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Getting batteries ready to fly

Last year the Internawtional Air Transport Association (IATA) changed the regulations for shipping Lithium-Ion batteries by air, as cargo, so that users now have to discharge them to 30 per cent or less of their rated capacity. To simplify this, Anton/Bauer has introduced its LPD Discharger, which discharges up to four 90Wh batteries to 29 per cent in three hours or less.

This can even be done while they are being carried in a Peli case (the unit doesn’t need mains power). Of course, this would mean the batteries will heat up, but the unit is thermally managed and can slow the rate of discharge to keep everything safe. The LPD also has fan cooling.

The system was developed with a rental company, but Anton/Bauer quickly recognised that it was an issue for the whole industry, particularly crews flying between locations needing to get their Gold-mount or V-mount batteries ready to travel while already on the move.

Andrew Butler, product manager, Anton/Bauer, said: “Until now, there’s been no elegant way to discharge batteries below the 30 per cent threshold, but with our new LPD, our customers can discharge and ship their batteries in full compliance with the regulations and then fly through security.”