BACS - Battery Management over Battery Monitoring!

12 April 2021

One of the key topics of the future is the guaranteed supply of power to established and developing IT infrastructures, and closely related is the availability of secure emergency power and the trusted competence of its application.

Due to this need, the demand for "BMS" systems has experienced a massive increase.  In most cases the user is offered a "Battery Monitoring System", although they are looking for a full "Battery Management System", which is required, for example, in lithium battery systems.

The prospective buyer is often unaware of the difference between these two system variants and as such might be misled into purchasing a product which does not fulfill the tasks set to it! This disappointed expectation has led to battery monitoring being seen as a luxury over the last 30 years, when in fact customers were looking for battery management to relieve them and automate their monitoring tasks. With BACS, the game changed - in recent years in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden and Norway our BACS system has established itself as a “true” Battery Management System, often as a replacement to these aforementioned standard battery monitoring systems.

We are proud to inform our customers that BACS has over 60% of the BMS market share in the countries listed above.

Especially in German-speaking Europe, we have used our "home advantage" and are the absolute market leader - albeit in a niche market that is growing every year. Other countries have also noted the advantage of Battery Management over simple monitoring and they are retooling their battery infrastructure accordingly.

Simple battery monitoring provides a focused but inactive feed of data which informs the user but does not itself prevent damage to the batteries; as such it is essentially a "luxury" service, ineffective and unnecessary. The user pays a premium only to more clearly watch their batteries “die”.

Only with the introduction of BACS and its Balancing Technology is it possible to directly and automatically regulate the batteries and also to simultaneously monitor their activity.

Through 17 years of BACS experience our customers have reported a comprehensively positive correlation between their usage of BACS and the health and lifetime duration of their battery arrays.

Their reported data clearly illustrates a 50% longer service life and a 20% increase in battery capacity - in comparison to an identical system without BACS.

The advantage of Battery Management compared to the simple "monitoring" is clear – with more than 1.3 million BACS regulated batteries worldwide BACS is the fastest growing system in this market – and that without active marketing. The success of BACS is based on “word of mouth”—BACS speaks for itself!

The most critical data centers in the world have used BACS for years and in this market BACS has established itself as the "Standard".

BACS boasts advantages even in the case of battery failure—when a defective battery is replaced with a new battery, the new battery is quickly damaged via acclimation to the rest of the batteries in the string, leaving the user with little option but to replace the entire string! With BACS this acclimation damage to the new battery and its neighboring batteries is dramatically reduced, thus allowing for single-unit replacement, a process which grants an enormous saving of resources and cost.

All of the advantages and strengths of BACS-Technology have resulted in the Lead-acid battery coming back into the focus of end-users!

Lead-acid batteries as an inexpensive energy storage medium are increasingly being replaced by the much more expensive lithium batteries, as the historical experience of users with simple battery monitoring of the lead-acid batteries regard this old technology as "inferior”. A key issue is that with battery monitoring these lead-acid batteries often only reached 50% of their design life when used in high voltage applications (UPS). Lithium is an attractive alternative to lead-acid as the lithium manufacturers are promoting higher capacities, longer service life, built-in Battery Management System, and smaller footprints. However, this trend towards lithium is not without risk: if on the one hand the lithium’s higher storage capacity is praised, it also represents a considerable fire risk!  For this reason, the use of lithium batteries is not allowed in some areas and is even strictly prohibited in others (urban areas with high-rise buildings, such as New York). Added to these concerns is another for the future environment: at this time, Lithium batteries are not recyclable.

The negative press that that lead batteries have received in the past is due to the effects of over and undercharging, which reduces service life and lowers the capacity of affected battery strings.  Battery systems equipped with BACS see these problems negated. The battery capacity is up to 20% higher and the service life can reach the specified design life. This corresponds to a lifetime increase of up to 50% compared to an unregulated lead battery. These reclaimed benefits as well as the properties of very low risk of fire and high recyclability make the lead battery back to a storage medium of the future, and without an equal in the area of emergency power provision.

BACS, after 17 years, has impressively proven that lead-acid batteries are more reliable and secure than any lithium battery!