The future is smaller, more powerful batteries

Steve Emmett

Author: Steve Emmett

Published: 01 November 2015

by Steve Emmett Issue 106 - October 2015

High-quality cameras are getting smaller and lighter all the time, making them suitable for new applications. Nearly every production we see today includes shots acquired by drone and gimbal mounted cameras. The batteries required to power these cameras have to meet new criteria. They must be able to withstand vibration, within a suitable form factor, without compromising on power. Cell manufacturers are now offering more powerful Li-Ion cells that make smaller batteries achievable. For example, it is now possible to create a 150 Watt-hour battery, offering a 10A current draw, that is the same size as a 100Wh battery, offering 7A, which was state-of-the art only a few years ago.

PAG was contacted by one of the industrys most respected camera manufacturers, ARRI, and asked to work in partnership on the design of a power solution for its new Alexa Mini camera. ARRI was impressed with PAGs innovative PAGlink battery system, but required an even lighter battery, with a form-factor slimmer than anything available in the market. The battery had to be suitable for gimbal and drone mounted applications. It also had to deliver a continuous output current of 10A.
The result is the new PAG L90 Slim battery, which successfully fulfils ARRIs specification and is ideal for all similar small cameras, when a low-profile form factor and a lighter V-Mount battery are required. PAGs development team was able to source the latest high-current Li-Ion cells, from a leading cell manufacturer, which helped them achieve the batterys slimmer format. The PAG L90 Slim is 140mm high x 85 wide x 35mm deep, and weighs only 0.5kg . It has a capacity of 90Wh (14.8V 6.1Ah), which gives it the highest energy density of any V-Mount Li-Ion battery brought to market. It has a continuous current-draw capability of 10A.
PAG-designed firmware is incorporated, making it an intelligent battery that manages its own charge and discharge safely. It can be charged using any reputable V-Mount Li-Ion charger. Reliability, durability and longevity are integral to the battery design, providing an unbeatable return on investment.
PAG has incorporated its own proven and tested electronic protection system, to ensure the highest possible level of safety. All PAG Li-Ion batteries are tested to UN standards by an independent, authorised facility, in order to meet the regulations imposed by Air Transport authorities. PAG is one of the only manufacturers that provide proof to customers of the independent testing of its batteries, by labeling each one with the test report number. In addition to testing, a capacity below 100Wh ensures that the battery is flight-friendly and suitable for transport on aircraft without quantity restriction.

An important consideration in the design of the cell-pack was ensuring that it could withstand the vibration caused when mounted to multi-rotor aerial platforms. PAG incorporated spacers between the cells to prevent the negative affects of vibration. The insulating integral spacers thermally connect all the cells and allow internal heat to dissipate equally. This has the added benefit of creating a consistent thermal environment which contributes to a longer cell life.
Another unique feature is the orientation-sensing numeric Run-Time & Capacity Display, positioned on the side of the battery. The display characters rotate automatically according to the batterys orientation, to ensure legibility. Run-time is displayed to a resolution of 1 minute. Capacity is displayed in 1% increments. PAG was the first to introduce a numeric Run-Time display over 16 years ago, and is now the first to offer an orientation-sensing battery display.
In keeping with the latest PAG-developed technology, the L90 communicates automatically with different camera data systems and displays its remaining capacity in the camera viewfinder and LCD.
The new PAG L90 Slim incorporates many unique features that were developed by PAGs in-house team. It is PAGs continued commitment to Research and Development that ensures its innovation in battery technology, and provides real benefits to camera professionals. The PAG L90 Slim will ship in the last quarter of 2015.

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