This real-time battery monitoring system created by a CityU engineering team saves drivers time and money

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This CityU research team developed a smart system that can accurately test the state and health of a vehicle battery in minutes.

A team of electronic engineering students at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has developed an energy and time efficient system that accurately determines a battery’s state and health. Compared with conventional devices, the new system can cut diagnostic time from hours to minutes and reduce energy loss by 90 per cent.

As one of CityU’s Smart City research projects, the smart  battery system was developed by a team of students led by Professor Henry Chung Shu-hung of the Department of Electronic Engineering (EE), in collaboration with the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) of the HKSAR Government.

“The new system can perform real-time monitoring and takes only three minutes to obtain detailed data on a battery’s state of charge and health. It saves a lot of time compared to a conventional device, which usually takes 10 hours,” said Professor Chung.

The project began in 2014 and was funded by the Innovation and Technology Fund. After the system was developed, Chung worked with the EMSD and tested out the system on government vehicles and data centres, which proved to be a success.“The new system enhances the efficiency of battery monitoring, improves battery reliability, and reduces the time and manpower cost for battery maintenance,” Lee Kam-hung, senior engineer of the EMSD, remarked.

The new system records data for a battery’s state of charge and health.
Photo: City University of Hong Kong

Chung said that the new system has many unique features. “The major advantage is that the system can perform real-time monitoring. Without the need to isolate the battery in an electrical system, the time required for monitoring can be shortened. For example, monitoring the battery system of a data centre can be reduced from the usual one day to only three minutes,” he said.

Furthermore, the new system incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) in its function, which boosts data accuracy and helps avoid unnecessary battery replacements.

The smart system has recently been granted a patent, and the team is currently working with its business partner to launch a compact, portable version. Chung said that his team will continue their study on ways to boost the life expectancy of a battery in hopes of reducing electronic waste and fostering Hong Kong's development of a "smart city".

Edited by Kate Lok