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Innovative data access and processing for an intelligent battery

Research, design and test different means of data access and processing of vital battery information for the end user.

The battery is an electrochemical process which is used to supply an electrical circuit usually through a converter. The converter is by today's standards microprocessor controlled in order to ensure the optimum performance and reliability. Although various battery management units exist to complement the state-of-the-art and hence performance of the electrical circuitry, market penetration of this technology on the lead acid battery is still very limited. Therefore the battery is usually left isolated in a dark dirty space and completely out of the system design and monitoring. The only time we really have a good look at the battery is when the equipment stops. Usually the blame is immediately put on the battery because the controller would have given some indication on the sophisticated display of the equipment. The battery is usually out of this and cannot give the necessary alarms to avoid failures. In a way this is because, in spite of its limitations, the lead acid battery is a very reliable and robust way of storing energy. Other technologies such as the lithium ion cannot really work safely without a very sophisticated microprocessor based battery management unit. ABERTAX has developed with the assistance of another EUREKA grant an intelligent battery with embedded electronics. Two patents were submitted on this work and the product is now in the process of being taken to production and is currently being marketed worldwide. This battery is aimed at both motive and standby applications and there is already a lot of interest from various customers to get hold of this battery. This September ABERTAX presented this product in an international fair called Cleaning Management Services (22nd - 25th September 09 Berlin, GERMANY). During the testing phase of this innovative technology it resulted that although the data from the embedded monitoring system is very useful, it is somewhat cumbersome to access and process it. This is because a technical person has to go with his laptop next to the machine and download the data onto his computer. It was also very clear that the major customers will be those who rent out battery operated equipment and therefore access of the data through a wireless connection is of vital importance. The ABERTAX research team has therefore to come up with an innovative data access and processing system that would automate the use of the information from both the charger and BMS (Battery-Management Systems). Some type of wireless communication is required to transfer the stored data from the unit to a PC or a server. The BMU (Balancing Mechanism Unit) stores a number of useful data. The data can be classified into two. The first would be the information regarding the three main parameters of the battery pack which are voltage, current and time. From this data a number of other useful parameters can be calculated such as Amp hour, KWh, state of charge, lifetime calculation, etc. The second group of information gives vital information on the battery critical factors such as acid liquid level, temperature and depth of discharge. The state of charge is an example of a parameter which gives the most useful information to the user as this indicates the remaining autonomy of the equipment. This second set of information is critical and hence from this data a set of alarms is usually generated. The additional hardware and software that will be designed through this proposal will enable all this information to be transferred automatically to a server. Software algorithms will be designed and implemented in order to generate automatically useful information and actions to ensure a safe and reliable operation of a fleet of battery operated equipment.
Acronym: 
Ibatcomm
Project ID: 
5 362
Start date: 
01-02-2010
Project Duration: 
30months
Project costs: 
200 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Data Processing / Data Interchange, Middleware
Market Area: 
Batteries

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