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An introduction to Monitoring Fundamentals strictly from the perspective of telecom network alarm management.

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How to Manage Smart Batteries with Built-In Monitoring

Your batteries are typically "out of sight, out of mind", which is fine - until you need them. When commercial power fails, your batteries absolutely have to work. It's simply too risky to leave such a critical piece of your network unmonitored. You need to know that your network sites will stay online.

String voltage monitoring isn't enough

Monitoring the entire string is better than no monitoring at all - but it's not the most effective way to improve reliability. It only takes one bad cell to degrade the performance and lifespan of an entire array of batteries. String voltage doesn't tell you how many cells have degraded and to what extent.

Traditional battery cells require external monitoring devices

traditional battery monitoring system
With traditional batteries, you need sensors ("harnesses") to monitor each cell. Those sensor nodes send data to a collector that mediates the sensor protocol to your RTU.

For a typical battery system, it's best to have at least one sensor for every two batteries. Each sensor reports the health of one or two batteries, making it easy to spot possible trouble before its too late. The sensors send data to a collector which mediates the information and sends it to your RTU. If there is a problem, it's recognized by your RTU and you get an alarm.

This method involves a lot of parts, which means it can be fairly expensive and time-consuming to implement. That's fine for your traditional battery plants, but there's a better way if you choose newer "smart" batteries.

"Smart" batteries have built-in monitoring...

"Smart" batteries are now replacing traditional cells. These cells come equipped with internal sensors that allow for self-monitoring. With smart batteries, you no longer need extra equipment like sensors and collectors. Your batteries simply report to your RTU.

...You just need an RTU to collect and present the data

smart battery monitoring system
Internal sensors in smart batteries make external sensors and collectors obsolete. Smart batteries can interface directly with your RTU.

Don't have an RTU capable of receiving messages from your smart batteries? The NetGuardian DIN from DPS Telecom was built with this application in mind. This small RTU is capable of monitoring your smart batteries, as well as other devices such as environmental sensors.

NetGuardian DIN Hardware Review

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