Thelithium ion rechargeable is the new generation of rechargeable , planned to replace BB 390 Ni-Cd models which was used primarily for training. Several manufacturers are producing the battery, and new chargers are offered to provide optimal support for the product.
The British Army was one of the first forces to adapt rechargeable batteries for its combat equipment. The batteries chosen by the British Army are using the -ion (Li-ion) Kaizen cell developed by AEA (picture at right), fitted with integrated intelligent electronics offer reduced size and weight, compared to current technology cells. A typical 6 man patrol will have full control over its battery resources, and be able reduce its attributable battery weight load from 14kg to less than 3kg – giving advantages in both mobility and capacity for other equipment. The new cells has been designed specifically to meet the extreme requirements of rugged applications and thanks to its hermetic sealing and no memory effect, even after periods of inactivity, it will still deliver full performance. The battery offers effective operation in extreme temperatures, ranging from -51 degrees centigrade to +75 degrees centigrade. The temperature performance of the Cell will end the practice of “shirt stuffing” whereby the existing Ni-Cd battery is carried next to the skin in an attempt to keep it warm. Improved recharging is achieved by more reliable fuel gauging, optimized charge and discharge regimes and battery history monitoring enable maximization of battery life – up to 1200 recharging cycles, four times more often than previous NiCd batteries. The HF Radio battery for Bowman batteries utilize the Mil Std BB2590 form factor, to provides high capacity, yet offers the rugged, light weight and wide temperature operability features.
Another type of the 2590 cell was introduced by Ultralife Batteries in mid 2004 is the UBI-2590Ion rechargeable battery, with two independent 15-volt sections, each with separate protection electronics and capacity gauges, enables users to operate the battery in either 15-volt or 30-volt modes. Its capacity in the 15-volt mode is 12.0 Ah @ 1A @ 23°C and 6.0 Ah @ 500 mA @ 23°C in the 30-volt mode. The battery has a maximum weight of 1.44 Kg and has an operating temperature range of –20°C to 60°C.
Valence Technology Inc. is also offering a 2590 type battery named VLNC-2590 Lithium-ion rechargeable battery, produced with Saphion technology (phosphate based cathode) which is considered safer, more stable than cobalt-oxide based material used for conventional cathodes. The package has two separately protected 12V sections and capacity gauges. The battery weighs 1.128 kg and produces 8.6 Ah @ 1A @ 23°C and 4.3 Ah @ 500 mA @ 23°C in the 30-volt mode. Operating temperature range of –20°C to 60°C.