The Smart Batteries How Much Do You Know

The battery has the inherit problem of not being able to communicate with the user.Neither weight,color,nor size provides an indication of the battery’s state-of-charge (SoC) and state-of-health (SoH).The user is at the mercy of the battery.Help is at hand in breaking the code of silence.An increasing number of today’s rechargeable batteries are made ‘smart’.Equipped with a microchip,these batteries are able to communicate with the charger and user alike.Typical applications for smart batteries are notebook computers and video cameras.Increasingly,these batteries are also used in biomedical devices and defense applications.

Lithium Battery for Financial POS Machine

There are several types of ‘smart’ batteries,each offering different complexities and costs.The most basic smart battery may contain nothing more than a chip that sets the charger to the correct charge algorithm.In the eyes of the Smart Battery System (SBS) forum,these batteries cannot be called ‘smart’.What then makes a battery ‘smart’?Definitions still vary among organizations and manufacturers.The SBS forum states that a ‘smart’ battery must be able to provide SoC indications.Today,several manufacturers produce such chips.They range from the single wire system,to the two-wire system to the System Management Bus (SMBus). Let’s first look at the single wire system.

The Single Wire Bus

The single wire system delivers the data communications through one wire.This battery or lithium battery uses three wires: the common positive and negative battery terminals and one single data terminal,which also provides the clock information.For safety reasons,most battery manufacturers run a separate wire for temperature sensing.Figure 1 shows the layout of a single wire system.

Single wire system of a smart battery

The single wire system stores the battery code and tracks battery readings,including temperature,voltage,current and SoC.Because of relatively low hardware cost,the single wire system enjoys market acceptance for high-end two-way radios,camcorders and portable computing devices.Most single wire systems do not provide a common form factor;neither do they lend themselves to standardized SoH measurements.This produces problems for a universal charger concept.The Benchmarq single wire solution,for example,cannot measure the current directly;it must be extracted from a change in capacity over time.In addition,the single wire bus allows battery SoH measurement only when the host is ‘married’ to a designated battery pack.

The SMBus

The SMBus is the most complete of all systems.It represents a large effort from the electronics industry to standardize on one communications protocol and one set of data.The Duracell/Intel SBS, which is in use today,was standardized in 1993.It is a two-wire interface system consisting of separate lines for the data and clock.Figure 2 shows the layout of the two-wire SMBus system.

Two-wire SMBus system

The objective behind the SMBus battery is to remove the charge control from the charger and assign it to the battery.With a true SMBus system,the battery becomes the master and the charger serves as slave that must follow the dictates of the battery.Battery-controlled charging makes sense when considering that some packs share the same footprint but contain different chemistries,requiring alternative charge algorithms.With the SMBus,each primary battery receives the correct charge levels and terminates full-charge with proper detection methods.Future battery chemistries will be able to use the existing chargers.

An SMBus battery contains permanent and temporary data.The permanent data is programmed into the battery at the time of manufacturing and includes battery ID number,battery type,serial number,manufacturer’s name and date of manufacture.The temporary data is acquired during use and consists of cycle count,user pattern and maintenance requirements.Some of this information is renewed during the life of the battery.Some lower cost chargers have emerged that accommodate SMBus batteries but are not fully SBS compliant.Manufacturers of SMBus batteries do not fully endorse this shortcut.Safety is always a concern,but customers buy them because of low cost.

35 and 202 series smart batteries

Among the most popular SMBus batteries are the 35 and 202 form-factors (Figure 3).Manufactured by Sony,Hitachi,GP Batteries,Moli Energy and others,these batteries work (should work) in all portable equipment designed for this system.Although the 35 has a smaller footprint than the 202,most chargers accommodate both sizes.A non-SMBus (‘dumb’) version with same footprint is also available.These batteries can only be charged with a regular charger,or one that accepts both types.In spite of the agreed standard and given form factors,many computer manufacturers have retained their proprietary batteries.Safety,performance and form factor are the reasons.In the absence of competition,these batteries can be sold for a premium price.


Zero Point Energy Generators

Almost all our current energy needs are met from fossil fuels. Coal and petroleum are the two most important fossil fuels. However they have several disadvantages. Not only do they emit green house gases and produce harmful by products, they are also finite in amount. As these have been used for centuries, they are now on the brink of exhaustion. That is the reason why your utility companies keep increasing the price of electricity.

Scientists and technologists have been searching for alternative forms of energy to replace the fossil fuels. Solar energy and wind energy have become the most popular of the alternative energy resources. However, there is another source of energy that is small but everlasting. This last characteristic is the reason behind the increasing interest in this source of energy. This is the zero point energy.

What is zero point energy?

According to the laws of physics, every mechanical system has some energy inherent in it at the ground state. Simply put, there exists some amount of background energy even in stable systems or in a vacuum. This energy is known as the zero point energy. This energy is small, but it will last for ever.

How can we extract this energy and use it for our needs? The energy inside the stable systems is converted into heat. This heat is stored in such mediums as coolant water. It is then redirected to generate electricity. Atomic energy is similar to the zero point energy.

Magnetic energy generators

The force of attraction inherent in a magnet is a type of zero point energy. Magnetic energy generators convert this force of magnetic attraction into electricity. The amount of electricity is not much, but it will last as long as the magnet does. The principal is that the energy input is less than the energy output. This seems too good to be true and many scientists are still skeptical about the claim. However, magnetic energy generators are being used for running small household appliances. Utilized properly, they may well fulfill all your energy needs. Industries have also began to experiment with the larger versions of magnetic energy generators.

How do magnetic energy generators operate?

Magnets have two poles: the North Pole and the South Pole. According to the laws of physics when the same poles of two different magnets are brought near each other, they repel each other. On the other hand the two opposite poles of two magnets will attract each other. As a result of these forces of attraction and repulsion the magnets physically move towards or away from each other. This force is inherent in the magnet and not dependant on any outside force. So this is a form of zero point energy. You can build a generator which utilizes this force of attraction and repulsion of two magnets to turn a rotor and generate electricity. The amount of electricity generated will depend on the size and power of the magnets. Bigger and more powerful the magnets, greater is the energy generated. This energy is in the form of direct current. It is then used by a system of controller and batteries.


Is Technology Shackling You

 Is technology shackling you? Although technology may offer many benefits as a small business owner, it is sure to be tough in other ways. There are so many things to learn and keep up with as technology advances. This has a variety of unexpected ways that technology may actually hold you back at times. So it is important to recognize if technology is shackling you.

How does the influence of technology affect your online presence as a small business owner? The truth is, you may not even know the answer to this question. So this is one of the main ways it can influence your small business, by being unable to understand it. How your website, blog or other online presence work is dependent on your understanding of the search engines and other factors for your small business. Understanding and utilizing technology effectively has benefits for any small business. The biggest benefit is it saves money and time. Your online presence is positively influenced by the benefits from well chosen technologies. Your small business is exponentially expanded by the influence of well organized technologies.

What is the real purpose for technology now that we have it? The true purpose of technology is to make things simpler and more accurate for the small business owner. If technology is not doing this for you, then it maybe necessary to simplify your technological strategy. It may also be necessary to upgrade your understanding of the technologies you are using. Remember it is not all about the machines, they are a tool to make your small business run more efficiently. As a tool it should be as useful as possible. The real purpose of technology is to serve the user well. Always recognize this factor and technology will serve you better.

Are there ways to utilize technology more effectively? Of course, these include upgrading, hiring experts to help you and of course education. The main thing to keep in touch with is the positive impact that technology. If it is serving your small business well, then keep with it. It is not always necessary to have that new upgrade, especially if it is unrealistically expensive. It is also not necessary to incur technical support costs, if all you need is a basic workable website. There are many things to consider and will make your goals easier, if you utilize technology effectively.

Is technology really necessary? The best answer to this is no. Technology is only as useful as the way that it is implemented. Do not be fooled into thinking that you need anything, just because it is new and flashy. Integrate the technologies that will be an asset to the way your small business runs. Put as much faith in the person running the devices, then make good choices about equipment based on the user capability. Taking time to mesh the right people with the right technological advancements is key to using them both equally well today.

So is technology shackling you? It does not have to, technology can be a friend. The key is to analyze how you are using it, but keep up with how it is influencing your small business. Technologies do not have to be a burden if understood and used effectively.


Types Of Solar Electric Systems

Types of Solar Electric Systems
There’s more than one way to generate solar energy. It all depends on the type of solar electric system you choose. You need to understand the various classifications used for types of solar electric systems.
There are two main types of solar electric systems: those connected to the local energy grid, and those that stand-alone, but some systems function as hybrids of these two types. Each system type has its own advantages and disadvantages, though grid-tied solar electric is becoming much more common worldwide, making up close to 70% of the residential solar market today.
Grid-Connected Solar Electric Systems
A grid-connected solar electric system goes by several other names, including utility interactive, grid inter-tied, and grid-tie systems (GTS). The basic set-up of a grid-connected solar electric system involves solar panels that are linked to the local electric utility grid. But of course, the connection between the solar array and the utility grid is a bit more complex than that. The following are the required components for a grid-connected solar electric system:

    • Solar panels
    • Inverter
    • DC disconnect
    • AC breaker panel
    • Kilowatt-hour meter
    • Utility disconnect
    • Electrical wiring in your home

All of these components function together in an intricate design to collect and distribute clean, renewable energy. It starts with the solar panels that collect sunlight and convert it into an electrical current. The electricity that these panels produce is direct current (DC) energy, but since your home and the grid function on alternating current (AC) energy, the raw solar energy needs to be converted.
The solar electric system relies on an inverter (sometimes called a power conditioning unit, or PCU), which is one of the most important components in your solar electric system. The inverter will convert the DC energy to AC energy which can then be used inside your home and or be safely sent to the local utility grid. From there, the electricity travels via your home’s normal wiring through the AC breaker panel.
A grid-tied solar electric system also requires an array DC disconnect, which is essentially a switch that allows you to stop the flow of electricity from your solar panels. This is used to shut the system down in emergencies or when maintenance needs to be performed. You will also have a utility disconnect which is used by the local utility to stop the flow of energy when they need to perform maintenance on the utility grid.
A kilowatt-hour meter provides a read-out of how much power your solar array has produced in order to calculate your monthly utility bill. When connected to the existing power grid and producing energy, your solar panel will pump all excess clean energy you produce into the grid. Through a program called net metering, which many (but not all) communities now have, you will get credit from your local utility for all of the power fed into the grid. In essence, the meter will spin backwards during these times!
At night and during times when your solar system doesn’t make enough energy for your home, you can draw power from the local utility grid. As a result, most grid-connected solar system do not include a battery since all of the energy is consumed as it is produced.
Stand-Alone, Off-Grid Solar Electric Systems
A stand-along solar electric array is usually sized to provide a minimum amount of energy in order to generate an entire home’s energy requirements (sometimes combined with geothermal, wind, or hydro power). Most grid-connected systems, on the other hand, normally provide only a portion of the energy needed by the home.
The components used in an off-grid solar electric system are very similar to those used in a grid-tied, but for a few additional components. Here’s the complete list:

    • Solar panels
    • Inverter
    • Back-up generator
    • DC disconnect
    • Batteries
    • AC breaker panel
    • Kilowatt-hour meter
    • Utility disconnect
    • Rectifier
    • Electrical wiring in your home

So how does an off-grid solar system differ from a grid-connected one? It collects solar energy in the same way and then converts it into an electrical (DC) current, but in this case, it can either funnel the electricity into your home or the battery system. It does not ever send electricity into the local electric utility grid.
In a stand-alone solar system, sometimes the DC energy is pumped straight into the DC battery, but it can also send the energy through an inverter to convert the DC energy into AC energy, just as before. Most often the electricity is then piped into your home or the batteries which can either store the energy for later use or be consumed immediately by your home, depending on the time of day and the amount of energy being produced and used. As with a grid-tied system, your off-grid solar array will also have a DC disconnect to allow you to shut the system down in an emergency and for maintenance, but it will also have a rectifier which is like a reverse inverter for changing AC to DC power for charging the batteries.
Batteries are finicky pieces of equipment, and as such they require some additional components to ensure they run well and last a long time. A system meter, for instance, will measure how full your battery is and how much energy is being produced by your panels versus how much you are using. This will give you a detailed look at how well your system is performing and whether or not you have any problems.
Another important component for battery health is the charge controller which also monitors and manages the charge coming from the panels into the batteries. For homes that are completely off the local electric grid, a back-up generator is usually part of the energy package as well. This gas or diesel-powered system provides electricity during periods of lesser sunlight and at night as needed. These can, however, be very noisy and produce a lot of fumes, so are often not preferred by solar owners.
Hybrid Solar Electric Systems
A hybrid solar electric system combines some of the best characteristics of an off-grid and a grid-tied system. These systems are connected to the local utility grid, but also have a battery back-up system. The battery allows the homeowner to store energy for use during non-producing hours (at night or during black-outs). These systems are ideal for homes where the energy grid is unreliable because of inclement weather, an unstable utility generation system, and so on. This is of particular importance for those who rely on a constant source of energy for their home or business.

| Tagged