With unplanned interruptions being the greatest risk to distributing power at substations when reserve power fails to support the system, industrial battery management system (BMS) manufacturer Balancell uses precise BMS instrumentation, software and connectivity to continuously monitor battery cell data.
Most substations can, at best, monitor a battery and estimate the state of charge using the limited information from the rectifier, which is of little value. Similarly, sending a technician to site is expensive and the technician cannot measure all of the battery data simultaneously, which subsequently offers little insight into the state of the battery and, by that time, it is often too late, says Balancell development manager Paul Osborne.
However, Balancell uses its Internet of Things platform to analyse individual battery cell data, as the platform displays the information on a live battery dashboard, with additional alerts – such as power failure, overheating or when a cell dies – for customers or service providers.
“The predictive analysis and smart alerts help reduce and plan the maintenance requirements, with battery life preserved through our embedded cell-balancing technology.”
Osborne mentions that most battery replacements are scheduled based on the age of batteries or when the batteries have already failed. Therefore, the Balancell BMS protects the battery with individual cell balancing and also monitors and records the number of cycles, energy, voltage and temperature over the life of the battery.
“The substations use a variety of battery types – usually in 110 V battery systems being either valve-regulated lead-acid batteries or nickel-cadmium batteries. “The Balancell BMS works on all cell types and chemistries and is simple and quick to install. The installer simply selects the appropriate battery type when configuring the system,” he explains.
Further, he points out that the BMS is modular, which allows for individual parts to be replaced when broken, without having to replace the entire BMS. Balancell BMS has been sold to clients throughout Africa and South-East Asia.
“Balancell is proud to have developed market-leading hardware, with connectivity that includes analytics and alerts, with systems proven in the field,” Osborne concludes.