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QUESTION: Dear Tom

What is the Thumb Rule for installing Rechargeable or Non Rechargeable Batteries in Electronic Devices?.

Thanks
Prashant

ANSWER: I am not sure specifically what the context of your question is but if you are referring specifically to installing a replacement battery in an electronic device, then the key factors to consider are:

1) Ensure that the batteries are being installed with the correct polarity
2) Ensure that the correct battery type is being installed.
3) DO NOT install a rechargeable battery as a replacement for a non-rechargeable battery or vice-versa.

If you are designing batteries into a new electronic product, some of the considerations are:

1) If you are using non-rechargables, ensure that you are using the correct type for the application, considering the following factors:
 a) environmental considerations (temperature, humidity, etc)
 b) battery terminal voltage and capacity
 c) take appropriate measures to avoid overheating of the battery or potential shorting or overload. When considering this, take into account all possible single faults in the circuit that the battery is supplying. Keep in mind the failure mode of the battery - some types of batteries may fail in a catastrophic way, even if they are fairly small. The product that you are designing will have to meet the relevant safety standard and those standards will have additional details regarding safety requirements.

2) If you are using rechargable batteries, ensure that you are using the correct type for the application, considering the following factors:
 a) environmental considerations (temperature, humidity, etc). Keep in mind that batteries used in cold environments lose much of their capacity as temperature become very cold.
 b) battery terminal voltage and capacity
 c) take appropriate measures to avoid overheating of the battery or potential shorting or overload. When considering this, take into account all possible single faults in the circuit that the battery is supplying. Keep in mind the failure mode of the battery - some types of batteries may fail in a catastrophic way, even if they are fairly small. The product that you are designing will have to meet the relevant safety standard and those standards will have additional details regarding safety requirements.
 d)  Ensure that the charger used to maintain or recharge the battery is designed for the specific type of battery. Over charging the battery could become a safety issue. Ensure that the charger is safety approved for use as a charger for the specific type of battery.

Also note that some types of batteries require their own safety approvals, i.e. Lithium Ion batteries.

It is difficult to give much more detail in a short answer. Please contact us as follows for any additional information or assistance in this regard.

Tom Smith P.Eng
TJS Technical Services Inc.
tsmith@tjstechnical.com
+1.403.612.6664



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Tom

Thanks.

Is it possible to design a Electronic product which can work on both Rechargeable or Non Rechargeable Batteries?.

Thanks
Prashant

Answer
Yes, but it would be important to ensure that some means is incorporated to ensure that non-rechargeable batteries are not subjected to a charging input because of potential damage or safety issues. On way might be to have the rechargeable batteries permanently installed, and a user accessible area for installing the non-rechargeable batteries. the voltage input to the product could be added by simple use of diodes to ensure that the current flow is always flowing out from the batteries, preventing inward flow to either battery, other than the charge current into the rechargable unit. As always, safety considerations must be added, thus doubling up on the diodes or similar protection to ensure no reverse current flow under single fault conditions.

Regards,
Tom Smith
TJS Technical Services Inc.

Global Telecom

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Tom Smith

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding the telecom networks which exist throughout the world as well as requirements and approvals required for equipment to be connected to the networks.

Experience

I have been involved in product approvals for over 25 years, working both for major manufacturers, design organizations, and two major testing laboratories. I have experience putting products into countries around the world, working with various approvals agencies, and have been involved in various standards development agencies (Product Safety, EMC and Telecom). I was the Senior Approvals Engineer at the first private telephone approvals laboratory in Canada, and have been involved in the development of Industry Standards for telephone and telephone products.

Organizations
- Senior Member of IEEE - Association of Professional Engineers, Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) - Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO) - Terminal Attachment Program Advisory Committee (TAPAC) which is under the jurisdiction of Industry Canada (Department of the Gov't of Canada) - Canadian Standards Association - Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) - Product Safety Engineering Society - Former Approvals Liaison Engineer (ALE) for the British Approvals Board for Telecommunications (BABT) - Former ALE for AUSTEL (Australia) - Only ALE Appointment outside of Australia - Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS) - Registered Consultant to the Hong Kong Telecommunication Authority

Publications
Suggested Design Techniques for Telephone Equipment Requiring Canadian Certification Presented at the International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE), Chicago, Ill.(1985). Paper published in IEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics.

Education/Credentials
B.A.SC (Electrical Engineering)

Awards and Honors
- Only Approvals Liaison Engineer (ALE) ever appointed by AUSTEL (AUSTEL is no longer the authority in Australia, and the ALE program was also replaced in 1997) - Former Deputy Approvals Liaison Engineer appointed by the British Approvals Board for Telecommunications (BABT) - Elevated to Senior Member by IEEE - CSA Plaque given for 20 years of Services in standards development

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