Energy storage monitoring

IoT use case by Sensative

Solar batteries need attention for optimal performance. Whether you are a solar-powered homeowner or a provider of energy storage solutions, you need to monitor to avoid any unnecessary and expensive incidents. Even if you have insurance that might cover the related costs, you still have the inconvenience of being out of power when a battery turns off or breaks down.

Batteries used to store solar power are usually top quality and safe. Still, sometimes conditions turn difficult, and problems arise. If a service provider can monitor the batteries remotely, you can respond to alarms before incidents become severe. You can also minimize routine inspections and health checks.

Some batteries offer an option for a homeowner to monitor and control remotely, for instance, through a mobile app, however, there is usually no way of sharing this data with a service provider 

The solution is to add external IoT sensors that monitor the physical environment, e.g., temperature, that communicate with a central monitoring service.

beach house with solar batteries and sensors from sensative

In regions such as Arizona, heat is a significant factor that can cause several battery issues, such as internal discharge, system shutdown, or thermal runaway. All these conditions can become very expensive and pose risks to the surrounding environment. In April 2019, a case of thermal runaway in a small substation in Surprise, Arizona, resulted in gas being released, causing an explosion when firefighters opened the shed. During the same year, there were as many as 23 battery fires related to solar power storage and usage in South Korea.

Batteries used to store solar power are usually top quality and safe. Many suppliers provide internal temperature alarms and thermostats inside their products to control and protect against over-heating. Still, with external sensors, you get a broader view of the installation. With this added data, you can develop simple predictive models about the installation’s behavior, e.g., “when the south wall reaches temperature X it will heat the installation and subsequently cause de-rating or complete shut-down, so start the cooling fan.” These kinds of predictive measures will extend the life of the system and increase overall uptime.

If a service provider can monitor the installation remotely, they can respond to alarms before incidents become critical. That will also reduce the need for routine inspections and manual health checks.

Besides the inconvenience of a power failure there are a lot of expenses that can be avoided with remote monitoring.  For instance, spoiled groceries during a power outage, replacement of damaged equipment, unnecessary routine controls, travel fees, and technicians’ fees during after hours calls. At around $50-$100 per sensor depending on IoT network and capabilities, installing protective monitoring equipment makes good sense.

Tesla external wall mount comfort highlighted

The Sensative Strips Comfort is specifically suited for this task since it can be installed both indoors and out, and can withstand higher temperatures.

LG chem w strips comfort

With Sensative’s easily installed Strips Comfort sensors, you can monitor batteries’ health in real-time using the Z-Wave Smart Home standard. You can also use the LoRaWAN sensor Strips LoRa MS-H connected to an IoT system like Sensative’s Yggio when you want to build a wide-area remote monitoring dashboard for multiple houses.

Yggio is a FIWARE-based open API platform that lets your assets communicate with each other to truly optimize your operations, no matter what equipment you want to use. Tailor your solution to your specific needs without the limitations of traditional, siloed end-to-end solutions. 

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