Energy Savings using Fleet-Tune with Eco-Pulse Technology

“We want to save electricity when charging our batteries”

Re-charging industrial batteries, such as those used in the golf cart and forklift industry, consumes electrical power from the AC Grid measured in Kilowatt Hours (KWh).  The Industrial Battery Industry currently utilizes a battery charging management strategy reflecting obsolete technical capabilities and processes. 

The current industry recharging process relies on;
1) a wasteful and inefficient “ Equalization Charging strategy,” 2) an equally inefficient “Daily Overcharging of the Battery,” 3) a “Conventional Battery Service Strategy,” that  delays battery maintenance resulting in ever decreasing cycle productivity, and 4) a ”Facilities Based Maintenance Program,” requiring costly battery transportation to and from a service facility.   In sharp contrast, the BattRecon Optimization Process allow warehouse management to replace or modify these functions with a revolutionary, low cost “Automated Battery Optimization” process.

In order to reduce the electrical cost per charge, you should consider the following factors. 

1) The Charge Return Factor

2) The Charger’s Electrical Efficiency

3) The Recommended “Equalization Charge.”

4)  The Productivity of the Battery per Charge Cycle

5) Conventional Service Practices

BattRecon Service machines, such as Models 5048 or  6080,  measure energy going into and coming out of the battery, calibrated in Amp/Hours and Kilowatt Hours, (KWh).  This allows the operator to apply different experiments in the field, within their operating environment, while  using their existing charger fleet.  This allows the operator to accurately determine the optimum Charge Return Factor (CRF).

BattRecon Optimization machines, such as the Models 5000 and 6000, measure KWH going into the battery.  This allows them to control the CRF by interrupting the charger to battery connection, when the new, energy efficient CRF is determined.   The BattRecon service machines allow you to scientifically determine the optimum CRF, and the Models 5000 and 6000 implement that optimum CRF.

The reason batteries are intentionally overcharged on a daily basis is to: 1) mix the acid using the vertical movement of “gassing” bubbles rising through the electrolyte during recharging, and 2) to reduce the Excess Daily Sulfation that is not removed when a 1:1 Charge Return Factor is used. 

Acid Stratificationis the flooded battery phenomena where the heavier acid settles out from less dense water within a vertical column of electrolyte.   Acid stratification is prevented during charging when gas bubbles rise vertically mixing the acid within the battery cell.  Once the electrolyte is mixed, as indicated by the rise of the electrolyte specific gravity, then additional overcharging simply increase the shedding of particles and wastes charging electricity. 

“Daily Battery Sulfation,”often referred to as the “Good Sulfation,” (which we refer to as Level 1 Sulfation) is required for the basic operation of the battery.  During discharge the battery sulfates in order to transfer  electrons from the electrolyte to the plates and out of the battery.  During recharging,  the process of re-ionization of Level 1 sulfation back into the electrolyte solution is incomplete.  This results in “Daily Excess Sulfation,” which we refer to as Level 2 sulfation.  Adjacent individual Level 2 sulfation  molecules eventually form a damaging Level 3 sulfation, or sulfate crystals.  Battery optimization re-ionizes Level 2 sulfates preventing them from forming Level 3 sulfate crystals, prolonging the battery life. 

The Charge Return Factor (Ratio)is the ratio of the electrical energy delivered by the battery during discharge, divided by the energy applied to the battery during re-charging.  The BattRecon system measures energy going into and coming out of the battery, measured in Amp/Hours and Kilowatt Hours, (KWH).  As an example, a battery that discharges 1 KWH during operation, might have 1.4 KWH of energy applied to it during re-charging.  In this example, the Charge Return Factor would be 1:1.4, commonly referred to as a 40% overcharge.

Industrial “traction” batteries are designed and warranted to provide an approximate number of charge and discharge cycles, the Battery Life Expectancy.   Most batteries are expected to provide about 1,200 operational cycles.  As batteries are charged and discharged, they shed particles of active material from the lead plates. These particles then result in “shorting” of the plates, and a loss of conductivity between the “active material” and the plate grid.   Therefore, charging less to accomplish the same amount of productive work optimizes the limited battery life cycles, adding years to the battery’s life expectancy.    

As some charged lead particles are shed, they are attracted to the opposite plate and form a conductive bridge between the positive and negative plates, known as
“Mossing Shorting.”  The remaining particles fall to the bottom of the battery cell and eventually result in degrees of “Sedimentary Shorting.”  Shorting results in reduced battery performance for each KWH of re-charging electricity applied.  As shorting increases with each cycle, the discharge run-time of the battery is diminished requiring more battery cycles, to do the same amount of work. 

The typical flat plate battery design has a conductive path known as the grid, and an active lead paste material that is spread within the plate grid frame.  When new, the paste to grid contact is optimum and the battery has perfect conductivity.  As the battery cycles, lead particles are shed causing ever increasing gaps between the active material and the grid, slowly reducing the battery’s conductivity.  These gaps result in increased resistance within the battery, slowing the battery’s performance. 
As the battery’s  performance diminishes it requires more charging to perform the same amount of work.  

This "Daily Excess Sulfation" is unnoticeable at first, however , the slowly increasing resistance soon begins to reduce the discharge run-time of the battery, ultimately requiring a battery de-sulfation service to restore lost performance.  This "Daily Excess Sulfation," if not removed, soon becomes the  damaging and difficult to remove crystalline form of sulfation.  When the "excess daily" sulfation is removed using the IBO system, sulfate crystals are prevented from forming, eliminating excess battery sulfation for the life of the battery!

The Model 5000 and 6000 IBO/DES systems can also be used to modify the charger’s “Native Charge Profile” by interrupting the charger to battery connection by using  pre-programmed modification instructions within the Model 5000 or 6000’s firmware.  If your charger is excessively overcharging the battery on a daily basis, referred to as a high Charge Return Factor (CRF), the Model 5000/6000 can be set to a lower the CRF by the modification of the interruption process using battery metrics such as; 1) Volts per cell, 2) Amp/hour charging rate, 3) Real Time Specific Gravity, 4) Battery Electrolyte Temperature, 5) Time, or 6) any derivative algorithm of the previous metrics.

Battery Equalization, is a process where a battery is overcharged beyond what would be considered a “normal” charge return factor, so that cells can be balanced, the electrolyte mixed, and plate sulfation removed.

The periodic intentional overcharging of the battery can waste between 20 and 80 KW of electricity weekly, compared to the occasional (monthly) use of 200 or so watts of electricity with the Batt-Recon system.  In fact, batteries that we have tested after undergoing extensive equalization charging processes on a weekly basis, were significantly improved using just one 5-minute Batt-Recon process. 

The use of an Equalization Strategy of constant current charging to maintain cell balance (an even voltage level between cells) is inefficient, when compared to the Batt-Recon systems Optimization Process.   We can prove it!! 

The use of the BattRecon Cloud Capable Battery Servicing systems allows us to easily and with scientific accuracy, determine the best process for operating your batteries and conserving electricity.  We simply program an Auto Sequence process that duplicates (simulates) the use of the battery, for  5 charge and discharge cycles, as an example.  Then we record the data measured in KWH compared to discharge run-time, followed by the same exact sequence, with two simple changes.  1) We disable the Equalization Charger and 2) we implement one BattRecon 5-minute desulfation process after the first battery re-charge.  Once that process is complete we compare the data. For most battery operations the difference is shocking!  The BattRecon "after" data is significantly better than the "before" data. 

The remaining element in defining the of equalization process is; “the overcharging of the battery to enable the mixing of the electrolyte to prevent electrolyte stratification.”  Electrolyte stratification is a phenomenon prevalent in static battery operations caused by the uneven molecular weight of water and sulfuric acid composing the electrolyte in a lead-acid battery.  The heavier acid settles to the bottom of the battery causing higher sulfation accretion rates.  Batteries that are used in mobile vehicles, such as forklift trucks, are less prone to stratification than stationary batteries such as reserve power or UPS batteries.  In either case, Batt-Recon quickly removes stratified sulfation and nullifies the need to overcharge the battery to simply mix the electrolyte.   

As the battery is overcharged, oxygen is given off at the positive plate while hydrogen is given off at the negative plate.  The oxygen traveling upwards along the positive plate corrodes (oxidizes) the grid to lead dioxide contact area, reducing the cross section area of the grid and reducing the battery’s capacity.  The positive plate also tends to develop “positive post growth,” which is the expansion of the corrosion caused by oxygenation of the positive plate.  Therefore, if one could recharge the battery with a minimization or complete elimination of “gassing,” while still eliminating sulfation; then the battery would have a substantially longer life cycle greatly reducing the capitalization costs of the battery operation.  Reduction of the intentional overcharging caused by the equalization charge, would significantly reduce battery internal corrosion and extend the battery’s life. 

If your company were to adopt the Equalization Strategy of substituting an occasional Batt-Recon sulfation elimination process for of the current equalization strategy requiring overcharging of the battery, the result would be a significant reduction in your electrical consumption and a dramatic increase in your battery’s life expectancy. 

The Electrical In-Efficiency of the Battery Charger Profile

Chargers of differing design and the application of those chargers into differing battery and environmental conditions, make it difficult to determine which charger/battery combination is the most electrically efficient within a specific operational environment.  The BattRecon Cloud was designed to collect and record the raw data elements required for evaluating the charger/battery efficiency.  This allows the operator to minimize electrical usage by matching charger/battery combinations, using empirical data based upon electrical consumption compared to the battery's efficiency. 
Previously, it was commonly accepted that the battery required a substantial and daily excess charge of approximately 10 to 40%, in order to remove sulfates from the battery plates and mix the electrolyte.   The current methodology measured by the Charge Return Factor utilizes the charger to provide an overcharge condition to the battery to remove such sulfates.  With the advent of the Batt-Recon system, battery overcharging is greatly reduced or eliminated, saving electricity.   It is widely known that there are electrical savings by making the (charger) conversion from AC grid voltage to DC battery voltage more efficient.  You could also increase electrical savings by shortening the time that the charger is supplying power when the battery is fully charged.  A fully charged battery is less electrically efficient with respect to charging, than a battery with a lower state of charge.  The BattRecon optimization process has “Charge Completion Technology” that will easily determine the user-selected state of charge and turn off the charger automatically, creating a “hybrid charger control” for those chargers that lack or have in-efficient charging profiles.

The Benefits of Battery Life Extension

The life of the battery has a significant impact on the operating cost of the warehousing operation.  The typical flat plate motive battery will last about 4 years in a conventional operation before the operator begins to notice an un-repairable decrease in performance.  The life of the battery is impacted by the; 1) quality of the manufacture, 2) the degree of overcharging and the resultant gassing of oxygen along the battery plates during charging, 3) the levels of vibration while the battery is used, 4) the ambient temperature the battery is operated within, 5) the number of operating cycles or total amp-hours cycled though the battery, 6) the depth of discharge the battery incurs during each operating cycle, 7) the degree of level 3 sulfation accumulation during the battery’s operation, and 8) other factors.

Our data shows that if the conventional methodology of operating and maintaining your battery fleet were modified to an Optimized Condition, then the battery life would easily improved by one or more years. The determination of what an optimized battery depends on many factors.  The BattRecon Cloud Based Battery Service and Diagnostics System will scientifically monitor and analyze the battery operation.  The BattRecon diagnostics testing process evaluates the charger efficiency, the battery efficiency compared with the battery operations environment.