F A Q – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the best battery monitoring system available?
A: Batscan.

Q: How can you claim that, I have come across other systems that seems to work in the same way?
A: They do not have protective resistors that limits the high battery current to a safe level.
Batscan does not operate in the same way as other battery monitoring systems. Batscan does not influence the battery in any way. Influencing of the battery can, first and foremost, cause discharge of the battery. Second it could cause unlucky hazards such as human injury. The protective resistors Batscan uses makes is difficult to create a battery monitoring system that operates without complications – although Batscan is the only one that has succeeded. On account of this, the american company AT&T bought this from Batscan in 1993 and it is still in use.
In Batscan, all parts after the protective resistor including wiring, sockets, measuring modules, communication bus network etc, meets the specifications for Limited Current Circuit (LCC), or SELV for personal safety as required by the International and European safety standard IEC/EN60950.

Q: I have seen other monitoring systems that use fuses on the connections to the battery terminals. Is that safe?
A: Absolutely not! WARNING! These kind of systems are probably not designed by a graduated engineer, and you should not let them anywhere near your batteries!
A fuse is simply a piece of wire inside a glass cylinder. The wire inside the fuse will melt when heated by a current flowing through it that exceeds the rated current of the fuse for some time. Unfortunately, this current is in the orders of magnitudes higher than the current required for killing a person. Fuses do nothing for protection of humans.

Fuses are mainly intended for protection of wires so that they do not overheat in case of a short circuit. However, all fuses have limiting values regarding maximum breaking current and voltage that cannot be exceeded for them to work as a protection device.

A standard small fuse of the type you will find in these systems have typically a maximum breaking current specification of 35A. But the short circuit current in a large UPS battery can easily be in the 5000A range. This exceeds the limit of the fuse more than 100 times, a short circuit will cause the fuse to explode and produce an arc that can ignite hydrogen gas, it may also re-melt and allow excessive current through the wire it was supposed to protect.
In short: Fuses should not be used in secondary connections to a high-energy battery.

Q: I don’t care about personal safety, I am only interested in the health of my batteries.
A: The protective resistors works both way, and they are of equal importance for the battery.
The resistor will effectively protect the battery, not only from accidental discharge in case of a fault in the wiring, but also from fire and explosion that can be the result from sparks igniting hydrogen gas.

Q: Why do Batscan only monitor batteries? I have seen Battery Management Systems that also can make discharge tests.
A: We believe that these are two different tasks, and that they do not combine very well into one single system. There are many reasons for why this is not such a good idea, the most obvious one being that if the Battery Management System breaks down it may also destroy your battery.
The Batscan Software is running at a standard PC-Computer under the Windows operating system. This gives many advantages in terms of connectivity to other systems, compatibility with future versions, and a lot of computation power and memory storage space to Batscan.
However, this may not be the ideal platform for a system that is allowed to shut down the charger for an emergency battery in a nuclear power plant.

Battery Management activities are best handled by the power system itself and many UPS’s already have built in functions for periodic battery tests. A good Battery Monitor System should be able to take advantage of this feature in the UPS and detect and record all battery data during such a test.