EnerSys Motive Power has launched a wireless battery monitoring device Wi-IQ which can be fitted to all motive power batteries and enable information on charge, temperature and voltage, as well as low electrolyte level, to be uploaded wirelessly to a PC for data analysis. Used in conjunction with analysis software, Wi-IQ Report, the electronic device enables accurate and immediate reports on the condition of all batteries in one location as well as any action required for their maintenance.
In order to maximise uptime of electric-powered vehicles, batteries must be charged correctly as well as discharged to the optimum level. When both these elements of battery management are correct, charging frequency and battery changes can be significantly reduced. EnerSys estimates a 20% reduction in battery change frequency based on a 5 minute changeover period on a 24/7 shift pattern can save over 11 hours per truck down-time per year. Similarly savings made as a result of optimum maintenance and charging bring significant benefits to the overall cost of electricity used.
Wi-IQ can be used with most designs of flooded and maintenance-free batteries and has a wireless communication range of 30 metres. A Wi-IQ unit is fitted to the main DC cable of each battery. LEDs provide real-time status of the battery’s condition and the unit stores data on up to 2,555 charging cycle records using its in-built electronic memory.
A temperature warning advises if charging should be terminated and any voltage imbalance can be identified before possible battery failure occurs. An optional additional probe can be supplied to indicate a battery’s low electrolyte level and when it should be topped-up. Where Wi-IQ is used in short-term rental situations, the unit’s memory settings can easily be re-set to monitor utilisation during the rental contract.
Wi-IQ Report software helps warehouse management staff to keep on top of fleet battery management by enabling reports to be produced by battery, by truck family or by battery condition, depth of discharge or other diagnostic indicators. By attaching the USB wireless key to a laptop computer loaded with the Wi-IQ Report software program, an entire battery room can be monitored. The pattern of use, charging and discharge history of the entire battery fleet can be easily analysed. The amount of data storage facilitated by Wi-IQ Report is infinite. Wi-IQ Report runs on Windows 2000, XP or Vista with data uploaded to an SQL database.