June 2008 Cellwatch Newsletter

Every Cellwatch system that is installed needs to be customized to the unique features of the battery system it is installed on.

What’s new?

Every Cellwatch system that is installed needs to be customized to the unique features of the battery system it is installed on. One of the many small breakthroughs that the designers of Cellwatch made was the creation of a software ‘tool’ to easily enable the installer to configure each standard Cellwatch system to the often unique battery configuration being monitored.

Current scaling in ConfigBuilder v2

One of the new features of Config Builder v2 is support for current scaling in the interactive configuration Wizard.

Version 1.0 of this software tool was released in 2000 and has performed well over the ensuing years. However, several revisions of the Cellwatch software and improvements in the hardware has enabled new features to be introduced to the Cellwatch system that the original ConfigBuilder and its integral wizard could not easily configure.

All that will be changed in the next few months when V2.0 of the program will be released. This will be easily distinguished from the original by its bright yellow wizard screen (which was blue in the previous version).

One of the major new features of the new version of the software; gives us the ability to easily scale discharge currents in the Wizard making use of a Cellwatch feature introduced in 2006. Cellwatch has always liked the red 1,000 amp current transducers. Bowing to customer demand, we introduced a black, 2,500 amp CT in 2005 for larger capacity batteries. These large capacity batteries always employ from 4 to 6 battery cables in order to carry the higher DC current. All it took was to modify the software so that you could measure just a couple of these cables with a 1,000 amp CT and still report the correct current reading in the software and on the screen. This is done by only using the number of DC cables that would fit into the red CT (say, for instance 3) and tell the Cellwatch how many total cables there are (say for instance 5). If the Cellwatch system knows you are only measuring 3/5th of the total current it’s a simple matter of some math to get the true current being measured. That’s where version 2.0 of the ConfigBuilder comes in; it just asks you some simple questions and does all the math for you. It couldn’t be easier.

Other improvements include a simpler set up for Generator Batteries that had previously been difficult owing to their lack of Current Transducer. In addition, the way sub-strings are handled in the wizard has been improved and what some users will notice is if you are changing the configuration file on an existing system you will get a warning to remind you to change the history file name. This is something many of our installers miss and is covered by an application note here.

The new edition of the program will start to ship as part of Cellwatch systems during the last part of the year. But you can have the program now to test fly on site. Just download it from our website and let us know what you think. We think you’ll like it, especially the color. Download here.

Always trying to make things easier…

Cellwatch is one of the easiest battery monitoring systems to install. If you are factory installing Cellwatch into a battery cabinet then we want to make it even easier.

Cabinet Panel Interface

By terminating the Data Collection Module’s fiber optic loop and the cabinet’s current transducer (CT) onto a single Cellwatch Connection Panel, everything the field installation engineer needs for the cabinet is available in one location – including a built in temperature sensor and additional diagnostic functions.

For the cabinet builder this means all Data Collection Modules, the Current Transducer and the Temperature Probes can be pre-installed and wired from the Panel round the cabinet and back to the Panel in the factory and before shipment.

The temperature sensor is built into the Panel so avoiding the need for installation of a traditional sensor saving time and adding value for the cabinet builder. The installer now only need run the cables and fibers from the Control Unit to each cabinet and the Panel does the rest. It even has diagnostic LEDs so that the field installer can be sure he has connected the right cabinet to the correct port on the Cellwatch Control Unit. We are continuously working to improve our product and make things easier for installers, in the factory and in the field. This is one of the best little ideas we have come up with in a while.

What’s new?

Cellwatch.net provides email options for battery monitoring systems.

Cellwatch.net is now available to extend the functionality of Cellwatch battery monitoring systems by providing email alarm routing and a web-based resource for disaster recovery and uptime monitoring.

In a standard Cellwatch installation, Cellwatch alarms and reports are typically routed to a dedicated PC.  Cellwatch.net adds the dimension of multiple email routings to widely dispersed personnel.

Cellwatch.net is a two part application, involving a dedicated program running on the Cellwatch PC and a secure remote web site.  The Cellwatch.net web site provides users with email routing options, five different alarm functions, a complete alarm log for each site, a site heartbeat monitor, complete data files and mapping.

The email function sends daily emails to specified users with updated battery reports.  Email routing options allow alarm and heartbeat reports to be sent to different people, or multiple people.  The heartbeat monitor notifies users if a battery monitoring system is not reporting, so facility management can be alerted to check the status.

By accessing the Cellwatch.net web site, users can select from five different alarm functions (voltage, ohmic value, temperature, discharge and system off-line), view a complete alarm log and access the data restore facility, which contains all files for discharge data, current and temperature.  The mapping facility provides a visual display of site locations, color coded to show system status.

Cellwatch.net is currently available and ready to ship.

Support Update

Your string is as healthy as its weakest jar; if one jar fails, your string fails! Check your Cellwatch system regularly. Some key things to look for are:

1. Is the NDSL logo moving in the upper right hand corner of the Cellwatch software?
If this logo is not moving or you see “System Stopped” in the System Status window then Cellwatch is NOT monitoring your batteries. Start Cellwatch again and check your batteries!

2. Are all the cells green?
If you see a red cell, investigate the cause; you may have a jar that needs to be changed.

3. Is anything deviating from the string average in the history file?
Watch for downward trending voltage readings and upward trending ohmic value readings. Keep an eye on these jars over the next few days. The sharper the rise in ohmic value, the more likely the jar will fail.


Cells can fail in as little as 2 days! Check your history files often and know the condition of your battery.

Have questions about your battery data? Visit our support website, https://www.cellwatch.fr/support, to find out how you can help us, help you.