A dead battery in the car is a misfortune any driver would willingly avoid. When it is important to reach a destination, a car that does not start because its battery is dead gives a terrible feeling. Most people do not want to think about the car battery too much, preferring rather to have it just work every time they start the car. The smart battery from Ohm Laboratories, Silicon Valley, does just that and makes sure you do not have to replace your car battery almost ever.
In spite of modern advancements in car technology, the car battery is still the same huge, heavy electromechanical block that it has been from generations. Although it requires replacement sometimes, it does its job quite well, and does not give you much trouble, unless you have forgotten to switch off the car lights.
One of the major reasons for a dead battery, when it has not yet reached the end of its life cycle, is when you accidentally leave the car lights on making the battery drain itself overnight. The Ohm battery, being smart, can detect when the energy in the battery is reaching its critical level, and shuts itself off. Therefore, next morning, there is still some reserve power left over to allow you to start your car. While driving, the Ohm battery recharges just as any other battery will.
The self shut-off feature is useful while the battery is within its effective life cycle, but it cannot deal with the end of life situation. Therefore, Ohm Laboratories has also provided the battery with a replacement warning system. When the system starts beeping, you know that it is time for a replacement. According to Ohm, the beeper offers a more accurate and quicker warning as compared to the battery warning light on the car dashboard.
Instead of the typical car battery with a lead-acid construction, Ohm offers a unique combination battery consisting of LiFePO4 or lithium iron phosphate and super-capacitors. The super-capacitors deliver the quick burst of energy necessary for starting the car. The LiFePO4 part of the battery keeps the super-capacitors topped up when the engine is off. Therefore, the battery system is ready to go when you perk up the key for ignition.
According to Ohm, the combination of super-capacitors and LiFePO4 has a seven-year lifespan. This is nearly twice that compared to the average life of a lead-acid battery. Ohm claims its battery also performs better in cold weather.
There is another advantage to the Ohm battery. Compared to the lead-acid type, the Ohm battery is a lot lighter. A group size 35 lead acid battery can easily weigh as much as 16 Kg. Therefore, an Ohm battery, at 2.7 Kg, may seem light as a feather in comparison. Not only does that make your vehicle lighter, handling an Ohm battery is easier during replacements.
Ohm Laboratories have made the body of their battery the same size as that of a typical lead-acid battery, which makes it a drop-in replacement. The only downside to their design is the small 10Ah reserve capacity, because of the self shut-off feature. That does not allow running electrical equipment with the engine turned off.