Battery Health Monitor
Existing methods of battery health monitoring often rely on periodic testing and therefore miss long time intervals when a battery’s health can be degraded. Many battery systems are connected together, so when one battery in the chain malfunctions the entire system is made non-functional. Finding that one failed battery can take time and cause potential downtime when the system is required to operate. This could be disastrous to applications such as critical electronic, communications and medical equipment.
Researchers and collaborators at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory have recently developed a unique battery health monitor (BEAMIT). This device will be encapsulated on each battery between the positive and negative terminals. The battery health monitor derives its power from the battery itself and functions in the charging, discharging, normal operation or standby modes. BEAMIT will measure impedance, electrolyte resistance, voltage, polarization resistance and temperature of the battery. It also has a built in transmitter, which will transmit the battery health data to a computer along with an individual identification code. Because BEAMIT is small and embedded in the case of the battery, uses very little power, is very inexpensive and is able to transmit individual battery health information on a continual basis. It has significant advantages over conventional devices. BEAMIT can be used on virtually any type of battery, lead-acid, lithium-ion, alkaline, et cetera from 1 to 1000 –Ah or ore capacity.
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