After 30 months of collaboration, project partners Abertax Quality Inc of Malta and Mentzer Electronic GmbH of Germany, with research support from the University of Malta, have delivered an innovative lead and non lead acid battery system that gives users unprecedented real time information on the health and charge level of their batteries. This allows for more efficient and safe charging while saving valuable time and avoiding unnecessary maintenance costs.
The Intelligent Battery system thus represents a true milestone in the evolution of conventional battery systems, which are commonly plagued by a lack of standardization and interoperability of battery and charger parts, leaving users in the dark about vital information on the performance and longevity of their batteries. This information shortfall can create energy waste, extra costs and operational inefficiencies.
At its essence, the Intelligent Battery project strived to make battery use and charging “simple and intelligent while at the same time delivering electricity reliably, efficiently and in a cost effective manner,” says Dr Joseph Cilia, C.E.O. and Research Director at Abertax.
To achieve their objectives, the companies realized innovations in at least three areas:
First, the Abertax team of electrical engineers made sure to “design the battery’s electronics to match the load,” explains Cilia in reference to the electronic circuitry that is embedded to monitor critical battery ‘vital signs’ such as temperature of the battery acid (which should not exceed 45 degrees Celcius) and its charge level. The data obtained by these circuits is sent to a server, where it can be accessed through a variety of interfaces such as desktop computer displays and handheld devices.
Second, the charger, developed in tandem with the battery system, is able to communicate, so to speak, with the battery. This ensures that the battery is charged at optimal level each time, rather than overloaded or even damaged by the charger.
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