Not all Rechargeable Batteries are Alike

While soldier-carry wearable devices have their own batteries, a centralized power source (usually a Lithium ION battery) is carried to recharge those devices. And, of course, these batteries must be either replaced as they lose charge or recharged by an external power source—the preferred scenario to keep both individual and platoon burdens lower. In this later scenario, Soldier-worn Integrated Soldier Power and Data Systems (ISPDS) must be able to manage both the charge to each wearable device and the recharge of the Lithium batteries.

ISPDSs have become Smart Batteries Systems (SBS). An SBS is comprised of a Host, a Smart Battery, and a Smart Charger. Each device within this system communicates with each other and the rest of the system using SMBus (System Management Bus) technology and protocol, used to discover the batteries and find each battery’s correct charging profile. Once this occurs, the system then knows how to read every battery connected to each device, and properly charge each of them according to their specifications. It must also ensure that the Central Battery is then charged properly from the external power source when available.

But did you know that not all rechargeable batteries are alike?

Each battery model has its own unique characteristics including:
• chemistry
• capacity
• required recharge time
• optimal charging current
• maximum charging time

In an SBS, Smart Chargers can communicate with the smart battery, find the battery in a list of pre-loaded profiles, and use the correct charging profile for that battery. This reduces potential damage and avoids risk that may be caused by a non-smart charger. If a “smart” battery is operated optimally, it does not have to be recharged as frequently and supplies longer battery life. In fact, an SBS-compliant design can increase battery cycle life up to 30%.

Until charging profiles are standardized across batteries (like data communications standards), ISPDS must have the intelligence to read charging profiles of each battery, then charge each accordingly to maximize them for mission longevity. Check out the MILTECH 404 and MILTECH 410 to see how they can be optimized to the profiles of batteries deployed in your applications.  If you want more information on our power management systems available on the MILTECH 404 or MILTECH 410, contact me at