Newsletter July 2017

More than (AGM) batteries!

Our slogan has been 'more than batteries' for many years. After all, Intercel is more than a battery-selling wholesaler: thanks to our specialists, we are also your knowledge partner for battery and energy systems. When it comes to selling batteries, we've grown far beyond being just an 'AGM wholesaler'. Other technologies, such as Gel and Lithium, are getting increasingly important in our range. Technologies that we can tell you all about. That's what makes us

Your expert in batteries!


Tutti Pizza mobile pizza oven

Pizza, any time, any place. That's what Tutti Pizza is all about. Traditionally baked pizzas are served locally all over the country using an authentic, mobile stone oven. This obviously calls for an oven that actually works at any time and any place. What could be worse than a cold pizza, or even no pizza at all? To provide a reliable service the Tutti Pizza baker must always be able to rely on his oven. This is made possible by a sound, mobile custom solution of Intercel.

Intercel provides custom energy solutions for a wide range of applications. Whether you need an emergency power supply for a data centre, a reliable battery for a mobility scooter or a complete mobile power system for a stone oven: Intercel's specialists know all there is to know about energy. To bake stone oven pizzas all over the country Tutti Pizza needed a power system that stayed powerful for long enough to keep not just the oven, but also the cooling system, up and running. At the same time, the system had to be able to withstand being regularly charged. In the end there proved to be just one way of doing this: using two cyclical Cellpower CPC 250-12’s as the system's power source.

As well as the batteries, Intercel also provided all the other components needed for a reliable and complete power system. The presence of an insulation guard makes it possible to safely use electrical equipment outside of the vehicle, and a battery monitor accurately reads the battery status at all times. The power is charged and converted with a compact TBS Powersine Combi. This Dutch product combines the functions of a battery charger and converter in a single housing. That's how Dutch quality and Italian passion are combined in a perfect partnership, but even more importantly: Tutti Pizza is able to carry on baking fresh authentic stone oven pizzas using traditional methods throughout the country.

The custom solution for the mobile pizza chain Tutti Pizza once again demonstrates that Intercel's energy solutions can get results in the most varied and sometimes unexpected applications. Wondering what our specialists could do for your application? If so, please feel free to contact us. We'll join you in putting together a suitable energy solution.

Technical knowledge

Overvoltage or undervoltage

Incorrect charging or discharging is one of the most important factors that can substantially shorten a battery's life. We at Intercel see examples of this all too often. What exactly is overvoltage or undervoltage, and more importantly: how can you prevent it? Our technical expert Jack explains: ''A battery's life depends on many different factors, the most important of which is how the battery is treated. People often use batteries incorrectly without intending to: they use the wrong type of battery or substandard accessories. Fortunately, with the right advice and sound accessories it's fairly easy to prevent damage from being caused by overvoltage or undervoltage. Some batteries can even protect themselves against deep discharge.

Overvoltage may be due to a defect in the battery, but is more often caused by using the wrong charger or charging pattern. This means that the battery is charged beyond its design limit. The battery is being overloaded, as it were. Most batteries and chargers feature sufficient safeguards to prevent serious hazards being caused by overcharging, but that does not alter the fact that the battery may be permanently damaged. In the most favourable scenario the battery loses capacity, but a completely defective battery is by no means uncommon.

Undervoltage in this context means deep discharge. If deep discharge occurs, the battery is completely drained. Some batteries can withstand this better than others. If a battery is too deeply discharged, the user has exceeded the battery's demand parameters. A battery that has been too deeply discharged can usually be completely written off. It cannot be repaired, and will no longer be able to supply the necessary current. Deep discharge will not occur if the battery is used normally. The battery will usually stop supplying enough current to keep the connected application running long before it is too deeply discharged, and the user will usually connect it to a charger before it becomes too deeply discharged.

The best way to prevent overvoltage is to use suitable accessories. Since incorrectly charging a battery is the most likely cause of overvoltage, it is especially important to carefully consider which battery charger to use. No two chargers are the same. There are many different types, each of which is suitable for certain battery types and capacities. It is always worth consulting a specialist to find out which battery charger is most suitable for your battery.

As mentioned above, undervoltage will rarely occur if a battery is used normally. In that context it's important never to place an uncharged AGM battery in storage. Batteries discharge themselves to some extent. Even when not in use, a battery will slowly but surely run out. If a battery is put away uncharged rather than being charged first, it could discharge too deeply with time and sustain irreparable damage. That's why it's always advisable to charge a battery before placing it in storage. Undervoltage can be prevented in time by using a battery monitor or battery guard. This continuously monitors the battery's condition and can provide an alert if there is a danger of the battery discharging too deeply. The user can anticipate this in time by placing the battery on charge.

Lithium batteries are very good at protecting themselves against overvoltage or undervoltage. They feature a built-in Battery Management System (BMS) that continuously monitors the battery's status. The BMS automatically stops the battery from supplying or receiving current if there is a danger of overvoltage or undervoltage occurring. That prevents the battery from being damaged. The BMS should however be regarded as a very last resort to protect the battery against permanent damage. If the battery is used in such a way that the BMS keeps having to intervene, then that will also cause damage. It is also advisable to keep lithium batteries charged during storage. A BMS cannot prevent the battery from being damaged because it becomes too deeply discharged owing to self-discharge.''

Who is...

Dirk van Gogswaardt

Dirk has been our lithium specialist since the beginning of September 2016. He works at our Solutions department, where we design custom energy solutions. “I'm Dirk, 35 years old, and I've been Intercel's lithium expert for almost a year now. Since graduating as a business scientist I've always been interested in new technologies and their implementation.

In the past few years I've gained a lot of experience with the use of lithium technology for a wide variety of applications: From hybrid boats to solar energy systems and from offshore to an excursion vehicle in a nature reserve. During the past six years I've noticed that the lithium battery has become increasingly accepted and widespread. I'm currently testing the new Cellpower CLN series. This new battery series, which uses lithium technology, offers an unparalleled combination of excellent cyclic performance at a highly competitive price. I'm looking forward to sharing our lithium know-how in Intercel's network and rolling out the technology even further.”

Product knowledge

The new Cellpower CLN series

The Cellpower innovations never end! Following the launch of the vibration-resistant Cellpower CPR batteries at the end of 2016, Intercel is proud to present another new Cellpower battery series. This one features lithium technology: The Cellpower CLN. Twice as much power in the same housing compared to AGM, plus extreme cyclical performance. The Cellpower CLN battery reaches new heights when it comes to power.

The Cellpower CLN series will soon be available at Intercel. This new series, which uses lithium technology, offers the benefits of low weight and excellent cyclical performance, but in a housing that's up to two times smaller than a comparable AGM or Gel battery. The CLN series is not the first Cellpower series that makes use of lithium technology. Cellpower has already been supplying custom-made lithium battery packs for some time. The experiences gained with them are now being put to use in the new CLN series. The fact that the CLN is supplied in conventional container sizes places energy solutions featuring lithium technology within closer reach than ever! With the addition of this new series, Cellpower now has a virtually unparalleled range of products that make it possible to put together energy systems for more and more energy systems using Cellpower products.

As with the other Cellpower battery series, the development of the CLN batteries centred on a single aspect: reliable quality. A power supply is as strong as the weakest link in its chain. One component of lesser quality could bring down the entire system. But that weak link will never be a CLN battery. This battery is able to achieve as much as 400% more cycles than comparable AGM batteries, which makes it an unprecedentedly reliable power source for the long term. By combining outstanding performance with a competitive price, Cellpower CLN offers the best of both worlds.

Would you like more information about the new Cellpower CLN series? Or are you curious about the benefits of lithium batteries for your application? If so, please feel free to contact one of our specialists. They'll be pleased to tell you about the possibilities offered by Lithium technology.


Red Cross hospital

Intercel batteries offer double reliability: Reliable performance thanks to the high quality, and reliable service thanks to the flexibility and expertise of our people. There are few places where double reliability is as important as in a hospital. For heart monitors or the light in an operating room: failure is not an option. That explains why the Red Cross hospital opted for the Intercel energy solutions.