Deeper IoT-driven battery insights
03 August 2018
EnerSys has launched the Wi-iQ3, its next generation wireless monitoring devices for motive power batteries.
For over a decade, Wi-iQ battery monitoring devices have enabled electric warehouse vehicle users to optimise battery management, reduce the number of battery recharges or changes, and maximise each lift-truck’s uptime and productivity.
While retaining all these benefits, the new Wi-iQ3, in combination with the Xinx cloud-based battery operations management system, has evolved from a monitoring device into an active IoT gateway that gives users a deeper insight into their battery fleet and its status.
This step change has been facilitated partly by the latest sensor, communications and computer technology, but also by analytics software that presents real-time data to both truck drivers and managers in an easily understood and actionable form.
“Warehouse managers could reduce their battery fleet’s Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) if only they had adequate and timely information. This can facilitate smarter and more effective utilisation of battery fleets, less downtime for trucks, less time spent on battery changes and better asset management,” comments Orjan Eriksson, commercial application manager monitoring & solutions – EnerSys EMEA.
“With its Bluetooth wireless networking capabilities, four times the memory capacity of Wi-iQ2 and our new Wi-iQ report suite software, the Wi-iQ3 delivers this information by making better use of available data,” added Eriksson.
The software interprets and presents the data within easily understood reports, which, in combination with the Xinx cloud-based battery operations management system, provide insight and actionable recommendations for both entire fleets or single batteries in more detail.
The Wi-iQ3 can also become an active part of a fleet management system both through CANBUS or the Xinx EnerSys cloud-based battery operations management system, enabling users to obtain enhanced information remotely.
The Wi-iQ3 fits into a truck’s battery harness and uses a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) wireless network to continuously collect data from smart sensors around the battery for local storage and computation.
Installation is simple and fast, as wiring is reduced to a minimum. LEDs on the device provide visual status to the driver. Alternatively, an optional Truck iQ device will show real time data for battery status, alarms, remaining autonomy and action required, all presented in a familiar smartphone format.
The Wi-iQ3 also uses BLE to communicate with E-Connect – a mobile app for smartphones and tablets running either iOS or Android. This allows fast and easy check-up of battery fleet status and facilitates data sharing. Another option is the CANBUS module, which can connect through a truck’s CANBUS network to its logic circuits. Additionally, BLE connectivity to the EnerSys LifeIQ modular charger is provided to improve asset control. This means that operational costs are reduced to a minimum, while overcharging risk is minimised to increase battery life.
The Wi-iQ3 provides simplified operator warnings and utilisation data with the new Wi-iQ report suite. This helps managers to protect their battery assets, reduce downtime and save on service and maintenance costs. If alarms do occur, the automated and embedded control system allows fast service capability. However, the device can become a yet more powerful tool, and part of a complete fleet management solution, by pairing it with the Xinx Battery Operations Management System. The Xinx System reads each Wi-iQ3 monitoring device and transmits all data to a cloud server.
As a fleet management solution, this integrated system brings several key benefits. It provides remote access to data, with no need for local data collection. Time-consuming site visits can also be eliminated. Additionally, the online access allows continuous monitoring of all the fleet batteries, so common issues like over or under charging, deep discharge, temperature and low water can be avoided.
When used with Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) battery technology and smart charger solutions, it enables effective and economical battery handling routines such as Smart Battery Charge (SBC) and Zero Battery Change (ZBC). It can also distinguish between TPPL and standard lead-acid battery chemistries, and optimise charging profiles accordingly.
However, the Wi-iQ3 – Xinx combination offers far more than just monitoring. Both the Wi-iQ reporting suite and the Xinx portal allow analysis of current operations to identify root causes of problems and identify actions for optimisation. Data can be used to provide forecasts and build budgets regarding future investments. Underperforming batteries, and those requiring test or repair, will also be highlighted. The cloud-based Xinx system can also be linked to Xinx Service, a manned resource that can be customised to individual users’ reporting and on-site maintenance requirements.