This innovation allows for more efficient and safe charging while saving valuable time and avoiding unnecessary maintenance costs.

After 30 months of collaboration, project partners Abertax Quality Inc of Malta and Mentzer Electronic GmbH of Germany, with research support from the University of Malta presented the Intelligent Battery system which represents a milestone in the evolution of conventional battery systems - which are commonly plagued by a lack of standardization and interoperability of battery and charger parts, leaving users in the dark about vital information on the performance and longevity of their batteries.

This information shortfall can create energy waste, extra costs and operational inefficiencies.

At its essence, the Intelligent Battery project strived to make battery use and charging “simple and intelligent while at the same time delivering electricity reliably, efficiently and in a cost effective manner,” says Doctor Joseph Cilia, C.E.O. and Research Director at Abertax.

To achieve their objectives, the companies realized innovations in at least three areas: First, the Abertax team of electrical engineers made sure to “design the battery’s electronics to match the load”, explains Cilia in reference to the electronic circuitry that is embedded to monitor critical battery ‘vital signs’ such as temperature of the battery acid (which should not exceed 45 degrees Celcius) and its charge level. The data obtained by these circuits is sent to a server, where it can be accessed through a variety of interfaces such as desktop computer displays and handheld devices.

Second, the charger, developed in tandem with the battery system, is able to communicate, so to speak, with the battery. This ensures that the battery is charged at optimal level each time, rather than overloaded or even damaged by the charger.

Finally, the battery casing design is modeled on the popular Lego blocks, whereby dimensions are set according to a 2:1 width to length ratio. In practice, this means several batteries can be stacked on top of one another and connected without the need for supplementary connector cables. This design also means the batteries can easily be placed together in various symmetrical combinations in a relatively small area, allowing for easier installation and space optimization.

While the bulk of the project focused on the creation of the new battery, developing the right charger system to feed the Intelligent Battery was an equally important part of the equation, and one that responds squarely to an imbalance that has plagued the battery market to date. Produced en masse particularly in emerging Asian nations, inexpensive chargers are abundant on the European market. But these chargers are usually not designed in tandem with the batteries they serve, and therefore they cannot communicate critical information about the battery to operators who need to make decisions about charging.

COMPAMED.de; Source: University of Malta