“Lithium is a highly reactive element meaning
that larger amounts of energy can be stored
between its atomic bonds”
One Li-ttle reason for
tool battery innovation
Batteries are taking over our lives and some believe this
is the next revolution in all areas of society – from the hire
industry, to construction and grounds maintenance sectors,
for domestic end users and throughout all distribution
channels. Kevin Brannigan, marketing manager of
Makita UK, explains more.
An evolution in batteries has
been made possible because
of advances in technology and
particularly the development of
48 Heating & Plumbing Monthly | MAY 2019 | www.hpmmag.com Lithium-Ion technology.
On the periodic table, it has the symbol
Li which is the lightest metal and the
lightest solid element. If we look at the
storage capacities, a kilogram of lead acid
will typically generate 25 watts of electricity
per hour, nickel metal hydride about
100 watts per hour and Lithium-Ion an
outstanding 150 watts per hour. Lithium
is a highly reactive element meaning that
larger amounts of energy can be stored
between its atomic bonds.
To fi nd the right level, 18V and 36V
models, using twin 18V batteries, are the
optimum power outputs for cordless tools
and general construction and grounds
Higher voltages, such as 56V-80V
may only have 2.0Ah power, and can be
tempting, but bigger isn’t necessarily
better. This will shorten run time faster
whereas Makita’s 18V and 36V motors
with 4.0Ah/5.0Ah batteries are powerful
enough to do the job in hand and offer
increased run time.
A 36V 5.0Ah battery system meets most
needs and gives good run times at sensible
prices your customers will appreciate.
Lightweight, high output, great price.
That’s why these batteries are being used in
a host of everyday items such as telephones,
cameras, laptops, power tools, landscape
machinery and cars.
A major factor associated with Lithium-
Ion is that there is no battery memory,
which means it can charge whenever and
there is no need to discharge. Only tiny
levels of discharge arise when stored for
There are a growing number of factors
that are driving the force behind the
popularity of Li-Ion, including
environmental factors, running
costs, the rising cost of fossil fuels
and employee wellbeing.
Health and safety is at the
forefront of all industrial sectors.
Battery eliminates inhaling exhaust
gasses from petrol products, greatly
reduces vibration and eradicates trip
hazards as experienced with electric
corded tools. Battery products are also
lighter in weight and well balanced for
When purchasing a cordless product you
are effectively buying the fuel up front and
investing in fl exibility when the batteries
are interchangeable between products,
representing a substantial cost saving.
This leads to another benefi t, which is,
once the initial purchase has been made
and suffi cient batteries obtained, more
machines can be purchased as ‘body only’
making for greater economy.
Makita’s Li-Ion battery, for example,
can power more than 160 products,
ranging from drill drivers, angle drills and
demolition hammers to heated jackets and
When making purchasing decisions
consider what protection Makita Li-Ion
batteries have and offer. There are certain
conditions that affect their performance
and your customers will appreciate and
understand the benefi ts.
As with engines, batteries are affected by
extreme temperatures. If they get too hot
they seize up. Makita batteries overcome
this and contain a thermal sensor. If the
battery is hot when placed on the charger,
this is communicated and the fan will cool
the battery to the optimum temperature.
Kevin Brannigan, marketing
manager of Makita UK
A balance charger which analyses the cells
identifi es what they need and charges the
battery accordingly with no excess heat
Where batteries have been placed in tool
bags full of screws and more they could
short between the terminals and cause
damage. So fi nd them the right home.
All batteries can over-discharge and this is
one of the biggest causes of battery failure.
Some power should be left in a battery to
start the charge process.
Inside each battery there is a circuit
board where the heat sensor is mounted
and other electronics that measure
the number of cycles the battery has
achieved. It relays important information
to the battery checker including date of
manufacture, capacity, charge per cell
cluster, which cells have failed and if any
cells have deteriorated.
Importantly, when the battery is
exhausted, manufacturers should have
processes in place to dispose of it. As a
member of EPTA (European Power Tool
Association) Makita receives and sends
batteries for approved recycling.