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The Case for Remote Battery Monitoring

The world needs the power to stay on.  More now than ever, and more in the coming days than now.  We are so dependent on electronic communication, that a single occurrence of downtime renders us all but helpless.  It also makes us angry.

The power must stay on.  It is one of the things we take most for granted.  When we flip the switch, we demand products to work, be they light bulbs, microwaves, or cell phones.  “But wait”, says Joe and Nancy Consumer, “cell phones run on battery power, silly. That must be a misprint.”

Perhaps the most important objective of a telecom carrier is for the general public to never come to face to face with a lack of wireless connectivity.  When the bars go away, the public gets angry.

So, carriers commit plenty of money to protect their power, and batteries play a leading role.  Carriers purchase an incredible number of batteries and place them remote towers, for one purpose; keep the power on if the grid goes down.

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Why So Serious? Battery Monitoring is Affordable and Enjoyable.

Vince Vaughan has a new movie out about the business workplace.  Naturally, he wants to promote it.  So, the producers partnered with Getty images to release free stock images.

It is brilliant satire.  Why? Because it takes something we have seen so often on company websites, annual reports, and PowerPoints, and makes light of them.  As they say, the best comedy is based in truth.

You know about stock photos, correct?  They are the photos taken of a group of people who are meant to represent everything right about a company.  From their expressions, apparel, posture, and environment, they represent…us.

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Battery Monitoring Systems: Set Appropriate Expectations

Batteries are an amazing creation that perform a thankless but crucial task.  They provide power when needed.  At least they are expected to.  That is their sole function, after all.  So, when they work, they were supposed to.  But, oh my, when they don’t, they relegate themselves to the nickname “badderies”.

Batteries sit quietly in the corner, many times neglected, until the lights go out.  What happens next, is literally anyone’s guess.

Why?  Because batteries do not possess the function of telling us their state of health…unless they are asked.    Unless, of course, the occasional crack, leak, or explosion is somehow considered sufficient for a technician to react to an apparent poor state of health.  I mean, even if you monitor batteries, a tech still has to look at them every once in a while.  How burdensome is that?  Is a physical inspection over the top?

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Batteries and Battery Monitoring – If it wasn’t for Frog Legs…

February 18, 2015 – Happy 270th Birthday, Alessandro Volta.

What’s in a name?  Yes, the word “Volt” pays homage to Count Volta and his “Law of Capacitance”, which developed separate means to study both electrical potential (V ) and charge (Q ), and discovering that for a given object, they are proportional.  As a tribute to his discoveries, the unit of electrical potential has been named the volt.

But, what really sealed the deal for Alessandro Volta’s legacy was the invention of the electric battery.  If we look a bit deeper into the story, we realize the battery was created as a way to prove another scientist wrong.  And, frog legs were at the center of the disagreement.

As the story goes, in the early 1790’s, Luigi Galvani touched a frog leg with a scalpel charged with static electricity.  The slight electric charge caused the frog leg to move.  Galvani theorized that animals internally produced their own electricity.  From there, Galvani ran with his discovery of “Animal Electricity”, and accepted many kudos for his work.

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“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?

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