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Implementation of effective battery monitoring

Flowchart

Plan and Budget

Collect battery bank information

# Type Function Voltage Configuration Mechanical Qty.
1 VRLA Telecom 48V 24 x 2V Rack 30
2 NiCad Switchgear 120V 88 x 1.25V Rack 10
3 VRLA UPS 480V 40 x 12V Cabinet 55

Identify the pain point and proper solution

To preclude, detect and control thermal runaway
VRLA battery systems shall be provided with a listed device or other approved method to preclude, detect and control thermal runaway. CFC 608.3
To replace existing thermal runaway detection device (temperature only) which produces false alarm
To replace exiting Battery Monitoring System because … … reasons
Battery service safety
NERC compliance for power plants and substations
Substation automation upgrade
To replace manual conductance/internal resistance inspection.
To identify weak/bad batteries for preventative maintenance/battery replacement
To extend battery service life with prompt and proper maintenance.
To reduce the operation cost for remote sites by changing from fixed battery replacement interval to targeted services with remote monitoring battery health data.
To evaluate solar system performance and identify weak batteries for best energy harvesting.
To provide your clients more competitive UPS/battery services with remote battery monitoring.
To strive to ensure that backup power will work as needed, when needed.
More … …

List out restrictions

  • Can the battery monitor be installed inside the battery room?
  • Can the BMS be connected to your business network?

Communication, NOC and SCADA

  • Is the Ethernet available?
  • If no Ethernet, is there a dry contact input?
  • Are you considering a 3G/4G plan? ($15 per month, plus a gateway $250)
  • What is the preferred protocol: Modbus-TCP (Ethernet) or Modbus-RTU (Serial)?

PREPARE RFP/RFQ

  • Obtain a reference RFP/RFQ from BatteryDAQ (we have worked on 100+ RFP/RFQs.) or other source as the starting point.
  • Cost/benefit analysis for certain features. Cross some lines such as:
    [Temperature monitoring for each cell/block in a string] One string can only have one current passing through, which is the only source to heat up individual battery, unless there is a shortage on a block, which can be detected by voltage instead of temperature.
    [Wireless modular] Nightmare to maintain thousands of wireless modules.

TRIAL

  • At least from 2 major vendors
  • Comparison table [Consulting BatteryDAQ or another expert]
  • Install by yourself or your technician to evaluation the installation difficulty and cost.

PILOT

  • Different cabinets, rack layouts and battery configurations
  • NOC or SCADA integration
  • Train your own technician or contract to a 3rd party installer

FULL SCALE

  • Total cost calculation (monitoring units, harness/cable, installation, software/data, any recurring fees)
  • Data management and remote/cloud access, maintenance/subscription fees
  • Alarm delivery to the NOC or control room
  • Pricing and quantity order delivery time frame
  • Stepped approach, or full scale deployment
  • Payment terms

Keep in mind, a web conference with BatteryDAQ expert may save your time and money.