June 2011 Cellwatch Newsletter

NDSL prides itself on the quality of our customer service. We have technical expertise located in each of our regional offices…

A note to our customers…

NDSL prides itself on the quality of our customer service. We have technical expertise located in each of our regional offices and focus on ensuring they are well trained and know our products like Warren Buffett knows investing. Every reseller has employees that have been trained on the finer points of how our product works and what to do to diagnose any issue should someone need assistance, but we’re not satisfied. Like all good quality management processes our quality system has an element of continuous improvement. Therefore, we want to know about your Cellwatch experience and how we can make it better. Whatever your situation or your issue we are here, we are ready and we are able to help. We know many of our resellers and end users appreciate the support they are given, so feel free to share your stories of praise or tell us where we need to improve. If you mention a name of the engineer that helped you we’ll make sure to pass along the message. We are committed to continuing the tradition of excellence so please share your feedback. Email us at feedback@cellwatch.com.

Earl Philmon
Chief Operating Officer, NDSL Inc.

NDSL expands global market presence with Shanghai office

The exponential growth in Chinese data centers over the past few years has created significant demand for Cellwatch battery monitoring systems. To support our global customers and to meet the increasing need to protect critical backup power systems in the region, NDSL opened the Shanghai office on February 25, 2010. The new office is located in the Caohejing Hi-Tech Industry Zone, a major financial center and business hub, and is fully staffed with an experienced sales and technical support team to deliver the most reliable daily battery monitoring solution to the Chinese market. For more information, please visit our Chinese website.

在过去的几年里, 中国的数据中心以几何速度发展, 极大的提高了在线式蓄电池监控设备的需求。 为了更好的支持中国客户, 并满足中国地区不断增长的关键行业后备电源系统保护的需求, NDSL集团公司于2010年2月25日 在中国上海成立了其全资下属子公司- 思瓦奇电子系统(上海)有限公司。 这家新公司坐落于上海市徐汇区漕河泾高科技开发园区, 上海重要的金融中心和商务中心之一; 公司具有经验丰富的销售人员和技术支持团队将为中国市场带来最可靠, 最值得信赖的蓄电池监控解决方案。欲了解更多信息, 请访问思瓦奇电子系统(上海)有限公司官网

Our UK office has moved

The NDSL office has moved from Oxfordshire to Milton Keynes. The new location provides improved facilities that are better suited for hosting training and technical seminars. Milton Keynes was selected due to its central location in the UK with high-quality road and rail links to bring us closer to our customers. Our new address is Gloucester House, 399 Silbury Boulevard, Milton Keynes, MK9 2AH, England. The existing contact numbers will continue to work for now, but please make a note of the new numbers, Telephone: +44(0) 1908 303730, Fax: +44(0)7006 059864.

New software tool makes analyzing battery data faster and easier

Cellwatch FileViewer is a new tool that allows end users, installers, and Cellwatch Technical Support to view Cellwatch history and discharge files with ease. The FileViewer user interface maintains a look and feel similar to the graphing features of Cellwatch, but FileViewer adds additional rich features. FileViewer allows users to select a battery, string, or individual cells to quickly and easily plot on a graph and analyze the data to identify abnormal or changing cells. For Cellwatch.net subscribers, FileViewer can be downloaded and used to open history and discharge files directly from the Cellwatch.net site. Download your free copy of the FileViewer from the Cellwatch website. You will be empowered with the same tool that our Cellwatch Technical Support staff use every day. If you have questions about how to use this tool feel free to contact Technical Support.

NDSL introduces new battery monitoring solution for remote sites

NDSL is proud to announce the introduction of Cellwatch Satellite. A field-proven battery management solution, Satellite addresses the need for predictive monitoring and intelligent analysis of critical batteries for unmanned remote sites. Satellite interconnects state of the art battery monitoring components to a customer’s existing operational management systems. This enables customers to manage mission critical batteries throughout their network using existing systems and associated human machine interfaces. The design connects to the Cellwatch data collection modules (DCMs) via industry standard interfaces and allows for quick and easy integration into a broad range of standard SCADA and network management systems. With Cellwatch Satellite batteries are monitored 24×7 and data is collected automatically for essential battery conditions – voltage, ohmic value, temperature – every day. Satellite communicates via MODBUS over RS485, MODBUS TCP/IP over Ethernet, and HTTP Data over Ethernet/Internet. Key industry applications include remote sites in telecom, wind power, oil and gas, and transportation. To learn more about Cellwatch Satellite contact NDSL at information@cellwatch.com or 919-790-7877 ext 301.

Cellwatch prevents unplanned outages and saves you money

When compared to scheduled battery replacement and PMs, Cellwatch pays for itself in less than 3 years. This analysis compares the total cost of ownership between a Cellwatch battery monitoring system deployment and quarterly preventive maintenance (PM) over a 12-year period. The model includes 4 cabinets (160 jars) and the costs are evaluated over a 12-year period. A key factor included in the analysis is the cost incurred for a system without battery monitoring where indiscriminate battery replacements take place; often earlier than required. The results demonstrate that significant financial savings will be realized. Using an average PM cost and current (2011) battery replacement costs, the breakeven point is reached between 2.5 and 2.75 years. The total savings over 12 years is in excess of 50 percent of the cost of batteries and preventive maintenance. In many critical environments, there are planned VRLA battery replacements every 4-5 years – even though some batteries are bad and some are good, to be safe, all jars in the battery are replaced. With Cellwatch, only the bad batteries are replaced as needed, extending overall battery life and maximizing the financial return on investment. Additionally, when Cellwatch is in use, the preventive maintenance frequency for battery cabinets may be reduced from a monthly or quarterly basis to an annual basis. Since Cellwatch meets all IEEE 1188 battery maintenance requirements, except for the visual inspection, it is recommended that a visual PM of the batteries be done on an annual basis to maintain IEEE compliance. In this assessment, dramatic financial savings are demonstrated with Cellwatch, however the most important benefit, not measured in this ROI, is the prevention of unplanned downtime due to battery failure. Buying Cellwatch is like buying car insurance and getting a full refund with dividends after the first few years. For many companies preventing a single outage is worth many times over the cost of a monitoring solution. For more information, please visit the Cellwatch website.

Identify failing strings by looking at current graphs

It is common knowledge that current measurements are a key indicator that a string has entered discharge, but did you know that you can identify failing strings by looking at current? Changes in current in constant load conditions indicate changing voltages within the string. In multi-string configurations look for a string that begins to decrease in current while the others increase. This dipolar phenomenon is an indication that something is wrong with a string. This can indicate a number of issues ranging from low torque to improper ventilation, to failing cells. In a recent battery test, shown below, String 1 (indicated in maroon) had a decrease in current, while Strings 2 and 3 (blue and green) increased in current flow during a discharge event. Voltage measurements indicate that String 1 had a significant number of failing jars during the discharge event.

As the current for String 1 decreases, we see that the voltages also decrease, indicating that String 1 has failing cells.

Look for opposing currents when reviewing your discharge data. This can help you find nascent problems in your battery.