Insights from industry

Advanced Battery Management: More than Just Battery Monitoring

Storage Battery Systems have been delivering DC power solutions to their customers for over 100 years. AZoM spoke to Wayne Eaton, technical applications engineer at SBS, about their new advanced battery management system; the Equalink.

Please could you give our readers an introduction to the EquaLink battery management system?

The EquaLink system balances voltage, analyses data, and records and monitors key battery parameters.

While most battery monitoring systems just watch batteries as they slowly deteriorate, the EquaLink battery management system actively manages the batteries’ charging parameters and increases their reliability and overall service life.

Through its patented voltage balancing process, EquaLink calibrates the charging voltage of all batteries to the optimum value, keeping them fully charged and at optimal capacity. This constant monitoring and harmonization of the individual charging voltages helps guarantee the availability of the battery system at all times.

The EquaLink is capable of monitoring the voltage of each individual battery in an array, allowing the charging process to be optimized.

The EquaLink is capable of monitoring the voltage of each individual battery in an array, allowing the charging process to be optimized. | ASchindl

What type of batteries can the EquaLink monitor and what data does it gather?

EquaLink is the ideal system for lead-acid batteries (open/wet cell, maintenance-free, gel, AGM, etc.), as well as Ni-Cad, NiMH, and most types of Li-Ion batteries.

EquaLink uses web management technology to monitor the temperature, internal resistance and voltage of every single battery in the system. It also provides real time data, warnings and alarms via a web interface. Meanwhile, in the background, it continuously collects historical data points for reporting, trending and analysis.

How does Equalink’s process for balancing voltage work?

The EquaLink allows the configuration of a target voltage for the battery type being charged. Then, in conjunction with temperature compensation on the charger, EquaLink monitors the overall DC voltage of the battery bank and shunts float current through, or bypasses it around, each cell. The individual modules regulate the float charging to reach the ideal voltage for optimal charging.

A screenshot of the EquaLink Live Viewer

A screenshot of the EquaLink Live Viewer's interface

How does this ensure that the batteries’ service life is increased?

The service life of a string of batteries depends on the weakest cell of the weakest battery in the string. Because of the balancing process, each of the batteries within the string is maintained at an optimal voltage level, eliminating the typical negative effects of improper charging, such as sulfation or dryout, the two most common causes of capacity loss or early failure.

The actual service life of a string of batteries is between 50% and 80% of the manufacturer’s design life. However, the constant, individual battery care provided for by the EquaLink balancing process has been shown to increase service life and reliability of batteries, extending their actual service life closer to the design life.

What standards does the EquaLink adhere to?

The EquaLink system is listed to UL 60950 standards.[JW1]

UL60950-1 covers compliance with the Canadian Electrical Code, Part 1, CSA C22.1-12;  General Requirements – Canadian Electrical Code, Part II, CSA C22.2 No. 0-10; the National Electric Code, NFPA 70-2014, and the National Electrical Safety Cose, IEEE C2-20112.

Does the system facilitate remote access?

Yes, it is ideal for remote access! The system uses a web browser interface which can be operated securely on the company’s network. Through the unit’s web manager you can access real-time monitoring as well as receive automated warnings, alarms, emails and SNMP alerts.

Viewing real time readings from a remote login allows the user to quickly assess the condition and operational parameters of the battery system at any time. It also allows for pre-planning of any corrective actions required without having to be present at a remote location.

Who can you see benefiting most from this technology?

Anyone with a battery system that supports a critical load will benefit from this technology.

We see this product as being beneficial to anyone who operates critical power systems. Applications include but are not limited to data centers, power generation, transmission, distribution and substation applications, cellular and telecommunication and solar/photovoltaic sites.

The telecommunications industry would benefit from using the EquaLink.

The telecommunications industry would benefit from using the EquaLink. | asharkyu

Where can our readers find out more about the EquaLink and Storage Battery Systems?

You can find more about the Equalink and Storage Battery Systems on our webite.

About Wayne Eaton

Wayne Eaton is the Technical Sales Engineer with Storage Battery Systems, LLC.  Since 1981 he has worked in the Power Generation, Power Distribution and Data Center Environments, with a specialized focus on DC Powered Equipment, Installation, Maintenance, Testing and Training.

From his early start as a First Class Electrician aboard US Navy Nuclear Submarines, through various jobs with OEM’s and Equipment suppliers he has graduated to application engineering and training customers across all of the critical power segments.

His background and wide ranging technical expertise plays a key role in development, testing and documentation of quality products coming to market.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.

Jake Wilkinson

Written by

Jake Wilkinson

Jake graduated from the University of Manchester with an integrated masters in Chemistry with honours. Due to his two left hands the practical side of science never appealed to him, instead he focused his studies on the field of science communication. His degree, combined with his previous experience in the promotion and marketing of events, meant a career in science marketing was a no-brainer. In his spare time Jake enjoys keeping up with new music, reading anything he can get his hands on and going on the occasional run.


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