EnCharge recently attended the IEEE PES/ESSB (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Power and Energy Society Energy Storage and Stationary Battery) meeting in Jacksonville, Florida. The meeting covered topics ranging from batteries, battery chargers, battery monitors and the industry as a whole.

The meeting began with a tour at the SAFT Lithium Battery Plant just west of Jacksonville. The plant specializes in lithium battery technologies for stationary battery applications. Seeing the remarkable technology and capabilities of the plant was both impressive and educational.

The remainder of the week was highly focused on the detailed development of IEEE specifications.  This provided an opportunity to hear from some of the leading manufacturers and high-end users in the stationary battery world.  These experts volunteered their time and collaborated with their competitors to document the best practices for many aspects of battery use, including charging and monitoring. This also offered EnCharge an opportunity to share ideas and best practices.

Many of these practices have been in existence for decades, but the uses of batteries are growing. Batteries are now being used in data centers, telecommunications, UPS, power generation and transmission and other industries, including places never before considered.

Evolving Uses of Stationary Batteries

This has created new challenges in manufacturing and maintenance of course, but is also creating new challenges in building and safety.  Data centers on the 50th floor and solar gardens on the roof are cropping up in skyscrapers in major metropolises across the country.  The banks of batteries to prevent outages or store the sun’s energy, likewise can be located anywhere.  This can pose a real challenge for local authorities in regards to building codes and safety.  As most of the local authorities are not experts in batteries, making good decisions and proper codes, balancing safety, application and economics is a real challenge.  This meeting offered an important opportunity to discuss these concerns and keep up-to-date on the continuously evolving industry.

The Greatest Takeaways of the IEEE PES / ESSB Meeting Included:

  1. Batteries, despite decades of research and development, are fickle technology. The chemical nature of battery energy storage requires a lot of maintenance to get the most of the batteries and to ensure the batteries are ready to go when needed.
  2. Many companies lack the critical knowledge to keep their batteries performing at optimal levels. Proper equipment, like “intelligent chargers” and battery monitors play a critical role in keeping batteries operating reliably, can greatly reduce costs and help supplement some of that missing knowledge.

Optimal Battery Performance

Companies that rely on stationary batteries to keep their systems running do so because down time is costly.  The battery banks used represent a large investment in keeping things on line.  If the batteries are not working when needed, not only is the battery investment a waste but significant loss of resources is likely, not to mention potential injury and even death.

How to Increase Battery Reliability

If you have made the investment in batteries and battery chargers to keep your critical systems running, why risk their reliability on a manual maintenance system? Automated monitoring of the batteries and “smart” charging systems protect the investment as well as your business.  With remote monitoring added to your monitoring system, you can access your battery health at any time and rest easy knowing your systems will be there when they are needed.

Do you want to share your thoughts or needs on keeping your battery system in peak health? Contact EnCharge today.