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Battery Monitoring Blog

This blog focuses on battery monitoring best practices and performance improvements.

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Recent blog posts
"Battery Monitoring Systems are Cost Prohibitive" - PSHAW!

Overheard in 1987 – “The problem with Fax machines is that the guy on the other end needs one too.”

Overheard in 1994 – “Paying for a cell phone is a waste.  If you need to make a call, find a pay phone.”

Overheard in 2010 – “Continuous battery monitoring costs too much as compared to my battery string.”

Innovation creates change.  Those who create it are said to be visionaries.  Those who embrace it are said to be ahead of the curve.  Those who resist it are…normal?

Yes, normal. Believe it or not, the statements above were not out of place when they were pronounced. Heck, some attribute Bill Gates with proclaiming, “640K ought to be enough for anybody.”  Mr. Gates denies ever saying it, but certainly most of us who were around at the time probably thought along similar lines.  Proof?  Did you buy Microsoft stock?  If you did, you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog. 

The beautiful thing about innovation is that, in many cases, we can afford to wait for it to take hold before we take action.  I mean it’s not like we missed the boat, when we let visionaries prove the concept of new technology. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Dinos-too-late.jpg

At some point though, we jumped on board and now enjoy our Microsoft products, fax machines, and cell/smart phones.  However, if you still refuse to use any of these items, well, the cartoon above may hold some meaning.

It is too early to tell whether continuous battery monitoring will ever be as common as cell phones, but monitoring backup power in central offices, and/or remote sites and cabinets, is no longer visionary.  Innovation has mandated implementation.

What’s that you say?  Many still believe battery monitoring is cost prohibitive?
Pshaw!  That’s right, pshaw.There are two ways to look at this objection.  Both resolve the concern. (click here to read more)

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Battery Monitoring System Wish List?  Here You Go...

Pick an industry, any industry.  Have it?  Good.  Now, imagine you work in that industry and are responsible for staying up to date with its changes.  Naturally, you would spend a significant amount of time reading and watching, attending conferences, conducting online searches, speaking with manufacturers and vendors, and conducting trials whenever possible, right?  Right?  Are you sure?

I mean, if you were an auto specialist, would you be of value if you stopped looking at new models in 2003?  A barber who could only provide 1980’s styling?  A heart surgeon who stopped studying after getting your initial degree?  A football coach who relied on a playbook that was decades old?  An historian who stopped reading the news after the Cold War ended?

This is fun and could go on for a while.  But, what I’m really asking is, if you are in the battery industry, do you know about the most current offerings for continuous battery monitoring?  Even more specific, if you have responsibility for your company’s battery backup power, and the enormous importance of making sure they succeed when needed, are you confident your perception of battery monitoring is not out of date? (Click here to read more)

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Voltage Only Battery Monitoring - Better than Nothing...or Worse?

 

“Battery Monitoring” is a hot topic.  Why?  Mostly because battery backup power is more important than ever and battery failure remains a chronic problem.

Backup battery power is in place to perform a singular, incredibly important function; to work when needed.  However, like everything else, if they are neglected, they won’t perform.  They will fail.

With today’s need for reliable backup power, failure is not an option, and success is mandatory. The dark corner of the basement where batteries reside is now some of the most important real estate within the entire organization.  If the power goes off, and stays off, what is at stake?  Think about that for a moment.  The probable damage list is daunting, but the possible damage list is downright frightening.  Now, compare the cost of monitoring against the cost of power failure.  Business needs have made the term “Battery Monitoring” a hot topic.

By attaining hot topic status, questions are asked at many meetings and across many channels, including existing vendors.  Conversations may go something like this: “What do you know about battery monitoring?  I’ve been asked to look into it.”

“Battery Monitoring?  Don’t worry about it.  We can handle that.”

“Really?! How much?”  (Click here to read more)

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It’s Time to Stop Using “Battery Monitoring” as an All Encompassing Term

It's imperative to know what to measure, how, and why

 

If you get in enough random discussions, or are a good listener, you will sometimes hear people state, “If we pulled 10 people off the street and asked them their opinion on this topic, we would get 10 different answers.  And, so it is with “battery monitoring”.

Go ahead, search for it.  If you are able to find a link to a definition, it probably won’t help much. 

One link I chose automatically directed me to the definition for “Battery Management System” (BMS).  Then, the next link began with, “Sometimes confused with BMS (above) of which it is an essential part, these circuits monitor the key operating parameters (current, voltage, temperature, SOC, etc.) of the battery and provide information to the user.”

So it is a BMS, or part of a BMS, and many times gets confused with a BMS…ugh.

Next, I checked on Linkedin™ Groups and the Battery Monitoring Group (I recommend it, as many knowledgeable people belong and comment), actually posed the question, “Battery Monitoring, what is it?”  As of this writing, there are 14 comments, yet no one offers a true definition for the question.  Some seem to suggest an “eye of the beholder” explanation.

Hmmm…

What does Wikipedia list as the definition?  Located within the definition of “Battery Management System” are the following parameters for what should be monitored: click here to read more

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Solve for the inherent problems of battery backup power

Batteries deployed for backup power remain the best solution to protect institutional assets, when the power goes off.  In many cases, the string(s) of batteries was purchased and installed to stand guard over integral, even core, aspects of an organization's existence.  Too dramatic?  Not really.

It is well known batteries have inherent problems that, if left unchecked and uncorrected, will render their front-line defenses....non-existent.  This is the dirty little secret that is not a secret at all.

Historically, continuous battery monitoring also came with inherent problems that rendered it's implementation a "non-starter".  Among other things, continuous battery monitors were expensive, hard to install, hard to maintain, and provided data that was very difficult to analyze.  So, years ago, the lack of battery monitoring was pigeon-holed as an acceptable risk.  That is a big problem.

When you think about it, it is incredible that there is any doubt a backup power solution deployed to serve a single, extremely important service, may not work when needed.  And, that is considered acceptable!

Welcome to BatteryDAQ!

Real progress is created when innovation mandates additional innovation. Usually, the missing ingredients for momentum are expertise and marketability.  At BatteryDAQ, our team designs and builds solutions for every stationary battery application and configuration, by eliminating the inherent problems with battery monitoring, while solving for the inherent problems of battery backup power.

After viewing this brief video, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  We look forward to learning more about your needs.

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