and a reduced inventory of batteries and chargers needed. But how do we get there?

Most batteries can be charged fast, but the quicker a battery is charged, the faster it degrades. To avoid irreversible damage, power tool manufacturers limit the charging rate of the batteries. It seems absurd but the charging methodology used in the first lithium-ion powered drills released by Milwaukee in 2005, are largely the same way the present-day tools are charged – by the CCCV protocol (Constant Current, Constant Voltage).

Many brands offer super charging solutions that are designed to reduce charging downtime and maximize productivity. The method often employed, charges the battery to somewhere between 25% and 50% very quickly and then charges more slowly the remainder of the way to 100%. The fastest chargers on the market today still take between 30 and 45 minutes and often result in very high temperature increases – typically linked with irreversible internal damage that will reduce the battery lifespan. Drastic temperature increases are also a potential safety concern.

Constant discussions in the building and construction industry regarding cordless tools speculate about battery technology and what is going to be the next big breakthrough. Will it be new organic compounds, solid state batteries, or something completely revolutionary that doesn’t require changing the chemistry of the battery?

What if artificial intelligence is the answer we’ve been waiting for?

In recent years, there has been significant research around pulse charging algorithms. There are academic and scientific reports, as well as many real-world applications, describing how algorithms improve battery performance on battery chemistries ranging from lead acid to Li-ion to NiMH. Pulse charging algorithms are being called a promising battery charging technique to achieve fast charge and increased efficiencies.

Some companies in the battery technology space are using self-learning pulse charging algorithms as an alternative to CCCV, which allow for ultra-fast charge without compromising the lifespan of the battery. By monitoring the battery in real time and adapting to the ever-changing conditions internally, charging is optimized based on battery response signatures as they occur, resulting in a drastic reduction of irreversible chemical reactions, while also minimizing the temperature rise.

Artificial intelligence is already disrupting many long-established industries and will be a game changer for the construction industry. Fast charging has the promise to reduce operational headaches associated with build sites – the sooner these more efficient energy transfer regime technologies are commercialized, the better.

By Tim Sherstyuk, Co-founder & Chief Commercial Officer at GBatteries

Leave a Reply

Latest news

GEZE
Senior

Celebrate sustainability on #AluminiumDay with Senior

Senior Architectural Systems is inviting the industry to take part in its dedicated social media event on Friday 13 March, with sustainability as the key theme.

Posted in Aluminium Products, Articles, Building Industry Events, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Building Systems, Curtain Walling, Doors, Posts, Site Preparation, Sustainability & Energy Efficiency, Walls, Waste Management & Recycling, Windows

Northcot

Northcot reigns ‘supreme’ at the Brick Awards

Independent brick manufacturer Northcot Brick is celebrating a hat trick of wins at the prestigious Brick Development Association’s (BDA) Brick Awards.

Posted in Articles, Awards, Bricks & Blocks, Building Associations & Institutes, Building Industry Events, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Case Studies, Restoration & Refurbishment, Retrofit & Renovation, Walls

Sodra

Sodra: Timber - the uniquely renewable building material

Jeremy English, Sales Director at Södra Wood UK, explains how timber is perfectly placed to meet the needs of the UK construction industry.

Posted in Articles, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Building Systems, Posts, Sustainability & Energy Efficiency, Timber Buildings and Timber Products