Hospitals Are Facing Unprecedented Strain – We Can Help Support Them With Backup Power

The current spread of COVID-19 is causing unprecedented strain on our healthcare workers, hospitals, and healthcare facilities. We’ve all seen the coverage detailing the extend of this strain, like the shortages of essential PPE (personal protective equipment) to keep our doctors, nurses, technicians and others who are vital to containing the coronavirus.

Hospitals are ground zero, and more than ever we are realizing how absolutely indispensable they are. For us as consumers, the best thing we can do to help is to stay home, if we are able. As businesses, one of the best things we can do is provide the other essentials hospitals and healthcare facilities need to stay operational.

At a time when we feel powerless to help, providing power is the best help we can give.

Northeast Battery can provide DC power for hospital applications: emergency backup power in case of an out, power to laptop and medication carts used in treatment rooms, and even refrigerator backup.

Hospitals are full of technology, making battery power necessary to function. Whether its for portable communication devices and defibrillators or wheelchairs, battery power is a non-negotiable need. Some other devices in hospitals that rely on backup power include:

  • pagers
  • infusion pumps
  • fetal monitors
  • portable EKG monitors
  • flashlights
  • smoke detectors
  • hearing aids
  • portable
  • nurses mobile work station
  • mobile care apparatus

We all are feeling the effects of the COVID-19 virus, in both personal and professional life. Focusing on what we can do to prevent other issues or distractions during this time – like how to provide power in the case of an outage – helps ensure we can focus on containing the spread.

For more information on how our team can help, please reach out to Maggie Teliska at Maggie leads the stationary sales initiatives for Northeast Battery, focusing on providing power and energy solutions to stationary markets, like hospitals. Before this role, she served as a consultant to many companies along the battery supply chain in addition to serving as CTO of Regent Power, LLC, a Smart City host integrator. Maggie has a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the George Washington University and a BS in Chemistry from Boston College.

Northeast Solar & Storage Forum 2020

northeast solar & storage forum 2020

In early March, Greentech Media hosted the Northeast Solar and Storage event in NYC.  The event brought together stakeholders, policymakers, and other interested parties to discuss the latest trends and actions in solar and storage efforts in the northeast.

Here are 5 key takeaways everyone in our industry should know:


New York enacts new law

In 2019, New York enacted the Climate Leadership and Community Protection (CLCPA) law that which requires the state to produce 100% of the state’s power from renewable and nuclear sources by 2040.  This also includes targets:

  • 6 GW of distributed solar by 2025
  • 3 GW of energy storage by 2030


Massachusetts SMART program leads to renewable efforts

  • Massachusetts, also with a 100% clean energy target by 2050 relies on the SMART program.
  • Clean Peak Standard enacted in 2019 enables renewable and cleaner methods to supply electricity during peak demands.
  • 39% of solar projects are paired with storage


100% Clean energy initiatives

 In 2020 three states have announced 100% clean energy initiatives:

  • NY: 50% by 2030; 100% by 2050
  • ME 100% by 2050
  • VA: 100% by 2045

What does this mean? The mandate for renewable energy use has become more aggressive.  This likely leads to more innovation in both market design and policy.


Other states are following the leaders

  • Liberty Utilities in NH pursuing storage aggregation
  • Connecticut discussing storage incentives for solar projects
  • Virginia has a 3.1 GW storage target by 2035
  • NJ has a 600 MW storage mandate by 2021 followed by 2GW by 2030
  • Maryland incentives enabled 3.8MWh of storage in 2019

These states are trying to stay ahead of mandated change, a good play to take initiative and get out ahead of more legislation.


Large Energy Storage Systems have been installed with many more planned


The good news for the battery industry: we have many battery energy storage initiatives installed and under development throughout the Northeast.

The market is moving and changing at a rapid pace. It’s up to all of us to stay tuned in to the market changes and understand its effects. Check back for more updates as our industry continues to transform!



Coronavirus Expected to Hamper Li Ion Battery Production

The Chinese government has continued to implement travel bans and forced shutdowns of production facilities, which include many in the battery production supply chain to minimize transmission between humans and prevent further spreading of the coronavirus.

China is home to the majority of lithium-ion battery capacity globally.  Reports by Bloomberg NEF estimated that 2019 global lithium-ion capacity was around 316 gigawatt-hours, 73% of which resided in China.  Of note, the US came in second with 12%.  Due to the forced travel and production bans, Wood Mackenzie analysts estimated that the battery storage production in China could be reduced by up to 10%, or 26-gigawatt hours, of the predicted pre-coronavirus forecasts.   In addition to the batteries, much of the downstream supply chain raw materials are also exclusively produced in China.   Electrode materials made with cobalt, manganese, and nickel are almost all manufactured in China.

Why it matters:

Lithium-ion batteries are used in small format applications such as consumer electronics and laptop computer and in larger format for energy storage and electric vehicles.

The reduction of battery supply will impact energy storage projects and electric vehicle production. Several large scale energy storage deployments, supplied by Chinese battery manufacturers, may also be delayed in the US, Australia, and the UK as battery supply will be impacted.  Tesla has also reported potential adverse impacts to production, after a forced 1 ½ week government shutdown,  at the Shanghai Gigafactory, due to “health epidemics” in the annual filing.

What is next:

The true impact of this supply crunch may not be known for a while.  One potential impact may be the battery pricing.  It has been reported that lithium-ion battery prices continue to decline, making electric vehicle markets more attractive.  Unexpected disruption and the decline in both batteries and raw materials may upset the economics.  Battery demand may become greater than the supply, which could raise battery pricing.

Additionally, aggressive CO2 reduction targets, many dependent on energy storage, and electric vehicles may be delayed until the battery supply from China can be replenished.

Lastly, other countries actively engaged in lithium ion manufacturing, including the US and Germany, may be impacted by the reduction of both raw materials and other components made in China.

This article was contributed by Maggie Teliska. Teliska leads the stationary sales initiatives for Northeast Battery & Alternator, the largest independent battery distribution company in the Northeast. Before this role, she served as a consultants well as CTO of Regent Power, LLC, a Smart City host integrator. She sits on the board of the Women’s Energy Network Boston Chapter.  Maggie has a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the George Washington University and a BS in Chemistry from Boston College. She lives in Tewskbury, MA with her husband.

An Important COVID-19 Update

As we continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation around the coronavirus (COVID-19), our first thought is for the safety and well-being of our employees, our customers and suppliers.  We are taking every precaution as we remain open and continue to operate our distribution network and service our customers.

Here are the steps we’re taking to help ensure the best possible safety and reliability.

First, as updates are coming frequently, we are closely monitoring the guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Based on their collective input, along with considerations for our customers and employees, we have begun implementing preventive measures to help keep our employees and others as safe as possible from the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Secondly, we are open for business! We have implemented travel restrictions, and when possible, are allowing employees to work in alternative ways in an effort to reduce close interaction. We have also instructed our employees who interact with customers to maintain as safe a distance as possible, and to follow all guidance as it relates to hand washing etc. Especially in a time of reduced face-to-face interaction, the best and safest way to contact us is by emailing us at, or by calling our Customer Service team at 800-441-8824.

Finally, we have enacted measures to sanitize our facilities and equipment wherever possible, and have directed employees in accordance with guidance from the CDC, to:

  • Stay home if they have respiratory symptoms (coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath) and/or a temperature above 100.4 F.
  • Leave work if they develop these symptoms while at the workplace.
  • Shield coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or a sleeved elbow or shoulder (not the bare hands).
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Thank you for your partnership with Northeast Battery and Tri-State Battery. Our healthy employees safely servicing your valuable business continues to be our top priority.

How to Use a Car Battery Charger

Your car battery is typically charged by the electrical system as you drive it down the road. There might come a time, however, where charging the battery is necessary. It just won’t turn over the engine one morning. Knowing how to charge a car battery with an external charger is a great skill to have. Discover the safe steps for charger use right now.

Finding the Battery

Knowing how to charge a battery starts with finding it in your particular vehicle. Meineke points out that the battery might be hidden in a few areas, such as:

  • Within the trunk
  • Behind the fender
  • Deeply seated in the engine bay

Use your car’s manual to find the battery if it’s particularly well hidden. It’s position within the car will determine your next step.

Remove or Not?

Battery University stresses that each car battery charger will be manufactured by a third party. It won’t necessarily fit right into the area containing your battery. Each car design is different. If you can comfortably reach and work around the battery in its original location, there’s no need to remove it. That extra step is meant for harder-to-reach batteries.

Always remove the battery if you cannot reasonably access it. Electrical shock might be an issue with a battery that’s in a tough position. You shouldn’t strain to reach it in the end.

Setting up a Safe Charging Session

Learning how to recharge a car battery means putting safety first. Before you even touch the battery, be sure to shut off any electrical elements. Overhead lights, radios and all accessories must be shut off. Leave even one light on, and you might experience a shock when you touch the battery.

Whether you have a dead battery from overuse or are simply preventing it from freezing over the winter, these safety tips will make the charging session an easy one to complete.

Removing Cables and Cleaning the Battery

Detach the negative or black cable from the battery first. When you learn how to charge a car battery, you know that pulling the negative side will prevent most shocks. Pull the positive or red cable off the battery next. Place them away from each other.

Clean the battery terminals with a mixture of baking soda and water. These terminals tend to have corrosion that might hinder any charging process.

Connecting the Charger

Take a look at your charger. Verify that it’s in the “off” mode. Attach the positive clamp on the charger to the positive side of the battery. Repeat this step with the negative side.

Set the volts on the charger to the lowest value. Activate the charger. A safe setup will produce no event other than an indicator on the charger that it’s delivering power to the battery. Allow the units to work together for now.

Estimating Charging Times

Knowing how to charge a battery means that a proper time must be chosen for the charging process. Most chargers are smart, which means that they sense when the battery is full. You can also gauge the charging session’s length by matching the time to the battery’s specifications. A larger, cold-cranking amp value will require a longer charge time than other batteries, for example.

The Bad-Cell Scenario

Batteries will die back over time. As you learn how to recharge a car battery, you’ll recognize when a product is ready for recycling. After a charging session, the battery doesn’t test well on the voltmeter. It may have the same amount of volts as before the charging session.

There may be one or more cells that are bad within the battery. They cannot be forced to absorb the charging energy. It’s time to replace the battery entirely.

Work alongside Northeast Battery when you have questions about any car battery charger. Our team can show you the ropes of this critical skill. Your car and battery can work harmoniously with a little juice from that handy charger.

US Army Funds New fuel Cell Development for Smaller Portable Units

The US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) recently announced plans to fund fuel cell research with Cornell University.  The five-year program has plans to develop a new fuel cell technology, which is small, durable yet safe to generate on-demand electricity to power and charge accessories in the field.

What it is:  Fuel cells operate by generating electricity on demand from electrochemical reactions that take place inside the cell.  Fuel sources, such as hydrogen or methanol are used to fuel the reactions.

Fuel cell systems are already commercially available and deployed in many larger systems including emergency backup and specialty vehicles such as forklifts.  Zero emission vehicles employing fuel cell technology have been in development for years and several automotive manufacturers are deploying into select markets.  Greater adoption of the technology will depend on the cost and fuel distribution and building a hydrogen infrastructure to support systems.

Why it matters:

The military relies on energy and power for most activities and reliable charging, especially during combat is often critical to the success of the mission.  Essential combat accessories include night vision systems, communications, sensors and laptops.  In order to power these devices, heavy battery systems are used and not always available on demand, for instance at the front line of combat. Advances in fuel cell technology would enable quick access to power with a lighter load.   The use of smaller, portable uses of fuel cells has een met with challenges due to

Other military uses in development:

The Naval Research Laboratory has been developing the ‘Ion Tiger’, a fuel cell powered UAV which has broken several records for time in flight.  The use of fuel cells allows for longer flight missions due to the lightweight and compact nature of the technology.  Currently the Ion Tiger can stay in flight for 48 hours compared with only 1 hour from battery power.

The US Army has been working to develop wearable power systems using fuel cell technology in an effort to decrease the weight of wearable equipment by up to 50%.

This article was contributed by Maggie Teliska. Teliska leads the stationary sales initiatives for Northeast Battery & Alternator, the largest independent battery distribution company in the Northeast. Before this role, she served as a consultants well as CTO of Regent Power, LLC, a Smart City host integrator. She sits on the board of the Women’s Energy Network Boston Chapter.  Maggie has a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the George Washington University and a BS in Chemistry from Boston College. She lives in Tewskbury, MA with her husband. 

How to Replace Battery Terminals

That flaky residue that builds up on car battery terminals is an all-too-common sight over the years. The battery may not be performing at peak levels because of this corrosion. It’s time to consider a replacement scenario. You don’t have to toss out the battery and wires entirely, however. Replacing just the battery terminals is an option that truly invigorates the battery’s longevity.

1. Pull the Wires First

Begin this project by pulling the wires from the battery. Always start with the negative terminals, states Firestone Complete Auto Care. You avoid shocks by starting with the negative side. Remove the positive wire from the battery afterward. Lay them away from each other so that electrical shorts aren’t part of your experience.

2. Examine the Terminal Style

Battery cables come with a basic clamp design. Take a close look at the terminal type that you have. You want new clamps that have these features, such as:

  • Tinned copper material
  • Complete, 360-degree compression around the terminal

With these professional clamps, there’s ample connection between the battery terminal and power source, reports Reader’s Digest Canada. Poor connections won’t be an issue.

3. Clean the Battery’s Terminals

The terminals on batteries won’t work well with the new clamps unless every connection point is clear of corrosion. Clean the battery’s terminals with a mixture of one cup water and one tablespoon baking soda. Be sure to wear gloves and eye protection.

Use a toothbrush to apply the mixture onto the battery terminals. Scrub them clean. If the battery is extremely old and not responding to a thorough cleaning, recycling itmight be the next best step.

4. Cut and Strip the Wires

With a clean battery, refocus your efforts on the wires and new terminals. Cut the old terminals off the wires with an appropriate tool, such as:

  • Wire cutters
  • Hacksaws

These parts accessories require a strong connection between your vehicle’s wires and the new terminals. Use a wire stripping tool to pull back about a half-inch of insulation from each wire.

5. Be Diligent With Cleaning

By removing part of the wire’s insulation, you may be revealing further corrosion damage. Be sure to clean off any visible corrosion from the exposed wire. The battery terminal won’t properly connect with corrosion impacting the circuit.

Carefully use the baking soda mixture, toothbrush and rag to remove the corrosion. Make sure that the corrosion doesn’t drift onto any exposed metal on the battery or wires.

6. Add Heat-Shrink Tubing

A clever way to secure the terminal and wire connection is by using heat-shrink tubing. Slide some tubing onto the wire. Carefully connect the wire to the terminal with the tubing slid down the wire. If the tubing is overlooked before the connection, it cannot be stretched over the terminal.

Be sure to connect the wires to the terminal in the same formation as the original parts. Quality batteries won’t respond to misaligned wiring. In fact, wiring mishaps might lead to drained batteries or no power at all.

7. Connect and Shrink the Assembly

With the terminals and wiring connected together, slide the tubing over this connection. Verify that no exposed wiring is visible. If there’s any exposed wiring, a longer piece of tubing is necessary. Arcing electricity occurs with ease when wiring has no insulation.

Use a heat gun to shrink the tubing against the connection when it’s properly positioned.

8. Reattach and Test the Battery

Reattach the clamps onto the battery. Test the battery by turning on the car. A successful project results in an engine that turns over without any hesitation. If there’s any issues, shut off the car and verify your connections with careful attention to the terminals.

Contact Northeast Battery today with your questions about terminals on batteries. The details might be numerous, but it’s possible to quickly and cheaply finish this project with solid results. Be the master of your car battery with a terminal replacement that lasts the test of time.