Big Data from your batteries: VARTA join forces with Panasonic

VARTA Storage GmbH, Nördlingen, Germany, join forces with Panasonic Industry Europe GmbH, Ottobrunn, Germany, to offer WiFi or Bluetooth enabled batteries allowing customers to collect and monitor their battery data, to better utilize their assets, or to facilitate new business models that better meet the demands of some applications.

Just as cloud computing is turning computing and software into a commodity service, so everything as a service becomes a reality across all business sectors. This leads, not only to a technology revolution, but more significantly to a business revolution.

Of course this also applies to the battery world and many applications such as automotive and  commercial energy storage now offer the possibility to collect and monitor key battery parameters. This allows the manufacturer to monitor potential warranty claims or the leasing company to adjust the monthly payment based on the service being provided.

Insights and impacts of various types of services, infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, software as a service, and business process as a service, have to be reexamined. Employing these techniques provides business insights of all kinds leading to value-added services becoming not only possible but very attractive business opportunities. Big Data is a key enabler of exploring business insights and economics of services and collecting that data from a battery is now not only possible but is available either as an off-the-shelf standard solution or as a custom application to suit your specific requirements.

The battery is more than a power source in today’s sophisticated mobile devices – it is also the central monitoring service of the device. The battery “sees” how the device is used, how it is charged, what temperatures it is exposed to: In essence, the battery knows the most detail about the device’s usage pattern.

For example, in a fork-lift or similar vehicle used in a warehouse, the battery knows the operating temperature and can detect when a motor or other key component may be over-heating. Similarly, as the motor ages, its power consumption will increase over time – thus the battery current usage data can be used to determine when the motor may fail so that it can be replaced before it actually fails.

In a similar manner, the chargers used on batteries can also be monitored via the battery data collection: A failing charger may have un-stable output current or voltage – something the battery’s data will obviously show.

Warranty information can also be provided by the battery’s monitoring system of the device: exposure to high and low temperatures are recorded by the battery and can validate your warranty claim, if no abuse is visible. A battery may self-heat during periods of rapid charge or discharge, but these are easily detected by correlating the temperature with measured battery current. Temperature anomalies without corresponding high battery currents indicate external environmental influences – such as leaving the device in a cold storage locker accidentally.

Battery data collection over time and in aggregate offers new possibilities to enhance performance, predict failures, and validate warranty claims.

Panasonic offer a wide range of connectivity modules that can be easily integrated into the battery BMS – battery management system – and combined with VARTA’s extensive lithium ion battery experience both in design and manufacturing make our solution a great choice both for the uninitiated and the experienced service provider looking for either a more sophisticated or cost effective solution. WiFi Modules allow easy communication to the cloud via existing infrastructures, where Bluetooth Modules allow data exchange to smart phones, tablets or PCs.

With an experience in manufacturing of high frequency products for over 25 years, Panasonic has been shipping Connectivity Modules for over 15 years to many customers in medical, as well as industrial and automotive applications. European based manufacturing guarantees flexibility, local support for hardware as well as software and the needed quality level.

The result when combined with VARTA’s extensive battery knowledge, more than 130 years, and over 30 years experience in Lithium Ion Batteries (LiB) opens up new applications and business models. VARTA’s know-how in LiB allows them to identify and accurately measure the relevant parameters that dictate the state of health and state of charge of the battery and allow VARTA to forecast the long term prospects for a battery in a specific application.

Original article HERE

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