Without an exception, a global trend of digitalization is percolating into the Gas and Oil industry.
As PIG, Pipeline Monitoring and Gas Metering is paired with smart grid system, the trend is being accelerated.
Oil and Gas industry is facing a great market demand of upgrading traditional PIG and Monitoring to smart communication system which is equipped with communication module.
With advanced communication technology, Global Oil & Gas companies are leading current pipeline monitoring and gas metering market and it’s spreading faster than anyone could imagine.
Smart monitoring and metering system requires a variety of sensing and communication technology for accurate checking under many different environmental conditions.
High performance battery that would enable the technology to operate the system over 10 to 20 years in communication to transmit collected data should be more important part in all kinds of equipment.
Especially for Pipeline monitoring and Gas Metering devices which operate without AC power, but mostly runs with battery, needs a deep understanding and exact selection of battery solution essentially.
In this article, we would like to review Vitzrocell’s market developments in Smart Monitoring and Metering, and introduce Hybrid Battery Solution that would best fit the market requirements.
Vitzrocell Market Developments and Introduction of Vitzrocell Hybrid Solution
Vitzrocell with its Tekcell brand was first introduced to smart monitoring and metering industry in early 2000 and has been expanding its market to Russia and CIS from its first business center, North America and Europe.
When selecting a proper battery, the most important factor that needs to be considered is communication technology.
Most monitoring and metering devices are connected with wireless communication, and its technologies are changing rapidly as per market expansion of IoT.
From our investigation in Figure 1, the key technology for IoT devices is LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) and its core required factors are long battery life and more wide coverage.
Figure 1. LPWA Technical Trend (from Vitzrocell Investigation)
The smart metering, representative LPWA technology, requires sustainable energy and stable pulse performance during long-term duration over 10 years under severe environment.
Generally speaking, Li-SOCl2 (Lithium Thionyl Chloride) battery is a nearly perfect solution for long-term operating smart metering due to its high energy density and low self-discharge rate.
However, Li-SOCl2 battery could have limited operating voltage due to passivation characteristics of Li/SOCl2 battery under smart metering conditions.
To complement the limitation of Li/SOCl2 battery, it’s strongly recommended to connect Li-SOCl2 battery to high power EDLC in parallel, which is called hybrid battery solution.
Figure 2 is a Ragone Chart that indicates the positioning of energy and power about different solutions including Tekcell Li/SOCl2 and EDLC hybrid solution.
The yellow shade in Figure 2 is the required pulse range of smart monitoring and metering from our market developments, and the characteristics of pulse requirements are comparatively small energy and wide power.
Our hybrid solution with high power EDLC is very suitable for smart metering due to high power and sufficient energy.
Figure 2. Ragone Chart (Comparison of Battery Performance for Pulse Requirements of Smart Devices)
Competitive Advantages of Vitzrocell Hybrid Solution
As mentioned above, Vitzrocell Li/SOCl2 and EDLC hybrid solution is the most optimized combination for long-term applications with pulse.
In this part, let me show several pieces of evidence about the competitive advantages of Vitzrocell hybrid solution (Li/SOCl2 and EDLC) and EDLC for long-term applications with pulse by actual evaluation results in Figure 3~5.
Firstly, we carried out two long-term evaluations to verify long term pulse performance about our hybrid solution including competitor’ as shown Figure 3.
In this evaluation, our solution was SB-D02 (Li/SOCl2 bobbin D) and 5F EDLC hybrid, and the competitor’s solution was bobbin D and Li-ion cell (about 150F level).
The first evaluation was short-term pulse according to high temperature aging for 1 year in the left side of Figure 3, and we checked operating voltage at 1.2A/100ms in 20℃, -20℃, -40℃ after 1 year storage at 70℃ and 80℃ each.
The second evaluation was continuous pulse for 6 months in the right side of Figure 3, and we measured operating voltage at peak 400mA/1s every day under temperature cycling (-30~70℃) for 6 months.
From two long-term evaluation results in Figure 3, Vitzrocell SB-D02 and 5F EDLC hybrid solution showed competitive advantages in terms of low temperature performance and reliability.
Figure 3. Long-term pulse evaluation results about Vitzrocell hybrid solution and Competitor’s
Secondly, we carried out long-term evaluation to verify long term pulse performance of our EDLC and various competitor’s Li-ion cells as shown Figure 4 and 5.
In this evaluation, we checked operating voltage at 2A/1s in 20℃, -20℃, -30℃, -40℃ after maximum 8,000 hrs aging with 3.7V at 70℃.
And we did the same evaluation with Figure 4 except for the aging temperature 85℃.
From long-term evaluation results in Figure 4 and 5, Vitzrocell 12.5F EDLC showed much more stable performance under various temperatures and aging levels compared to all competitor’ Li-ion cells.
Figure 4. Comparison of Vitzrocell EDLC and Competitor’s Li-ion Cells under various temperature after
Figure 5. Comparison of Vitzrocell EDLC and Competitor’s Li-ion Cells under different aging temperatures
Finally, we carried out long-term evaluation to verify long term pulse performance of our EDLC and competitor’s EDLC as shown in Figure 6.
In this evaluation, we checked operating voltage at 1.3A peak load under variable temperatures after aging.
The applied aging was charging with 3.9V at 85℃ for 6,000 hrs, and this could be calculated 15 years acceleration based on relevant theory.
From the results in Figure 6, Vitzrocell 5F EDLC showed much more stable performance compared to all competitors’ EDLC.
Figure 6. Comparison of operating voltage according to different aging temperatures
Until now, we showed the relevant evidences that our Li/SOCl2 battery and EDLC hybrid solution has competitive advantages in long-term applications with pulse based on actual evaluation results. In addition, the outstanding reliability of our hybrid solution was proven from the long field operation record over 15 years.
New Communication Technologies (5G) and Vitzrocell Hybrid Solution
Now, communication technologies are changing rapidly as shown in Figure 7.
The current technologies such as Sub GHz, ZigBee and GSM/2G could be integrated into new technologies such as IoT and 5G new radio.
From the investigation, we expect our hybrid solutions will have competitive advantages continuously in new communication conditions.
Figure 7. New communication technologies and Vitzrocell Hybrid Solution
Vitzrocell Li/SOCl2 and EDLC hybrid solution was proven and is proving that it’s the most optimized combination for long-term applications with pulse such as in smart monitoring and metering, and we have accumulated experiences and technologies including patent over 15 years on the hybrid solution.
Vitzrocell is the only company in the world which is equipped with both Li/SOCl2 battery and EDLC solutions, and we have been providing the hybrid solution with over 50M packs for the last 15 years.
As explained above, our Li/SOCl2 and EDLC hybrid solution has competitive advantages in terms of wide temperature range including -40℃ and long-term reliability. In addition, safety is also core competitive advantage based on bobbin type battery and EDLC with physical reaction.
Furthermore, Vitzrocell is operating its own reliability test center equipped with leading-edge testing equipment, including more than 7,000 discharge channels and 168 temperature chambers.
With these test equipment, Vitzrocell is developing battery solutions that can operate for more than 10 to 20 years and conducting various tests to ensure long-term reliability.
The above test data in this article is a partial interim result of long-term evaluation standards conducted at Vitzrocell reliability test center, and many other customized tests are now in progress including accelerated tests.
For all questions, you can contact the specialists of the company.