Jul 13

Remote Battery Monitoring for Electric Vehicles

How to use incidents to monitor battery information

In our previous blog post, Incidents: The Importance of Real-Time Alerts for Electric Buses, we explain what the ViriCiti Incidents feature is and how it can help fleet operators always be on top of any critical issue. 

Now, we want to go a step further. We will discuss how you can use this useful feature to monitor battery information from thousands of vehicles at once. 

Here are some key battery indicators that can be monitored with the ViriCiti Incidents function. This can help you prevent these types of battery malfunctions. 

Monitor Battery Cell Temperature 

One feature that is important to monitor to keep up with the maintenance of the battery is the cell temperature. The temperature at which the vehicle’s battery charges is crucial to the current it withdraws.

EV batteries are based on a series of chemical reactions. Like most chemical reactions the colder the reactants the slower the reaction. The reactions within the battery become less efficient when forcing the same current to be delivered at lower temperatures.

Similarly, running the battery at too high temperatures for a prolonged period of time can also affect the efficiency and the battery state of health.

💡 Tip: Use the incidents feature to create an alert whenever the temperature of any battery cell goes above or below a certain limit indicated by the vehicle manufacturer.

Check into the Min-Max Voltage 

As the state of charge of the battery goes down all the voltages go down. If there is a big difference between the battery cell voltages this is an issue. This is because the battery is only as strong as its weakest cell. When there is a big difference between the battery cell voltages, the battery is not using its full potential. It is also not working as efficiently as possible. Additionally, it can also be dangerous in the case of a battery malfunction. 

One of the ways the Incidents feature can be used is by looking into the details of the battery cell voltage. The battery is made of many cells. Each cell has its own specific voltage.  In an electric vehicle, it is important that there is not too large of a difference between the highest and lowest cell voltage. 

It is also important to have an accurate cell voltage measurement for safety reasons. In addition, an accurate measurement helps maximize the battery cell capacity. Big differences in max-min voltages, while the vehicle is charging, is a bigger issue than when it is driving.

💡 Tip: Use the incidents feature to create an alert so your team can be notified if the difference between the maximum and minimum cell voltage is too large.

Monitor Battery Charge Cycles 

Charge cycles are another useful metric to keep an eye on. However, you do not need to check this metric as often as the voltage of the cell temperature of the battery.

Checking this metric every 6 months should be enough. Based on our experience at ViriCiti we see a common number within a battery warranty contract can be around 3000 battery charge cycles.

Thus, by monitoring charge cycles you can see how many full charge cycles your buses go through each day. Based on this information it is possible to determine how fast you are approaching the limit stated in the battery warranty contract.  

💡 Tip: Use the incidents feature to create an alert so your team can be automatically notified whenever you hit a specific milestone in number of charge cycles.

About The Author

We are the ViriCiti marketing team. A group of EV enthusiasts writing about the most important aspects of operating electric fleets. From monitoring to smart charging.