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Critical Power Introduces The Battery Foundation

Published by Jason Koffler on 17 July 2020

Critical Power Supplies is proud to introduce The Battery Foundation – a valuable resource to aid with the understanding, implementation, maintenance, and compliance of industrial battery technologies. We help to ensure efficient battery field life through proper management and safety strategies. The Battery Foundation is dedicated to the promotion of best practice energy models and operational outcomes, with free software solutions available alongside online training courses.

In these challenging times, correct battery maintenance is more critical than ever. Our extensive Batt Life software helps to schedule maintenance visits, record inspection results, and recommend appropriate action through accurate field visit information. From operational advice and replacement action to improved maintenance findings, we help to maximise the value and longevity of your battery assets in the field.

Battery technologies and applications

The Battery Foundation is dedicated to the safe and efficient use of industrial batteries across applications. Regardless of your industry sector, ongoing reliability and safety are dependent on a range of test methods to evaluate the strengths and limitations of battery assets. Several battery technologies are capable of creating value, including sealed acid batteries, lithium batteries, and NiCad batteries.
Different testing methods and management tools are essential in order to overcome high environmental costs and maximise longevity in the field. Depending on the technology and operational scenario, test conditions must be specified to ensure repeatable results and meaningful comparisons over time. While all testing methods are based on measuring resistance, it’s essential to account for temperature, depth of discharge (DOD), load cycle, duty cycle, and other variables for each testing method and operational scenario.
Battery testing can be broken down into two distinct phases:

• Qualification testing is needed before installation to ensure battery compatibility and compliance.

• Ongoing inspection is needed to test battery capacity and efficiency during a range of operational scenarios.

Qualification testing

Qualification testing is designed to determine whether a battery is fit for purpose. A range of comprehensive tests are carried out to determine the manufacturer’s specification and test cells for operational limits under adverse and unusual conditions. Mechanical and environmental testing are both applicable as methods of qualification, with dedicated abuse testing, cycle testing, and load testing carried out with variable load levels to determine operational limits and compliance requirements.

Standard testing and load profiles include the Federal Urban Driving Schedule (FUDS) and Dynamic Stress Test (DST) specified by the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), and the United Nations Economic Commission (ECE-15) and Extra Urban Driving Cycle (EUDC) for Europe specification. Load testing typically includes calorimetry for heat generation and thermal management, thermal imaging as a method of visual inspection, and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) to test for interference with other electrical or electronic equipment.

Ongoing inspection

Along with qualification testing before installation or during system upgrades, ongoing inspection and production testing are needed along with detailed performance monitoring and in-depth reporting. Different battery test methods can be used, with the strengths and limitations of testing procedures dependent on the application and maintenance schedule.

Three independent battery tests have emerged over recent years to create a meaningful overview of battery capacity in different situations: DC load tests, AC conductance tests, and multi-frequency electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) tests. These testing procedures carry different weight outcomes dependent on the purpose of the power system, the timing of the testing procedures, and the details of the battery monitoring and management system.

Batt Life Software

The Battery Foundation is proud to offer Batt Life – comprehensive free software designed to record maintenance visit inspection results and field visit information. Batt Life adds value by making replacement action recommendations and improving maintenance findings based on operational goals. Batt Life offers three data pillars for each user license, with three separate apps available through an integrated dashboard interface.

• Planner – The Planner provides the engineer with a detailed maintenance workflow for all battery assets. Up to 60 test visits can be added, with configuration data and results recorded across multiple data selection types and data fields. Overdue tests are shown, along with upcoming tests over the next month and three month period.

• Site Manager – The Site Manager uses an interactive table to display battery installation and site data details. It’s easy to add a new site, display relevant site information, edit an existing site, and add a new site asset. Interactive graphics include the ability to view active and retired battery assets, along with site and asset numbers.

• Report Manager – The Report Manager allows the retrieval of saved site visit reports in PDF format. The ability to export, navigate within, and view battery reports is integral to site and asset management. This dashboard enables a complete summary of completed site maintenance reports in an interactive format.

Battery Training course

The Battery Foundation offers The Introduction to Battery and Battery Chargers, a comprehensive 3-part online battery training course with dedicated webinars on battery maintenance. Run by Jason Koffler and Paul Smethurst, this course by Critical Power Supplies offers help with all aspects of battery asset management, operational efficiency, and battery cost-effectiveness.

The Introduction to Battery and Battery Chargers is perfect for technicians and engineers, and ideal for sales and service staff who need in-depth knowledge of industrial batteries and chargers. This course deals with a range of battery technologies and testing procedures, including capacity discharge testing, conductance testing, and impedance testing. The following three topics are designed as a sequential learning program, with examination questions available to affirm knowledge.

• Section 1 – Principles of batteries, battery types, and detailed operations
• Section 2 – Battery Chargers, including charger types and fault finding
• Section 3 – Battery monitoring systems, battery health & safety, battery testing, and fault finding

The course will be made available to Industrial Tier Members of the BM40 Foundation, with course costs discounted as part of the membership. Each successful candidate will receive an accredited certificate along with recognised CPD hours. This course has been delivered to worldwide delegates since 1998 before being adapted as an online course in 2020.

The Battery Foundation is dedicated to the safe and effective use of battery technologies in the business world. Our Batt Life software tool and Battery Training course are designed to promote and support a range of testing standards and best practice methods. During these challenging times, it’s more important than ever to ensure industry standards and correct testing protocols to maximise the value of your battery assets.