Choose the right battery
Cordless tools started out with the introduction of cordless drill / screwdriver offerings.
During the past decade or more, huge improvements were made to these tools. The biggest area of development was in cordless drill batteries. Different battery types and battery voltage are now available. The range of tools making use of cordless batteries were expanded, mainly because of…
…such better battery types and extended battery life.
Various tools & off grid use
At present, various tools like circular saws, jigsaws, sabre saws, planers, angle grinders, etc. are available as cordless battery operated tools.
Cordless tools are the perfect tool choice to be used in the off-grid lifestyle. It can be used at remote sites where electricity points are not readily available. Furthermore, the chargers of these tools use very little electricity. There is no better choice than cordless tools for this application.
Lithium ion batteries
With the introduction of lithium ion battery technology for power tool applications, together with the ability to increase in battery voltage, the practicality of using these tools as general power tools on site were vastly improved.
Benefits of lithium ion batteries:
– Light Weight
– High energy density
– Tiny memory effect
– Extremely low self-discharge
– The lithium ion technology allows manufactures to create higher voltage tools, using a smaller battery pack.
Compared to nickel cadmium batteries, lithium ion batteries have an ergonomic design advantage and it is becoming the preferred battery choice in power tool use.
Do lithium ion batteries have more power output?
There may be a perception that lithium ion batteries have more power output than nickel cadmium batteries, but that is not true.
The power of a cordless tool is determined by battery voltage and design efficiency of the tool. Reduced friction and optimizing revolutions to the load ratios of a tool will influence power delivery.
A 12-volt lithium ion battery and a 12-volt nickel cadmium has the same electron pressure and it will therefore deliver the same power.
As mentioned before, the design of lithium ion batteries are far more compact and therefore higher voltage battery packs can be added to the tools.
While the first nickel cadmium cordless drill batteries were only 4.8-volts and the batteries were developed over a period of time up to about 14 volts, it is now common for lithium ion battery powered tools to be running from 18-volts’ batteries in regular use.
Even battery sizes of 24-volts and 36-volts are presently not uncommon in power tool use.
What is affecting the run time of a battery?
Basically, there are four factors that determines the run time of a battery, namely:
- Volts, which is the pressure at which electrons can be fed from the source. (battery)
Higher volts will result in longer run time.
- Ampere output, which is the flow of the current from the source.
The lower the tool’s ampere requirement is, the longer will run time be.
- Amp-hours, which is the charge that will allow 1 ampere of current to flow for one hour from the source.
Higher battery amp-hour rating will result in longer run time.
A broader description of the above terms and concepts are made in a previous article, namely; Power up your off grid freezer.
- Tool design. This was already touched on above. Design efficiency will improve. battery run time.
lithium ion battery technology made it possible to allow cordless tools to evolve into very practical tools for both DIY and commercial use.
Nickel cadmium battery powered tools may be considered as old technology.
Tool torque and run time of batteries are crucial.
Most manufactures have the broadest tool range on offer in 18 volts, lithium ion batteries at present.
There are 24-volt and 36 volt options available, but these are mostly for specialized use.
A good option seems to be cordless tools powered by 18-volts lithium ion batteries.
Lithium ion batteries with an amp-hour rating of between 1.1 Ah to 3.0 Ah are available.
The lower budget tools uses the lower rating, but it is better to opt for the higher rating (3.0 Ah) as it will offer that much needed extended run-time for your cordless tool.
Thanks for reading this article
I trust that you found the information shared in it useful & informative.
Your comments will be appreciated. 🙂
Cobus vdM / https://offgridbasics.com