Banks move to lithium battery technology for intruder systems

Issue 8 2022 Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection

Banks have been challenged with load shedding to keep security systems operational, specifically intruder systems. As the level of load shedding intensified, lead acid batteries, which were being used by most banks to run intruder systems, were showing a significant reduction in life expectancy, and a high level of unreliability.

“Another factor was the battery’s operational time. With daily load shedding sometimes exceeding six hours, the older battery technology was not coping, unable to recharge properly between these long bouts of load shedding,” explains Francois Smuts, key accounts support manager, Elvey Group.

“The challenge was to select the most reliable battery technology to meet the specific needs of extended load shedding. The products that were being used were based predominantly on AGM technology, and to a lesser extent gel.”

“AGM technology, based on life expectancy, is virtually double that of Flooded SLA technology, and around a third better than a gel battery for applications such as low current draw typical of intruder systems. But these technologies were failing to keep the intruder systems running during excessive load shedding periods, causing a spike in battery failures.”

In addition, replacing failed batteries in the field increased labour and travelling costs. With outlying branches, this could equate to a full day’s labour and over a thousand kilometres travelled in some cases, Smuts says.

“Banks needed to review the available options. Years ago, before lithium technology became available, evaluations and tests were conducted, and at the time, AGM was determined to be the most economical choice,” explains Uniross Batteries MD, Michael Rogers.

“Around 18 months ago, one of the Big 5 banks requested Elvey to evaluate the possibility of replacing SLA batteries with lithium equivalents for use in their intruder systems from a feasibility and safety point of view,” Smuts adds. “Initially, the intruder system manufacturers strongly advised against this based on safety issues. This was because, in general, the battery monitoring and charging circuitry of intruder systems are designed for safe use using SLA batteries. At that stage lithium batteries were more prone to an explosion than lead acid.”

Rogers notes: “But with advancements in battery technology, lithium batteries now include a built-in Battery Management System (BMS). This monitors the lithium battery and will shut it down should there be a risk of a failure or overheating. This addressed these concerns and as result the SLA batteries were replaced with lithium.”

“In the evaluation, extensive tests were conducted using DSC and Texecom intruder systems, simulating a typical bank environment. It was found that SLA batteries in intruder systems could be replaced by lithium batteries, with no safety or performance issues while providing all the benefits of lithium,” Smuts says.

“We chose the Uniross 7 AH and 20 AH lithium batteries to replace the current 7 AH and 17 AH (AGM) SLA batteries. Our tests revealed that the BMS used by Uniross in its lithium series batteries are more in-line with the typical intruder system’s battery charging circuitry, taking frequent load shedding into consideration.”

The lithium solution is performing according to expectations, but some time will be required for the banks to derive accurate figures relating to the benefits. “But already the uptime is significantly higher as well as performance and reliability.

“From a cost saving point of view, relating to historical battery replacements, cost savings are expected to exceed 60% over the next two to three years,” says Smuts.

“In terms of productivity benefits from a load shedding point of view, because lithium batteries maintain their voltage virtually throughout a discharging period, an intruder system’s battery operational time is extended by at least 15%. In some cases, this equates to hours.

“With service providers spending less time replacing and fault-finding battery-related issues, their average callout turnaround time for other intruder system related issues is dramatically reduced,” Smuts concludes.


Credit(s)




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

Different fences for different farmers
Gallagher Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection Agriculture (Industry)
Far beyond the simple delineation of boundaries, fencing serves as a dynamic solution to address various needs, from ensuring the security of farms and protecting livestock to defining property lines and enhancing aesthetic appeal.

Read more...
Protect remote sites with volumetric thermal detectors
OPTEX Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection
Remote sites have always been more vulnerable to opportunistic intrusion, but over the last two years in particular, sites such as solar farms or industrial parks have become more common targets for criminals.

Read more...
Stafix focuses on local manufacturing
Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection
Stafix Security Centres is a South African-owned company committed to providing customers with a choice of quality imported and locally manufactured products that meet the needs of the electronic security market.

Read more...
Texecom launches latest SmartCom 4G Communicator
Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection
Texecom announced the upgraded and enhanced version of its SmartCom 4G communicator. Signal sensitivity on all the main bands has also been improved, increasing the usable range from masts, in some instances, by up to four times.

Read more...
Olarm advances smart security with Texecom integration
Olarm News & Events Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection Products & Solutions
Following Olarm’s achievement as the OSPA 2023 winner of ‘Outstanding Security Integrator’, it has taken another significant step in its innovation journey with the announcement of its integration with Texecom Premier Elite.

Read more...
Texecom increases support in the EMEA with key appointments
Editor's Choice Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection News & Events
Texecom announced two new appointments to its EMEA sales team: Thomas Vanden Wyngaerdt as Head of EMEA Sales and Tom Wright as EMEA Account Manager.

Read more...
JVA electric fence systems
Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection
JVA offers a wide range of perimeter-monitored fence solutions (including low and high voltage, amperage, taut wire, and vibration monitoring), as well as a variety of fence line accessories designed for the South African market.

Read more...
A good security system starts outside
OPTEX Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection
Outdoor intrusion detectors have been specifically designed to expand the security coverage beyond the confines of a building and to warn of anyone approaching as early as possible.

Read more...
Simple panic system for estates
Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection
RDC’s Panic Packs, combined with remote panic buttons, offer a simple and affordable panic solution that ensures residents can access immediate help in times of distress.

Read more...
June Coetzer joins Olarm as Partner Manager
News & Events Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection
Armed with a solid background in sales and business development, June Coetzer recently joined Olarm as an additional Partner Manager covering Gauteng and the surrounding areas.

Read more...