18th April 2020

ION Lens: Monitor the State of Your Battery in Real-Time

ion lens

What is ION Lens?

ION Lens is a companion application that acts as an interface or a display unit for the battery pack through a battery management system. It eliminates the need for an external display unit for the battery-powered application. It provides the end-user of a stationary storage system or an EV with complete control and convenience!

ION Lens communicates with the BMS to display critical information about the performance of the battery in real-time. The app is available on the Google Play Store and is compatible with Android devices. It needs internet connectivity, Bluetooth and GPS to monitor performance effectively.

With simple installation and setup, users can download the app and connect to the battery pack within minutes. Manufacturers need not invest in a separate display unit.

OEMs can potentially build their front-end platforms, with custom APIs and take advantage of ION Energy’s BMS.

The ION Lens application consists of 4 main windows:

  1. The Dashboard
  2. Information Screen
  3. Command Manager
  4. Battery Network View

The Dashboard

Get all the important information in a single dashboard. It is the central display window that transmits the status of the battery. It provides information about critical performance parameters in real-time. After establishing the communication with a BMS, the main dashboard is automatically displayed.

dashboard ion lens

It displays the following information:

  • State of Charge
  • Current Drawn (A)
  • State of Health
  • State of Overload
  • Temperature (°C)
  • Total Voltage (V)
  • Fan Indicator – On/Off
  • Cell Balancing Indicator – On/Off
  • PDU Indicator – Precharge/Charge/Discharge
  • QR Code Scanner to scan the QR Code on the BMS

Information Screen

The Information Screen offers a more comprehensive view of the battery. It is useful to the battery system and maintenance engineers.

It showcases the following:

  • Cell Chemistry
  • Number of Cells
  • Number of Equivalent Cycles
  • Individual cell voltage values
  • Temperature readings from individual sensors

Users can know the voltage levels of each cell of the battery pack. If any of the progress bars appear in green, it means that the cell is currently balancing. Further, this window shows temperature readings from sensors inside the battery.

Most importantly, this window displays the error flags raised by the BMS. When a row is in red, it means that the BMS has triggered a targeted error and requires user attention. There are 17 errors that ION’s BMS can detect and raise such as Over/Under temperature, Over/Under Voltage, etc.

In addition to the display on the Information Screen, a warning icon is also displayed on the main dashboard.

Command Manager

command manager ion lens

This window allows the user to interact with and configure the BMS from their smartphone. The Command Manager allows users to:

1. Activate the BMS

BMS Activation is a prerequisite to initiating the battery pack. Without this, the BMS will not be able to engage the powerlines of the battery, hence displaying an Activation Error on ION Lens. This is a security measure and a form of authenticating the user. To activate the BMS from ION Lens, the smartphone must be connected to the Internet to get the authentication token from Edison Analytics.

2. Data Transfer

Users can initiate data transfer from the BMS to the servers of Edison Analytics via ION Lens. For detailed analytics into the battery’s performance, users can view the data on Edison’s cloud battery analytics platform.

3. View BMS Configuration

Using the “Get” option, users can download the BMS’s configuration. They can view all the parameters and the values set in the bottom panel. Users can search for a specific parameter using the Filter field.

4. Edit and Update BMS Configuration

Our BMS platform is designed using a model-based-design approach. Users can not only view the configuration but also update/change any of the parameter values. This allows users to configure the BMS to match the application’s requirements with the battery’s capabilities. Users can customize over 170 parameters. These include power distribution, ignition controls, balancing, charger control and much more.

Battery Network View

We designed ION Lens to support communication for a single battery as well as for a battery network that’s managed by ION’s smart BMS platform.

A battery network is a collection of batteries in series or parallel integrated inside of a power network. ION Lens detects a battery network and enables the battery network view. It’s a single dashboard that lets the user access information related to each battery of that network such as the SOC, Current and Total Voltage. This screen is available by swiping left from the main dashboard.

The battery network view displays the following additional information to the user:

1. Status Bar

It indicates the current status of the individual battery connected to the network. Red color indicates that all network data are up to date but Power Relay is OFF. Green indicates that all the network data is up to date and the Power Relay is ON. Grey color indicates the data is outdated.

2. Connect Button

It allows the user to switch ION Lens from one battery to another inside of the network. When pressed, ION Lens disconnects from the current BMS and connects to the selected battery.

3. Bluetooth Connection Status

It shows the current BMS that has been connected to ION Lens via Bluetooth. It has 3 different status:

  1. Connected: Means ION Lens is connected to that battery pack
  2. Reachable: Means the Bluetooth access point name of that battery has been detected and is available to be connected
  3. Unreachable: Means the Bluetooth access point name of that battery has not been detected nearby by ION Lens

4. Error Status

States if the battery is at fault or not. If the battery is at fault, the user can connect to that battery by pressing the Connect Button and check which error has been raised.

Connecting the BMS to ION Lens

Connecting the BMS to ION Lens is simple and easy to understand. Before connecting, make sure that the BMS is powered up and is within the Bluetooth range of the smartphone.

Steps:

  1. Ensure that your Bluetooth and GPS on your smartphone is turned “ON”
  2. Download the ION Lens Application from the Android Playstore
  3. Start ION Lens.
  4. Press the Settings button at the top right of the screen.
  5. Go to the Data & Sync section.
    1. Depending on the BMS model, modify Bluetooth or Wifi information so that it matches the BMS name you are trying to connect. You can browse the sources list and pick the BMS from the displayed access points.
    2. Enter your login information and password in the Edison Authentication section. Edison authentication access is required to activate ION Energy BMS.
    3. Return to the Main Dashboard by pressing on the back arrow button at the top left of the screen.
  6. ION Lens will automatically try to connect to the BMS targeted from the settings the user just configured.
  7. Before the BMS can send data to ION Lens, it will have to be activated. Go to the Command Manager window and press the Activate button. A popup will appear when the BMS has been successfully activated and the error flag BMS Authentication will be cleared.
  8. Now the BMS is connected, activated and ready to send data to ION Lens.

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