Standardization is a necessity in anything from computers, communication protocols and certain systems in the automotive industry that have to be the same with all the others, for the benefit of all car manufacturers and customers.
The same need goes for electric/hybrid car batteries, which have to respect some characteristics and modular design, to be flexible and allow very easy maintenance/control and usage.
The Intelligent Battery Project, started by a company called Abertax Quality Inc of Malta and Mentzer Electronic GmbH from Germany, with research support from the University of Malta, wants to set a standard of technical details and protocols that should give users real time information on vital battery characteristics such as health, charge level and performance.
The Intelligent Battery Project reached three areas:
1 – The Abertax engineers designed the battery electronics to match the load. By that, they they refer to the electronics that monitor critical battery “vital signs”, such as temperature of the battery’s acid which should not exceed 45 degrees Celsius) and its charge level.
2 – They then designed the charger in accordance to the battery system, and provided protocols between it and the battery, to ensure that it’s charged at an optimal level each time. This should avoid damaging the battery by overloading it.
3 – The battery casing design is thought to be modular, with the batteries pluggable just like Lego blocks, and the length to width ratio to be set at 2:1, for the car manufacturer or the user to be able to stack them one on top of other without the hassle of using cable connectors.
Mentzer, whose company develops the charger electronics, says the advantages won’t be visible shortly, because their standardized batteries will cost some 10 to 20 percent more, but in the long run the benefits will make themselves felt through prolonged life and better performance. This is also a gain for the environment and the planet’s material resources.
Patented internationally, the Intelligent Battery system is ready for marketing and use in applications ranging from wheelchairs to solar power storage systems or uninterrupted power supplies in buildings. Servicing or maintaining these battery systems would be much easier because everything will be self-reported and transparent to the user.
I think the Intelligent Battery system will be a game changer in the industry, just because this is what happened to all the industries that once had dissipated and proprietary technologies that couldn’t communicate with each other. Batteries are a starting point because all cars will need them and because battery swapping is not a dream anymore. And there has to be a standard for them – a very flexible one.