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Title:
DEVICE FOR THE MONITORING OF LEAD-ACID STORAGE SYSTEMS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/092762
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A device for monitoring, managing and improving the operating productivity of a lead-acid type accumulator and its operation method are described, mainly characterized by comprising: (a) at least one optical waveguide measuring device/detector; (b) at least one data acquisition platform or a server/subsystem for storing/historicizing of data traffic specifically designed for the development of Internet of Thinghs (IoT) applications; (c) at least one control platform for prediction or prevention management and detection of potentially dangerous/anomalous phenomena, or a similar server for data processing by applying/using monitoring information by means of predictive models/algorithms based on artificial intelligence techniques; (d) a terminal mobile radio device or at least one automated computer/calculator; (e) a lead-acid electric charge accumulator adopted as a case study of the present invention.

Inventors:
TORTOLINI, Paolo (Via Gaetano Ermoli 22, Roma, 00155, IT)
TORTOLINI, Alessio (Via Gaetano Ermoli 22, Roma, 00155, IT)
Application Number:
IT2018/050026
Publication Date:
May 16, 2019
Filing Date:
February 21, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
TORTOLINI, Paolo (Via Gaetano Ermoli 22, Roma, 00155, IT)
TORTOLINI, Alessio (Via Gaetano Ermoli 22, Roma, 00155, IT)
International Classes:
G01N21/43; H01M10/06; H01M10/48
Domestic Patent References:
WO2015185802A12015-12-10
Foreign References:
JPS56134479A1981-10-21
GB1471685A1977-04-27
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1) Device for the monitoring, management and improvement of operation productivity for a lead-acid type accumulator, characterized in that it comprises:

(a) at least one optical waveguide measuring device/detector;

(b) at least one data acquisition platform or a server/subsystem for storing/historicizing of data traffic specifically designed for the implementation of Internet of Thinghs (IoT) applications;

(c) at least one control platform for predicting or prevention and detection managing the of potentially dangerous/anomalous phenomena, or a similar server for data processing by applying/using monitoring information by means of predictive models/algorithms based on artificial intelligence techniques;

(d) a terminal mobile radio device or at least one automated computer/calculator;

(e) a lead-acid electric charge accumulator adopted as a case study of the present invention.

2) Device according to claim 1, characterized in that:

the electronic identifier sensor/detector type (a) is a traditional "digital volume" sensor or "constant volume" or "constant weight" densimeter; characterized by: transmission/sending of the encoded information to a (b) type subsystem.

3) Device according to the previous claims, characterized in that: the (a) type sensor element, preferably connected to a thermocouple, results to be coupled to an lead-acid type battery; characterized by:

determination and storage in (b) of the voltage, the temperature, the specific weight/density, the gradation and/or other useful parameters of the electrolyte as a function of the refractive index of the investigated substance;

to be opportunely calibrated/adjusted for measuring any liquid substance based on its refractive index.

4) Device according to the previous claims, characterized in that: the (a) type sensor element preferably consists of a type of non-metallic material, as plastic and flexible material.

5) Device according to claim 4, characterized in that:

the (a) type sensor element consists of a material suitable for being crossed by a light source as a function of the refractive index of the investigated liquid substance.

6) Device according to claims 1 and 2, characterized in that: the transmission modality includes a technical/industrial standard for personal networks (PAN), preferably WPAN type through a short-range secure radio frequency (Bluetooth).

7) Device according to claims 1 and 2, characterized in that: the transmission modality includes a local network Wireless (WLAN) mode based on the IEEE 802.11 standard specifications.

8) Device according to claims 1 and 2, characterized in that: the transmission modality includes an access identified via GPRS (direct data connection type 2.5) or via UMTS (type 3.0).

9) Device according to the previous claims, characterized in that:

The electronic detector/identification device (a) used for monitoring the present invention transmits/sends, at regular or non-regular time intervals, the encoded information to a terminal mobile radio device (d), whose technical characteristics are identified by a system that manages the resources of the device.

10) Device according to the previous claims, characterized in that:

the data acquisition and normalization platform (b), for storing and historicizing the data traffic received, is configured to develop, on a regular or non-regular time basis, the data generated/sent by (a) type element; The terminal mobile radio device (d) sends/receives via network connection the information collected by the (c) type data processing platform.

11) Device according to the previous claims, characterized in that:

the platform (c) is a data processing server that applies/uses predictive models/algorithms based on artificial intelligence techniques.

12) Device according to claim 1, characterized in that:

the (d) type element, preferably a smartphone, a tablet, or possibly an automated computer/calculator; characterized in that:

processing/elaborating the outputs of the platform (b) to define the work scheduling activities which must be taken into account for evaluating/deciding the activities of safety measures actions to be carried out (output).

Description:
DEVICE FOR THE MONITORING OF LEAD-ACID STORAGE SYSTEMS

The object of the present invention belongs to the engineering branch related to the electrons emission and propagation in vacuum or in matter and it refers to a device for the monitoring and management of operation, as well as the improvement of productivity, of a generic reusable source of electricity suitable for electrical/electronic energy storage/conservation.

Usually, many electrical systems/wirings need accumulators to be operational. This is due to both the impossibility of being permanently connected to a power supply and to improve the operating mobility. Among the electrochemical accumulators, lead-acid battery type is one of the most used. They are employed in many sectors, such as the energy/ renewables, automotive, different telecommunications applications and/or remote systems.

Most of the applications require a reliable measurement of the battery's operation state in order:

- to improve the equipment performance;

- to design the available operating time;

- detect faults as soon as possible.

A malfunctioning battery can cause large economic losses or, in case of more sensitive equipment, compromise the useful life. The main parameters to be considered for the battery evaluation are the current intensity, the voltage, the operating temperature, the state of charge (SoC) and the state of health (SoH).

The state of charge (SoC) is one of the most important parameters of a battery. It provides useful information to improve the operation, the performance, the reliability and the useful life. This monitoring allows preventing both a malfunction and a significant waste of electricity. Currently, according to the actual state-of-art, the systems for measuring the electrolyte specific weight are potentially dangerous for the operator, not so reliable in the measurement and they require a lot of time for measurement/cataloguing.

Moreover, according to the used state-of-art systems, it is not possible to carry out a continuous measurement of the electrolyte specific weight when in operation and/or in charging process.

The aim of the invention is to speed up and facilitate the operation of the instantaneous or temporal measurement of the specific weight/density, avoiding any direct contact between the user and the liquid and using an industrially simple, reliable and reproducible instrument.

The embodiment of the present invention is composed of a group of digital detecting/densimeters sensors, applicable/connectable to a lead- acid battery for measuring and storing the specific weight/density of the substances whose molecules, in solution or in the molten state, form ions.

As known, even the lead-acid accumulators are used in an optimal way, a deterioration of the chemical-mechanical system always occurs and part of this deterioration is irreversible: this is due to the loss of the active material composing the plates of the elements.

Such a loss of material is due both to the excessive rise of the plates temperature during the charge/discharge cycle and due to the excessive concentration of sulphuric acid deriving from the lack of adequate refilling of distilled water.

Another phenomenon/effect that considerably reduces the battery useful life is the metallization of the separators that provide an increasingly high resistance to the current passage, with consequent and inevitable decline in the storage capacity.

Therefore, one of the main aims of the present invention is realizing a control/prevention system for an efficient and effective management of the activities that allow concentrating on different supports different forms of energy to be used later.

The proposed device foresees and prevents the occurrence or the spread of unwanted or dangerous drawbacks, favouring a precise value of the battery SoC in order to monitoring of the energy storage activities and to guarantee the correct application of the relevant regulations and, if necessary, impose its observance. Moreover, another advantageous aspect is represented by the introduction of an optical waveguide measuring device/detector, preferably made of non-metallic material (then a plastic and flexible material) thanks to which it is possible to determine the specific weight and the temperature of the electrolyte of the accumulation system, usually composed of lead plates dipped in sulphuric acid.

The specific weight can be determined either by checking the level of the floater and by comparing it with a graduated scale inside the battery, and depending on the weights that allow the aerometer to float at a specific level defined by a reference mark.

At this regards, there are two types of densimeter that can be used for such application, namely the "constant weight" and "constant volume" ones. The former is simpler to use, while the latter provides greater precision:

- the "constant weight" type consists of a swollen lower part, opportunely ballasted in the bottom, and of a grafted rod on which the density value can be read: in fact, this is given by the intersection of the meniscus of the liquid with the graduated scale of the rod, once the former is stabilized.

- the "constant volume" type is a glass ampoule with a ballast on the bottom to which is connected an emerging plate on the top by means of a rod. On such rod a reference mark is printed on. Once the densimeter is immersed in the test liquid, the sample weights are placed on the plate until the meniscus matches the reference mark. The density is given by the ratio between the additional weight (represented by the sum of the sample weights and the plate) and the known and constant volume of the immersed part of the instrument.

To date, in state-of-art a device for monitoring the described activities equal or similar to the one of the present invention does not exists and it has never been proposed.

In particular, the proposed device on which the applications are developed and/or executed allows identifying, within a computerized system and/or database, the process anomalies during the operation, analysis and design of storage systems; such anomalies, if not properly monitored, could have strongly negative/destructive effects in terms of operational productivity.

An advantageous aspect of the present invention is the realization of a monitoring network of the management activities of energy storage, in particular the ones related to the electrical/electronic sector.

Such a network allows the data aggregation and the predictive estimate of specific parameters thanks to which it is possible to prevent potentially dangerous/anomalous phenomena or to estimate in advance the productivity of the sector, including:

- the evaluation of the anomaly intensity, namely of the level of destructiveness that the analysed critical phenomenon can assume; - the evaluation of the dangerousness, which consists in the quantitative description (statistical and probabilistic) of the occurrence of an anomalous event;

- the anomaly management, namely the set of possible interventions aimed at reducing the effect of the critical phenomenon;

- the prevention/treatment actions necessary to adopt the necessary safety and precaution measures.

By taking into account these simple observations, it is possible to adopt the necessary interventions for a correct maintenance/prevention of the electric energy storage/accumulation systems.

The complex needs of modern industries operating in the energy sector increasingly require the use of technologies that allow the operator to successfully prevent the risk of accidents during the operation and control of electric batteries, in particular of type lead acid.

According to what has been described, it is clear that the instrument of the invention achieves the predetermined purposes.

Many modifications and variations could be developed on the object of the present invention, all falling within the inventive concept expressed in the attached claims.

All the specific elements may be replaced by other technically equivalent ones, and the materials may be different according to the specific needs without getting out of the scope of patent protection of the present invention. Even if the object has been described with particular reference to the attached figures, the reference numbers used in the description and claims are just indicated to describe a preferred embodiment of the invention and they do not constitute any limitation to the claimed scope of protection.

The characteristics and the advantages of the present invention will be evident thanks to the following detailed description in its practical embodiment, illustrated by way of non-limiting example in the attached figures. As shown, the device/system of the present invention, according to its embodiment, consists of the following parts represented in a block diagram:

(a) at least one optical waveguide measuring device/detector;

(b) at least one data acquisition platform or a server/subsystem for the storage/historicization of data traffic specifically designed for the implementation of Internet of Thinghs (IoT) applications;

(c) at least one control platform for the prediction, prevention management and detection of potentially dangerous/anomalous phenomena, namely a server suitable for data processing which applies/uses monitoring information by means of predictive models/algorithms based on artificial intelligence techniques;

(d) a terminal mobile radio device or at least one automated computer/calculator; (e) an acid-lead electric charge accumulator adopted as a case study of the present invention.

Therefore, an object of the present invention is a device for monitoring lead-acid type storage systems.

Description of the individual parts which constitute the device for monitoring the present invention

The involved persons, who are specialized in the management evaluation of all the activities/operations to be performed and/or the actions to be carried out, insert in (b) the data/parameters by using (a) type digital tools.

The (a) type sensor element is a digital sensor/densimeter belonging to the traditional "constant volume" or "constant weight" typologies, which can be coupled to a lead-acid battery (e), made of a material suitable for being crossed from a light source depending on the refractive index of the liquid substance to be detected/measured.

For this purpose, the electronic detector/identification device (a) transmits/sends the coded information to a (b) type subsystem by means of the following possible remote transmission modalities:

- a technical/industrial standard for personal networks (PAN) preferably

WPAN type through a short-range safe radio frequency (Bluetooth); - a local network in Wireless mode (WLAN) based on the IEEE 802.11 standard specifications;

- an access identified via GPRS (direct data connection type 2.5) or via UMTS (type 3.0).

The signal transmission activity is carried out by means of an auxiliary terminal mobile radio device of the type (d). Such a (d) type tool, whose technical characteristics are identified by a system managing the devices resources, is used for sending/ receiving the measurements performed by the (a) type sensor element.

The (a) type sensor element is appropriately calibrated/regulated to detect/measure any liquid substance based on its refractive index. The data collection and processing platform (b) is configured to historicize all the data received from the sensors (a), to insert them into a database and to aggregate the acquired data normalized on a temporal basis at regular or non-regular intervals.

The platform (c) for the activities analysis and forecasting exploits the aggregated data present in the platform (b), forming a set of deterministic data useful for the management, processing and forecast/prevention of the actions to be carried out. Such a process is preformed by applying/using predictive models/algorithms based on artificial intelligence techniques.

Finally, said platform (c), after the data processing, provides the operators and the interested bodies through (d) the information necessary for evaluating/deciding the activities of planning security jobs/actions to be undertaken (output).