An Iron Solution

An Iron Solution

Delivering a breakthrough in industry technology

One of the primary criteria for any surveillance, access or security system is the requirement for a consistent and reliable power source, as even the most complex and expensive system solutions will be rendered useless if power is interrupted. Consequently, almost every DC operated power and transmission product deployed today includes some form of battery charging and back-up to help ensure that mission critical systems continue to operate when their primary AC input source is disrupted.

For more than 40 years, Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) battery charging and back-up has been the longstanding go-to solution, but now there’s a new and extremely efficient option available.

Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries, also known as LiFePO4 batteries, usher in a new generation of DC power that, for all intents and purposes, will eventually render Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries obsolete. LiFePO4 batteries are being used with great success in a myriad electronic devices ranging from drones and smoke detectors to recreational vehicles and solar energy systems.

LiFePO4 are quickly becoming the batteries of choice given their superior longevity, high level of efficiency, and improved safety compared to SLA batteries. Lithium Iron Phosphate battery technology is now becoming a cornerstone of power and transmission devices, first introduced by Altronix, which provides security professionals with a unique value proposition to ensure continuous operation of critical systems and at lower overall cost.

LiFePO4 batteries offer a tremendous improvement over legacy SLA batteries and back-up solutions. Although the initial purchase price of a LiFePO4 battery is more than a conventional SLA battery, it offers a significantly lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) with a cost per cycle of approximately $0.31 versus $0.92 for SLA batteries. Factors impacting these calculations include the fact that LiFePO4 batteries can cycle up to 5,000 times over their life span versus only up to 500 cycles for SLA batteries.

Additionally, LiFePO4 batteries have a 10 year shelf life which allows resellers the ability to leverage their buying power as SLA batteries require charging every six months while not in use.

Also, because LiFePO4 batteries allow for rapid charging and discharging, they deliver more uptime, keeping systems running longer. Another key feature of Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries is that they operate more efficiently in high-stress environments where temperature fluctuations can adversely affect SLA battery life. It’s easy to see that LiFePO4 batteries provide increased operational efficacy for critical systems.

'LiFePO4 batteries are made from light metals, which results in a weight reduction of 33 to 50 percent versus conventional SLA batteries. This reduces shipping costs and provides an environmental benefit since they do not contain toxic chemicals that cause decay in SLA batteries. This makes recycling and redistribution both easier and more cost-effective by reducing the added cost and time associated with disposing SLA batteries.

'The first power and data transmission security products featuring LiFePO4 battery backup technology is Altronix’s new series of Net- Way Spectrum Hardened PoE+ Switches. The products in this new series are optimized to leverage the numerous benefits of LiFePO4 battery charging and back-up with unique features to eliminate the necessity and weight of four SLA batteries by allowing for a single 12VDC LiFePO4 battery to provide 48VDC backup.

'The introduction of LiFePO4 battery charging from Altronix, for demanding power and transmission solutions, represent a significant breakthrough for the professional security industry. It’s an innovation impacting virtually all surveillance, access, security and fire systems by greatly improving the reliability, uptime and TCO of new and existing systems.

This article originally appeared in the April 2019 issue of Security Today.

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