Twenty ventilators were donated by the Bank of China for intensive care units in UK hospitals to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak. Despite the ventilators being supplied through a European holding company, there were restriction on the shipments of the lithium ion battery packs that powered them.
Denchi was approached to provide replacement batteries for the units, which were built by the Beijing Eternity Electronic Technology Co. Ltd (above). This was a considerable challenge for the team at the engineering department at the Thurso plant in Scotland as the packs are a non-standard format and there was no documentation.
The lack of the electrical specification data or drawings of the original battery from the Chinese manufacturer meant that the replacement had to be reverse engineered by dismantling one of the units. The custom form factor of the original batteries also gave the team a challenge in fitting all the cells and the accompanying controller electronics board within the required slot dimensions.
In just seven days, the team carried out all the necessary design, prototyping and testing activities, delivering the 14.5V-rated, 5.8Ah capacity batteries to the NHS so that the donated ventilator equipment can be installed in ICUs.
“Given that the COVID-19 pandemic is having such a crippling effect on our healthcare system, this ventilator battery project was something we really wanted to be involved in. Our engineers put a huge amount of effort into it, analysing the equipment and coming up with a fully effective and operationally optimised solution,” said Nick Russel, Chairman and Managing Director of Denchi Group. “We already have further projects in the pipeline that focus on the medical sector. These will, once again, put Denchi’s knowhow in power system design to good use.”