Success Story Takeaway: How Proof-of-Concept approach helped our customer, a leading manufacturer of Power electronic systems, to identify critical design flaws at an early stage & prevent expensive hardware corrections.
A leading and trusted supplier of automation systems for a range of industries including manufacturing, Oil & Gas, renewable energy and more. They were on a mission to design an IoT based Industrial automation solution.
Objective of the project was to develop a custom-designed IoT solution for proactive maintenance of their Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) systems for the enterprises.
Getting started with PoC:
During the session, it was concluded that before proceeding to a full scale production right away, a PoC needs to be done to verify the feasibility of the design and find out potential challenges.
PoC Design and System Architecture:
The PoC stage began with a planning and brainstorming session with the customer, wherein:
The PoC development began with 5 sensor boards. Each of these boards was connected to 8 batteries that were to be monitored.
Each of these sensor boards were connected to a single IoT gateway unit.
Two types of sensors that formed the key components of the PoC development were:
Key Observations & course corrections during the PoC phase:
During the PoC stage, some key issues & potential faults associated with the IoT project development were unearthed.
The early identification of these design and development faults, which were identified to be “Critical”, helped the team to build the most safe and cost-efficient solution to demonstrate the results.
Let us take a look at the key issues that were found during the PoC development:
The Embitel team identified the need for more frequent and multiple signals to calculate more accurate readings.
The measurements were then based on a “moving average “formula to get the accurate voltage measurements out of the sensor readings.
Though initially ignored, the must-have series configuration of the batteries was realized during the PoC stage.
This sent our teams back to the drawing board and come back with hardware components that could handle high voltage values ( ~ 440-600 V).
From initial selection of J-type thermal sensors, team decided to change it to K-Type sensors for more accuracy and a wider temperature range.
The K-type sensor was found to be much more reliable with a wider temperature range (-200°C to +1250°C). It also proved to be capable of producing a more accurate (0.1°C) measurement of temperature.
The Embitel team did an in-depth analysis of the OS to uncover the real issue at the kernel and device driver levels. We fixed the issue to enable a seamless communication amongst the IoT network components (sensor nodes, gateway, & control board).
So, our team came up with an intermediate sampling rate that was as close to the customer’s requirement as possible, and one which could accurately reflect the actual voltage and temperature values of the whole sensor units.
Doing the PoC before full-scale IoT implementation for battery monitoring & management saved the stakeholders from great deal of expensive hardware and software corrections. The PoC development helped them in:
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