Photo by Vanguard Engines
Va Nguard Lithium Ion Battery

Innovative Product Awards – Engines/Power Sourcing

March 27, 2020
Automatically adjusts supplemental heat to ensure generator operates at full capacity regardless of load demand.

For those who might have missed it, we presented the top winners of RER’s annual Innovative Product Award. The Gold Award went to Doosan Bobcat for the MAXControl iOS Remote Control for Bobcat Loaders. The Silver Award went to Point of Rental for its POR One app, in a close vote between second and third place. And the Bronze Award went to Reachmaster for its Jibbi 40BL- EVO.

The category winners were:

·      Air Compressors: Doosan Portable Power for the XP185WDO Air Compressor;

·       Earthmoving: Kubota Tractor for the SVL65-2 Compact Track Loader;

·       Engines/Power Sourcing: Vanguard Power for the Vanguard Commercial Lithium-Ion Battery;

·       Generators/Welders: Doosan Portable Power for the Intelligent Load Management System:

·       Lawn & Garden Equipment: Toro for its TRX-250 walk-behind trencher;

·       Lifts: Hy-Brid Lifts for its ZT-1630 compact lift (tied with Reachmaster in the Lifts category;

·       Light Towers: Lind Equipment for its All-in-one Beacon LED Tower;

·       Material Handling Equipment: Reachmaster for its Lassius 2200 by Winlet;

·       Miscellaneous: Ledwell for its Solar Lift Loading Ramp;

·       Pumps: Godwin CD150S Dri Prime Pump

And there were a few dozen “Honorable Mentions”.

As part of an ongoing series, here’s the category winner for Engines/Power Sourcing: 


Product Name: Vanguard Commercial Lithium-Ion Battery  

Manufacturer: Vanguard Power

Key Innovation: First fully integrated complete battery solution on the market. Flexible and efficient power.

Description (provided by the manufacturer): Vanguard Commercial Lithium-Ion Battery

The Vanguard Commercial Lithium-Ion Battery is the only fully integrated, complete battery solution on the market. The customized Vanguard lithium-ion battery pack, Battery Management System and battery charger work seamlessly together to deliver efficient power and performance. Modular internal components can be configured for multiple capacities and voltages. Built to be flexible, up to four of the Vanguard Lithium-Ion Batteries can be paralleled at a time to meet varying power application needs. It features two customizable CANbus networks that integrate with legacy systems, and a pre-qualified and plug-in ready sharing system can be mounted on or off-board.

The battery is also the first completely serviceable battery in the industry — allowing it to be repaired instead of replaced. Plus, it has built-in integrated lifting points for easy service and maintenance. A durable metal outer shell provides maximum protection for operation in any environment. This flexible, integrated battery solution offers superior power and performance.

RER Commentary: Lithium ion batteries are not brand new on the market, but Dave Schulenberg, senior product manager for alternative power for Vanguard Commercial Power says his claim that the battery is the first fully integrated solution on the market is “built around the fact that we have a fully integrated solution down to our motor controller. In a lot of cases when you try to purchase a lithium ion battery, you’ll get somebody who will provide you maybe with the cells and then you have to put them together with a BMS, a battery management system. And then you have to find a charger that works with all of that, and program it and then integrate it. You also have to have a motor controller that is the intelligent device that tells the different motors and functions of the device what needs to be done properly at the right speed, right power and that type of thing. Our solution, as far as we know, is the first one that puts all those things together into one.”

According to Schulenberg, the battery is designed for tough commercial applications.

“From the ground up, the package has been designed and built specifically for commercial applications,” he says. “So when you look at the enclosure that goes around it, this is an IP66-rated enclosure, which means for dust and water spray. Specifically, we pressure-wash test the battery so that you don’t have to put it inside of an engine bay and cover it up. This is meant to be out and exposed on commercial equipment applications.”

The battery is also built to facilitate paralleling for larger applications, even paralleling as many as 16 batteries at a time.

“If you want to scale up your energy, instead of having to redesign a a brand-new battery and go through all the development, you simply add another battery or more and parallel to get that larger fuel tank,” Schulenberg says. That can be beneficial in the case of a vehicle or piece of equipment that has varied applications. For example, a concrete trowel.

“Some are used to finish very small concrete slabs, they don’t need a lot of runtime,” Schulenberg says. “They can get by with one battery. But that same machine may be used on a different application and be run for a much longer period of time. So, the customer can buy that same machine or the OEM can outfit that same machine with more batteries in it in parallel, so they can use this same machine in different use cases, because there’s a longer run time associated with it. But you can do that without having a whole new inventory or qualify or develop a bunch of different size batteries, you just add more to the series.”

The Vanguard Lithium Ion battery should last a long time, programmed to last at least 2,000 cycles before decreasing in power.

“Another thing that is unique about our solution is that any battery that I know of in the market today, when the battery is assembled it’s a fixed piece,” says Shulenberg. “It can’t be broken down at all and the battery cells can’t be replaced. So, if you lose one cell in the battery, or there’s a defect or there’s misuse or abuse that causes by one of the cells to fail or disconnect from the system, the whole battery would have to be replaced essentially. We created essentially a block of cells. They are stacked together and connected electrically. If a cell goes bad in one of those blocks, we can replace that block, which we call a cell module assembly. That block is essentially one portion of the battery. I can replace just that part of it and fix the battery as well as the internal components and all the electronics that go on inside of the battery, including relays, our temperature censors, our voltage censors, that is all serviceable. If you plug in our diagnostic device, it will communicate output error codes to you and tell you what’s wrong with itself so you have a very good idea before you get any tools what you need to do and what parts need to be replaced.”