HMS announces communication solutions for battery energy storage

Global M2M

Thursday, 14 April, 2022

HMS announces communication solutions for battery energy storage

Battery energy storage systems (BESS) may be one of the keys to solve the energy crisis and make the world more sustainable. Since green energy sources such as wind and solar are not always available, large battery parks can make it possible to store the energy to use when there is less sun or wind.

Battery energy storage systems are made up of battery cells that are combined into battery packs which can then be combined into containers, which in turn can make up battery parks the size of several football fields. The systems can use new or recycled batteries and combine many different components. However, these large battery parks need a large amount of communication capabilities in order to work. To this end, HMS Networks (HMS) has announced a package of communication solutions catered for this application area.

Error prevention and networking of CAN-based device

Since the battery market has been spearheaded by the car industry, CAN is the communication standard of choice in many systems. Here, HMS says it is offering an extensive range of communication solutions via the Ixxat brand — for PC connection, networking, line extension, galvanic isolation and other uses.

In networking, the protection of components is crucial, both from external sources (such as lightning strikes) and from system-related issues (AC/DC noise). Device protection is a must to avoid damage.

Networking gateways

Battery energy storage systems often combine a variety of different equipment from different industries within a single application — batteries, BMS, PLCs, fire detection units or air conditioning. To combine different equipment, it is necessary to interconnect various protocols and network standards. CAN, Modbus, BACnet, KNX and other protocols can be linked via intelligent gateways, which handle the all-important data exchange while also enabling centralised control.

In addition, HMS says these gateways can selectively filter, map and, if necessary, manipulate the data in order to realise the best possible data exchange.

Cloud/SCADA connectivity and remote access

Intelligent networking is also required in order to connect to cloud solutions or SCADA systems. To enable this connection, HMS is offering its SG (smart grid) gateways that support both energy and industrial fieldbus protocols, as well as protocols required for cloud connection.

The company says the SG gateways enable centralised control as well as remote access for predictive maintenance, logging or data visualisation using the i4SCADA solution from the HMS-owned company WEBfactory. The SG gateways also provide cybersecurity features, such as firewall, OpenVPN, TLS encryption and user management.

“We see a rapidly growing demand for communication solutions in battery energy storage systems as society as a whole is turning to more sustainable energy sources such as wind and solar,” said Alexander Hess, General Manager at HMS Business Unit Ixxat. “Communication is needed to get BESS systems to work and HMS offers an extensive portfolio of industrial communication solutions to solve the communication issues at hand in these systems.”

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