Maximize your Value with the New
System Performance Tuning Tool

Taking on new technology is an integral part of advancing your business in the modern world, but it can be a challenging process.

Our partners already have access to an immense amount of data, letting them derive meaningful insights and significant cost savings from their asset performance. We’re constantly working to improve our transparency and clarity so they can continue to get incredible value from remote asset monitoring and management.

Now, Galooli is offering an amazing service that smooths over the learning curve and lets our established partners have even greater visibility of our integration into their systems.

For more detailed information on the content of the report, check out our knowledge base.

A new way to audit system integration

The Performance Tuning Tool offers managers a simple way to access telemetry data that tells them exactly how well-integrated our energy monitoring and management solution is. With just a few clicks, users receive a detailed report of metrics selected to tell the story of the success or challenges of the installation process. The report also reveals important details about the effectiveness of the alert system configuration.

With this information, you can identify which sites or assets have the weakest performance and determine what kind of errors to look for before sending someone to investigate in person.

The PTR is divided into four sections that outline the different aspects of how the system integration is set up:

Fundamentals

In order to organize and run your assets effectively, you first have to know exactly how many units and assets you’re dealing with.

This section gives a very straightforward overview of the tree structure of units installed in your assets. It includes the active, non-chargeable, and test units, as well as the number of clusters and groups of units as designated by the customer.

Solution Availability

The connectivity metrics found here reflect the data found in our advanced Availability dashboard as well as several summary reports, conveniently selected and sorted to give an overview of the overall uptime of Galooli units.

You can see the up-to-date cumulative total of time disconnected from the most unstable units in the thirty days prior to the report’s creation. The actual report includes the top 50 units with the highest disconnection rates, and the full list of units and details is available in our report system.

You can also identify sites that are overshooting the standard transmission count. Excessive transmission noise can distract operators from identifying real, urgent problems and even incur excess costs for businesses relying on cellular alerts.

By identifying disruptions in uptime, managers can assess the impact of local power instability as well as distinguish between specific and widespread equipment failure.

System Usage

Here, you’ll find almost everything you need to know about how employees are accessing Galooli systems.

System usage tells you exactly what you’ve been up to; not only the number of notifications, system logins, and reports issued, but also a breakdown of these numbers by type and frequency.

This information can also show how well you’re utilizing the notifications from various tools. With several options to choose from, it’s important to understand what communication platforms are most effective for your enterprise.

Technical Configuration

Finally, the last section lists units that are giving off responses which indicate one of several common problems. Each unit that shows up here includes the specific type of installation issue and is further broken down by unit type into Site, Battery, and Fleet.

The unit types are further divided into lists of units facing specific issues that need to be addressed. This section is a quick and easy way to discover critical installation errors.

With the help of all four of these unit information summaries, managers can quickly assess their site’s data reporting accuracy, validity, and clarity.

Looking towards the future with Galooli

At Galooli, we’re always looking for ways to improve customer experience. We have the most effective remote monitoring and management software, and we want our customers to take full advantage of the resources we provide.

With this new reporting feature, it’s easier than ever to stay on top of the real-world challenges brought by dealing with new and advanced technology. Whether it’s due to a botched installation or genuine malfunction, it’s simply a matter of identifying the challenge and having the right resources to resolve the issue.

The Performance Tuning Tool is a simple way to summarize those immediate system maintenance needs. Making sure that our solution is fully integrated and your value is absolutely maximized has never been easier.

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operational cost savings & efficiency?

What is Energy Availability

Symbols for different types of energy sources
Symbols for different types of energy sources

We lived in a world that runs on energy. Energy consumption peaked before the COVID pandemic reduced global activity, but it’s quickly returning to record highs. Planning around the accessibility of that energy and its associated resources is critical for the success of any venture. Just recently, the disruptions to Europe’s energy supply have created no small amount of chaos and concern for how people will keep their homes heated in the coming winter.  

These disruptions have brought greater scrutiny to an often neglected but central part of the economy, which is energy availability. The problem is that avoiding low energy availability is all about planning for the future and sufficient investment in the underlying energy resources, two steps that are easy to overlook at a bureaucratic level.  

However, when the proper steps are taken and the costs are shouldered, the long-term benefits of a stable energy supply are immeasurable. So, what is energy availability? 

What is Energy Availability?

Energy availability refers to the accessibility of electrical power. Depending on the scope of the conversation, understanding energy availability requires focusing on different parts of the energy supply chain. The various aspects of energy availability to know about are the accessibility of natural resources, reliability of renewable energy, and the lifetime efficiency of energy storage assets. 

Energy availability can be a concern for anyone, no matter the scale they’re operating on. Government organizations must worry about the impact of reliable energy on the economy and security, businesses need to plan out energy costs of facilities, and individuals want to know more about their options for energy resources.

To fully understand energy availability, you also have to look at energy storage. The most common form of energy storage, batteries have varying energy availability based on their capacity, materials, and overall price. Furthermore, this availability changes over the lifetime degradation of the individual batteries in a system based on usage patterns and other specifications 

Why does energy availability matter?

The dawn of the age of energy digitalization has made energy fundamental to the function of most aspects of modern society. This makes energy availability a key topic to understand in ensuring the reliability and overall security of many industries and sectors. 

Industrial Energy

For businesses in energy-intense fields, determining municipal energy availability is an important factor in planning the location of various new facilities. An abundance of local natural energy resources means relatively lower energy transportation costs, which leads to a substantial reduction in the lifetime energy costs of any size building. 

Another key factor in energy management is energy efficiency. Taking steps to increase efficiency can function as a multiplier on the potential power drawn from energy resources.

On the other hand, many fields need to set up sites in more remote locations. In this case, the energy availability becomes a question of the cost and capacity of the different options for remote power. 

Renewable Energy

While resource availability makes a big difference, the growing awareness of the importance of sustainability is leading to the increasing adoption of renewable energy technology. Maximizing the impact of these new sources means understanding the energy availability of each type and unit.  

When looking to increase total energy availability or meet sustainability goals, renewable energy sources become an attractive option. In order to effectively integrate these power sources, you need to know the variable output numbers of these sources in addition to their total capacity.

The power available at any point in the day is dictated by the presence of sunlight or solar photovoltaic panels, wind strength for turbines, or water levels for hydroelectric. Using the appropriate sources for the local climate is key but controlling energy availability also means actively managing and tracking these assets. 

Battery Systems

Energy storage is absolutely essential to making the most of fluctuating renewable energy sources. For instance, the main problem with solar power is that the middle of the day is the most effective time to collect power, while some of the highest energy usages occurs overnight.  

A well-maintained battery system is a central feature of securing stable energy resources for mid to large sized operations. Batteries are also the number one factor that allows unmanned remote sites to continue functioning.  

How Galooli improves energy availability

The primary factor in determining energy availability is the accessibility of the underlying energy resource. Once the time, distance, and type factors are established, there’s still one more step to get even more out of the energy you use; monitoring your energy assets. 

Knowledge is power, and having broad oversight on your energy assets gets you started on the road to reliable and secure facilities.

Whether you need to bring down overhead costs or maximize the impact of your energy footprint, Galooli’s remote monitoring and management software is the best solution for the job. With agnostic compatibility, convenient dashboards, and detailed alerts, Galooli can help make the most out of remote site energy use and compensate for low energy availability. 

What is HVAC?

Amid international disruptions to energy distribution systems and the growing burden of unpredictable weather, many taken-for-granted aspects of infrastructure are coming under greater scrutiny. In particular, the buildings that shelter us from this chaos are consuming more and more power as our reliance on their protection increases.

One of the main technologies that make buildings hospitable is air conditioning. AC belongs to the holy trinity of building comfort, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. Some governments have begun adopting increasingly strict regulations of these systems, limiting fuel types, and demanding higher efficiency. Electrical HVAC systems are one of the options touted to replace older nonrenewable fuel-based heating and cooling.

What is HVAC?

So, what is an HVAC system? Temperature control seems straightforward, but many factors go into designing these systems, and even more to consider when looking at improving their efficiency in real-world conditions.

Let’s take a look at each element of HVAC:

Heating

Raising the temperature in a building means using burned fuel, electricity, or heat pumps on-site to heat and distribute air directly or via heated water or steam. Heating elements carry different risks based on their potential to generate harmful gases.

Ventilation

The goal of ventilation varies slightly based on local climate and air pollution. Both air contaminants and humidity need to be filtered from the outside to effectively control indoor air quality. Indoor air circulation is also an important factor in regulating temperature.

Areas with drier, cleaner air can use well-placed windows or vents to create passive ventilation. It’s also possible to have some impact on heating and cooling through certain building designs.

Air Conditioning

AC units come in all shapes and sizes. They work best when the type of AC unit included is planned for in the building’s construction, as this impacts the placement and efficacy of the cold air distribution system.

As a function of being closely tied to the ventilation system, AC units also tend to serve as the main interception point for air filtering and dehumidification.

Types of HVAC Systems

There are several different types of systems that match different HVAC needs:

Traditional HVAC

The standard HVAC system found in most facilities and larger office buildings includes an internal heating unit and an outdoor unit that houses the refrigerating and dehumidifying units, as well as a fan to manipulate airflow and a heat pump to improve temperature regulation.

Hybrid heat split

Instead of designated heating and cooling units, hybrid systems use a heating system combined with a heat pump. These systems provide more energy-efficient cooling than those incorporating air conditioning units, but the total cooling capacity is lower than a full HVAC system.

Ductless heating/cooling

When it’s not cost-effective or realistic to install a full ventilation system, ductless heating and cooling systems are a good option to manage the temperature of specific rooms. They still use a heat pump and indoor air units connected to an outdoor AC unit, but each room is handled separately.

Packaged heating/cooling

Packaged HVAC units are just a compact version of other HVAC technologies. Either an AC, heat pump, or combination of AC and furnace are integrated as a single unit. This type is capable of temperature control for homes and small buildings, or larger buildings when multiple are used at the same site.

What makes HVAC so important?

HVAC is an important part of the solution to the ongoing climate crisis. However, it’s not enough to simply increase the number of buildings using HVAC. As more and more people rely on electricity as a lower-impact alternative to oil and gas, overstrained grids become a very real concern.

One solution is to find ways to improve energy efficiency. An HVAC energy management system allows building managers to increase oversight and monitor their system’s performance, letting them gain a better understanding of demand to plan around peak usage times and detect malfunctions that interrupt service or waste energy.

Another option is to improve building designs from the start by using the right materials and better structural planning to regulate temperature based on the local climate. Some updates can be made to existing buildings with insulation or altering the internal structure, but this is often more difficult and expensive than the alternatives.

The first step in minimizing the impact of HVAC systems on the environment and your overhead is to understand the holes in your building’s energy efficiency.

How does Galooli provide a solution for HVAC

The first step in optimizing your HVAC system’s energy efficiency is to get a firm understanding of your energy footprint. By knowing your consumption patterns and factoring in HVAC behavior, Galooli can help you minimize your energy bill and make the most out of existing systems.

Once you’ve fully understood your HVAC system’s energy usage, you’ll know exactly what solutions will best suit your energy needs. Whichever solution you end up using, continuing to actively monitor your energy patterns is an integral part of getting the most out of your HVAC system.

What is Energy Use Intensity?

Graph depicting an a general increase in energy usage over an unspecified time period
Graph depicting an a general increase in energy usage over an unspecified time period

What is energy use intensity? Countries all over the world are gearing up to meet the Paris Accord emissions reduction goals, and commercial buildings are an important part of that process. For instance, smart buildings have been shown to potentially reduce annual emissions by almost 10%.

With all of the energy invested in limiting emissions, it’s also important to make a note of the real bottom-line benefits of better power management. Emission concerns are leading governments to create tax incentives for investing in energy efficiency as well as allocating funds to support people making those changes.

But that’s not all. By being conscious of your energy use and improving efficiency, you inherently save money on excess demand that is otherwise wasted. So what exactly is EUI?

What is energy use intensity (EUI)?

EUI is a metric that describes a building’s energy efficiency based on the amount of space it takes up. To calculate EUI you simply take the annual energy consumed by a building in gigajoules (GJ) or British-thermal units (kBtu) over the area (m2 or ft2) of that building.

The only room for confusion comes from the two different ways to measure energy consumption, site energy and source energy.

Site energy takes the energy use reported by utility bills or advanced metering. It’s most commonly used when looking at EUI while designing buildings, as it reflects the realities of energy consumption that the average owner will face.

Source energy is calculated from the total energy used including all energy from producing and consuming assets, as well as the energy lost throughout the transportation process. This produces a much more accurate energy footprint that factors in the added intensity of different fuel sources based on type and distance to service. Buildings that plan to incorporate on-site renewables, batteries, and other supplementary energy systems should use this method in their calculations.

Some sites naturally have a higher EUI, like hospitals or data centers that run many high-intensity assets almost 24/7. Essentially, having more connected assets, greater energy demand per asset, and overall higher runtime are the main factors that increase EUI.

Why energy use intensity is so important

Understanding energy use intensity is an important part of maximizing the energy efficiency of new buildings and assessing existing sites. Knowing the EUI beforehand helps assess the overhead for electricity and if its drastically different from similar types of buildings it lets you know that something is wrong before you get too far along in your design.

Having a site energy use intensity benchmark for your particular type of building lets you identify and predict the utility costs of daily operations. If you’re relying solely on grid power and only use alternative energy sources as backups, this will tell you most of what you need to know.

On the other hand, if you use photovoltaic solar panels, batteries or generators to regularly supplement your power supply, you’ll need a more detailed assessment of your power needs.

However, the real strength of the EUI metric is having an effective baseline to track future improvements. Once you’ve fully understood where you start and have pushed EUI as far as possible, there are still more improvements to make to your electricity consumption.

Your local climate and related HVAC demand can have a big impact on the actual EUI you end up with. Furthermore, variations in daily use and physical factors can drive the intensity up even more.

So who should be the most worried about their EUI?

Facilities in most industries need to worry about energy costs at some point, but some have a higher energy demand than others: 

Healthcare facilities

An obvious choice, hospitals in particular run a lot of high-intensity equipment all the time. That equipment is especially important in emergencies, which means that when the backup power systems kick in they should be ready to handle that high load 

Banks

Perhaps surprising, but banks use a lot of energy. Similar to hospitals, they also have backup power, but primarily for security reasons instead. They also rely on data storage centers with lots of computer banks drawing power.

Furthermore, as digitalization marches onwards across the entire economy, banks rely more and more on touchscreen banking and other assets that increase their EUI. 

Educational complexes

There’s a growing trend of universities developing their own independent grids to support the classrooms and offices serving tens of thousands of students. This has improved the resiliency of campus electricity, but these methods compensate for a heavy EUI.  

Residential facilities

Finally, there are a variety of residential buildings that run up their EUI by virtue of there being many people living in them and running hundreds of appliances. Building managers for apartments, care facilities, hotels and any other large, dedicated living space should be aware of their EUI burden. 

Almost any kind of facility that houses a bunch of people or appliances is going to have a higher EUI, and with that comes an increasing need to account for and manage that demand. 

What does Galooli do for your EUI?

Once you know what kind of EUI you’re reporting, the next step is deciding what you’re going to do about it. There’s only so much you can do to improve the baseline energy usage.

If your facility was designed with its EUI in mind, you might think that’s the end of it. But once your infrastructure is optimized, there are still all kinds of day-to-day variables that can influence your actual energy consumption.

Galooli’s agnostic remote monitoring and management solution takes the guesswork out of your energy performance. Whatever systems support your building, we can track KPIs and set alerts that tell you when your assets are misaligned or in danger of breaking down.

What is a Smart Grid?

Power lines with a lightly cloud sky in the background and graph lines indicating power levels overlaying
Power lines with a lightly cloud sky in the background and graph lines indicating power levels overlaying

Nowadays, most of the world has access to a large-scale electricity grid, but many places haven’t been maintaining and upgrading their grid infrastructure.

Last year, the independent Texas power grid failed dramatically when the state experienced abnormally cold weather and then again faced a crisis during a record heat wave this summer. Both the extra strain from people huddling around their heaters and air conditioners, as well as poorly planned and out-of-date power plants, were crucial factors in this dramatic failure.

These events and many others show that, while electricity is a fundamental part of basic safety and security, securing its supply doesn’t necessarily get the respect and care it deserves.

As the consequences of this neglect come to a head, there is a greater demand for more reliable and modernized energy systems. Fortunately, smart grid technology has been waiting for an opportunity to shine.

So, what makes a grid smart?

What is a smart grid?

A smart grid is an automated electrical grid with communication and IT systems that can monitor power flows from every energy asset to each connected piece of equipment and can make real-time adjustments between generation and load.

There are a few key components to setting up and running smart grid infrastructure effectively. First, a smart grid requires smart metering sensors integrated into both the energy-producing and energy-consuming assets.

Along with smart meters, smart grid solutions also need remote monitoring solutions that allow for full control over energy-producing assets. This lets utility companies isolate malfunctions and reduce the burden on overloaded sites in situations that would otherwise create a widespread blackout,

Once the asset control, data collection, and transmission mechanisms are established, it’s time to implement smart energy management. By combining trend tracking, data analysis, and generally increased visibility, companies can help optimize smart grid energy and set parameters for the system.

All of these elements together facilitate a channel between providers and customers that enables greater control, efficiency, and responsiveness of the energy network.

Why are smart grids so important?

Energy costs are rising, shortages are becoming more common, and the world’s transition towards renewable, clean energy and technologies remains relatively stagnant. One of the most direct ways to jumpstart this process is to begin from the ground up with the electric grid. The importance of digitizing the grid and energy assets cannot be understated and can be broken down into a collection of primary benefits.

Improving reliability

The world’s growing population and increasing reliance on electricity mean that, despite advancements in the energy efficiency of new technology, there is a growing burden on our power supplies. To ensure our standard of living and profit margins exist for future generations, we must make the most out of our expanding power capacity by maximizing efficiency.

Harnessing renewables

In addition, climate change is creating a need for better resistance to extreme temperatures and weather. The unpredictability of the impacts is wreaking havoc in all sorts of ways, and it’s important to increase the resilience of both the customer and utility end of energy systems. Renewable resources have the potential to maintain or improve the availability of electricity while minimizing the environmental costs that threaten to spiral out of control.

Generating data

Making a grid more intelligent means getting access to an abundance of data. Galooli alone collects over 3 billion data points every day. Moreover, a truly smart grid will include some capacity for analysis that helps increase energy efficiency and identify problems before they trigger major malfunctions.

Managing complexity

Grids involve a wide array of machines and units, all relying on effective management of the energy distribution system. The more data is collected and analyzed, the more factors come under the control of that management. Smart grid solutions take that vast array of components and organize, prioritize, and simplify the process of managing those connections.

Reducing operational costs

Fostering greater control and understanding of the energy system naturally leads to reduced costs from all angles. The world has already invested at least 250 billion USD in its energy networks, and that number continues to grow. In order to get the most out of that investment, smart grids let users track energy expenses at peak times and adjust their own behavior accordingly, while utilities can reduce their maintenance costs with predictive analysis and fewer site visits.

Galooli’s role in smart grid management

In order to get the most out of your intelligent assets working with the grid, you need effective data collection, accessible KPIs, and the best analysis around. Galooli’s solution helps optimize your supplemental energy systems and accomplishes each of these goals with unprecedented excellence.

With broadly compatible agnostic integration and an abundance of possible configurations, Galooli’s software can serve as the link between you and your energy usage. Beyond grid monitoring, there’s battery tracking, generator performance analysis, and more, Galooli leads the way in making the most of your energy management.

5 Best Practices for Battery Energy Storage Systems

Battery storage closets located at an industrial facility
Battery storage closets located at an industrial facility

Energy is the lifeline for everything online, and in 2022, where even note-taking and diary management are digitized, it is more important than ever.

But despite the neatly organized appearance of the institutions and online platforms we use daily, the reality of the underlying infrastructure is a chaotic mess of logistics and environmental considerations.

The stability within this chaos is the humble battery, storing energy for later use. With the advent of renewable energy sources, effectively managing energy storage is more crucial than ever. 

To meet the global Net Zero energy goal, the world needs 35 times its current battery storage capacity by 2030. The desired outcome is only possible with the correct management of these powerful storage systems

So what are these energy storage systems? And what are the best ways to utilize, protect, and manage them so that they last for years to come?

What are battery energy storage systems?

Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) are any kind of organized battery storage. 

This includes anything from a couple of batteries that improve your home’s solar power to the vast warehouses of battery banks that handle electricity generated by wind farms.

BESS are an essential resource for managing peak use times and maximizing the value of renewable energy generation in domestic and institutional environments. This can be accomplished by several types of batteries, including the ‘dumb’ lead-acid, the more intelligent and popular lithium-ion, other lithium-based variants, and newer technologies like sodium-sulfur and hydrogen. 

They have become an integral part of microgrid systems, utility grids, and pretty much any facility that runs on electricity.

How to choose the right BESS?

What are your needs? The size and scale of each system are different, and the general functions range from broadly applicable to particular uses.

It’s essential to consider each aspect carefully. While many BESS’ come with basic data reporting capabilities, some may not connect between units, and rarely do they collect and correlate information from multiple locations. Some systems focus on providing a platform for optimizing costs, while others aim to maximize peak power output for excessively demanding networks.

The final piece to this decision is knowing more about the hardware: how reliable are the components? How easy are they to replace, and what kind of expertise does your onsite staff have? 

All these questions boil down to finding out more about the long-term upkeep for these systems and how much you’re willing to spend upfront versus the increase in maintenance costs for more general options.

What are the benefits of Battery Energy Storage Systems?

Energy storage systems have many benefits, and in the face of growing demand,  technological development is expanding this list at an incredible rate.

Benefits include:

  • Improved long-term reliability
  • More flexible temporal controls
  • Cost optimization
  • Higher energy efficiency
  • Maximized energy density
  • Increased power output

Without reliable storage, it’s difficult to manage large-scale power use and compensate for the technical and fiscal costs of the variable demand between day and night. 

Utilities and other companies can use a huge BESS to manage these challenges, but localized BESS implementation lets customers have finer control over their energy use. 

5 Best Practices for Optimizing your BESS

There are five key elements in an effective and successful BESS.

1. Find the best battery for your facility

Source: IntegraSources.com

Let’s start by identifying your energy needs to select the most appropriate battery type.

There are several to choose from and the most common types of batteries in use today are:

Lead-Acid

PBA technology has been around for a long time. It’s the cheapest and most widespread in older machines and facilities. 

They are recyclable and temperature resistant but also heavy, slow to charge and degrade quickly. The amount of collectible data is minimal, even with additional sensors in place.

Lithium-Ion

Most modern large-scale BESS use Li-ion batteries.

By being lighter, more compact, higher capacity, and having greater energy density,  they have replaced most previous smart batteries as the go-to for almost all electronic devices. Li-ion also charge faster and degrade slower than most alternatives. 

They have several weaknesses, mainly their cost and vulnerability to temperature changes with consequent inflammability. It is also easy to limit their lifetime by overcharging and over-discharging

On the plus side, Li-ion batteries are some of the easiest to integrate into remote monitoring technology that prevents or resolves these challenges.

Sodium-Sulfur

Na-S batteries are a newer type with remarkable properties exclusively at an extremely high temperature (above 300 °C). 

A proper facility that is well away from population centers – for example, a solar farm using molten salt –  is excellent for storing vast quantities of energy. 

Their drawbacks include dangerous operating parameters and volatile components, making proper oversight crucial.

Vanadium Redox

These belong to a type known as ‘flow batteries.’ They use liquids instead of solids to hold their electric charge. There are also zinc-bromine, zinc-iron, and iron-chromium types. 

Individually, these batteries are relatively ineffective and are not at all portable. The advantage of this type lies in having the highest lifespan of up to 30 years and unparalleled scalability. 

2. Always keep an eye on your assets

The technology behind energy storage has always been impressive, with banks of batteries being a sight to behold! Unfortunately they are cumbersome and inaccessible before, during, and after deployment. While often located near energy-producing assets, accessing a BESS is inconvenient enough without considering the need to check on individual batteries manually.

However, this level of oversight is essential to stay on top of each battery’s status and performance. This is key to maintaining efficiency and stability across the whole energy asset network.

The solution to this major inconvenience is remote monitoring.

Linking a BESS to a remote monitoring software solution connects to everything in the battery system. It creates visibility over every asset, from the batteries to the doors and lights. 

The information gained from these solutions enables long-term tracking and comparisons that lead to better optimization and security.

3. Set performance thresholds

Once your remote monitoring solution is up and running, it’s time to set thresholds. This is the best way to maximize the potential of your BESS.

With batteries, the main targets to track are metrics like temperature, voltage, and state of charge. Not only will these tell you if your batteries are functioning correctly, but they also keep you within the limits of your warranty. Li-ion batteries, in particular, are sensitive, and their warranties typically reflect that. 

Some solutions can track and set limits for different performance metrics depending on the software you choose. With Galooli’s innovative solution, you can track operating temperature, remaining battery life, charge levels and set specific alert thresholds to ensure they align with your goals.

4. Keep your voltage in check

Once you have comprehensive oversight of your batteries and understand your power load balance, it’s important to check your voltage. Batteries come in different sizes, and depending on your needs, you may end up using the wrong type. Low voltage batteries have a capacity under 100V, and everything above 400V qualifies as high voltage. 

Low voltage batteries are easier to link in larger groups to imitate high-capacity batteries. This means that, up to a certain capacity requirement, it makes sense to use a cluster of cheaper, smaller batteries. In addition, using a battery with voltage above what’s required can strain systems that aren’t designed to handle it.

High voltage batteries offer greater individual capacity but are more limited in the number of linkages they can support. On the other hand, as more centralized energy units, they can manipulate their charges more freely, allowing optimal response time for the sudden surge in demand on startup. 

If your power requirements match the higher capacity of these batteries and are seeing daily use, you probably want to invest in high voltage battery systems. 

5. Safeguard your batteries

Depending on your location, there are two significant risks to your batteries. The first is theft, as batteries are relatively expensive, and large groups of them at remote sites are prime targets. It’s hard enough to keep your sites and their energy assets running consistently and efficiently without worrying about theft and replacement costs.

If the worst does happen, Galooli’s anti-theft solution has an over 100% recovery rate. We’re staying ahead of the game with our battery tracking solution, which is so effective it can uncover batteries from unrelated sites!

The second threat to your batteries comes from within; batteries contain electricity, and using electricity generates heat. 

Chemical reactions are generally predictable, but environmental conditions and time are destructive elements. Individual batteries can eventually malfunction or degrade, leading them to heat themselves and the room containing the rest of the BESS.

Hot batteries tend to get hotter, and a cluster overheating leads to a thermal runaway effect. Proper insulation and safety architecture are necessary when designing and implementing a BESS.

BESS tends to have HVAC components to regulate the temperature, but depending on your location, those systems can be under heavy strain for long periods. To avoid significant breakdowns, you need eyes on all of the components in your system, along with fully automatic alerts that let you deal with a problem before it blows up.

How Galooli Provides a Solution for Battery Energy Storage

When developing your energy infrastructure, information is your most essential tool.

With Galooli you have access to a comprehensive and easy-to-use platform that removes the guesswork about your assets’ status. Galooli keeps your batteries running efficiently, and our insights help maximize battery lifespans, reliability, and performance.

To get started with accessing your energy site remotely, or to learn more about Galooli’s capabilities, request a free demo here.

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What is a Network Generation

Telecommunications tower with equipment supporting multiple network generations
Telecommunications tower with equipment supporting multiple network generations

When you look at your phone next to the bar indicating signal strength, there is usually a handful of numbers and letters like 4G or LTE. If you have paid close attention, you might notice that you have better connectivity with LTE than you get with 3G.

Behind these symbols and codes is a complex web of technological history still shaping global telecommunications today. If you want to understand more about telecom systems, it’s essential to learn about network generations.

What is a network generation?

A network generation is a type of cellular network generally referred to by its number, starting with 1G and going all the way through 2G, 3G, and 4G to the most recent developed generation: 5G. They are referred to as generations because that is how they were institutionally defined.

As the developers responsible for cellular network technology, telecom giants primarily set specific standards for network capabilities. They used their knowledge of contemporary advancements not only to expand the potential range and power of their existing networks but also to define the scope of what the next generation of systems would be able to achieve.

Each network generation refers to the specifications and types of the technology standard, frequency, bandwidth, access system, and core network.

5 Facts About 5G Networks

Quick review: what are the main components of a network generation?

If you are well-versed in telecommunications technology, you can skip ahead, but if you want to learn more about network infrastructure, here is a brief look at what we are talking about when we use the term ‘network generations’:

Frequency

Frequency is simply the number of oscillations or vibrations in a second, measured in Hertz (Hz). It measures electrical signals as a baseline, then scanning and identifying frequencies can be used to transmit data by tracking either analog or digital signals.

Bandwidth

In the technical sense, bandwidth is a number that describes electrical signal transmission capacity. Digital bandwidth is measured in pulses and expressed in bits per second, nowadays offered by service providers as Mbps.

Transmitting alternating frequencies used in all wired analog, many wired digital, and most wireless communications uses ‘bandwidth’ to describe the difference between the highest and lowest frequencies, measured in Hz.

Multiple Access System

These systems are the framework for how networks handle specific bandwidths and multiplex, modulate, or manage them to organize user channels and facilitate communication. Each access system uses a different technique to modify the bandwidth and exploit the fundamental resources of the system.

  • Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA)
  • Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA)
  • Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)
  • Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM)
  • Beam Division Multiple Access (BDMA)

Each of these techniques reflects the targetable aspect of the network based on the technological capabilities at the time. Dividing various parts of the bandwidth and modifying the underlying technology improved each successive generation’s coverage, capacity, and efficiency.

Standardized Technology

As telecommunications has developed from the basic telegraph to globalized networks, many communication standards have been created, adapted, improved, or abandoned. Generally, several standards have been developed and adopted at roughly the same capacity in different countries around the world.

Advanced Mobile Phone Service (AMPS), Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT), and the Total Access Communication System (TACS) were analog signal systems developed around 1980 in the US, Scandinavia, and Europe, respectively. As the first telecom services, they are collectively considered 1G.

2G came about in the 90s with the widespread adoption of transmission via wired digital connections as part of the Global System for Mobile communication or GSM.

The introduction of CDMA technology in the late 90s enabled greater signal density at the cost of multiple functions. This led to Wideband CDMA (WCDMA), which served as the foundation for 3G but has been chiefly phased out in favor of GSM.

From the early 2000s, Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) was pursued mainly by Sprint as a way to get ahead of the competition and achieve 4G levels of coverage and speed using the internet to cover gaps instead of new wired lines. In 2015, Sprint abandoned WiMAX in favor of the more compatible and later widely-adopted Long-Term Evolution (LTE) transmissions.

A notable upgrade from 3G onwards was the introduction of MIMO or Multiple Input Multiple Output. As the name implies, it involves processing and combining copies of a signal through multiple antennae to send and receive more robust transmissions.

The redundancy is beneficial for vital emergency communication and network stability even under load. As the world transitions toward 5G, this technology is increasingly crucial to supporting the growing capabilities of the latest network generations.

Now that we understand more about network generations let’s look at a more technical timeline of 1G to 5G standard development.

Network generation technologies simplified

Progression timeline of network generations and their advents
Source: Twitter

Getting lost in the endless reams of network technology acronyms involved in something as simple as making a phone call is very easy. We’ve tried to keep it as simple as possible while looking at how these standards have developed and what changed with their widespread adoption.

In the beginning…

The first generation of wireless technology – AMPS, NMT, and TACS – used analog signals in the frequency range of 800 to 900 MHz to carry data. These mobile networks used FDMA to increase their capacity, but the amount of data that could be transmitted was still minimal. The voice quality and reliability of calls on 1G devices were not very good and also suffered from poor battery life.

The second mobile generation transitioned to wireless digital support with the help of the innovation of TDMA and CDMA. At the same time, the adoption of GSM running on 900 MHz or 1800 MHz bandwidth opened up more operable space.

Applying these techniques to both the new GSM and the older AMPS networks increased the amount and quality of data transmitted, allowing for the development of SMS and MMS services. GSM also made possible internal roaming, conference calls, call holding, and service-based billing.

The rise of the WWW

With the growing popularity of the internet and the demonstrably expanded opportunities of 2G, the next step in telecommunications was web integration. Pressure to meet the International Mobile Telecommunications 2000 (IMT-2000) standard of 200 Kbps transmission speed led to several advancements. Ultimately, they were unsuccessful in producing a new standard, but they were able to upgrade older networks with improved audio and data capacity.

In addition to meeting the standardized requirements to be called 3G, updated 2G network architecture enabled support for many of the apps and features we enjoy on our phones today. Web browsing and email, as well as downloading, streaming, and sharing, were all established at this time.

This was also the point at which the types of devices branched out from phones to include advanced PDAs and more.

Two important technologies jumped from 3G to 4G: MIMO and OFDM. These two methods of frequency modification created a dramatic increase in the density and strength of signals possible within existing bandwidths. This paved the way for advances like HDTV, video conferencing, and cloud computing. Combined with increased security and overall optimization that reduced the cost of providing these services, 4G once again redefined cell service.

But there's no such thing as too fast

As the next level of advancement, 5G offers even faster data service and lower latency facilitated by increased connection density. 5G is still in the process of widespread deployment, but so far, it requires significantly higher site density and inter-device communication to meet its own network standards.

The proliferation of cell sites presents new challenges in keeping track of maintenance and managing energy demand. Still, 5G offers a wide array of efficiency and performance improvements that makes its adoption critical for growing data usage globally and increased reliance and mobile connectivity.

What's next?

As 5G sites are rolling out, service providers are already looking for better and cheaper ways to provide service. With the many experimental technologies being created and designed, there are still some ways to improve existing networks.

The next step in network generations is already in development. 6G is looking to use higher frequencies to deliver even faster and higher quality data transmission with 1000 times less latency. All of this is still speculative, but confidence in the potential for 6G is very high.

The digitalization and intelligent integration of network infrastructure allows for optimization toward more efficient and reliable operations. Companies like Galooli provide remote monitoring solutions that add extra value and oversight to all types of telecom sites.

What is a Microgrid?

Small-scale microgrid including a generator and solar panel located at a coastal telecommunications base station
Small-scale microgrid including a generator and solar panel located at a coastal telecommunications base station

A microgrid is almost exactly what it sounds like; a smaller, scaled-down version of a typical central electric grid. Large national or municipal grids are used because centralizing distribution of most services is the most efficient possible form, so why does anyone bother with microgrids?

As the last couple of decades has shown, climate change is a growing threat to all forms of infrastructure. This is especially relevant to energy grids, as higher temperatures and increasingly frequent storms put more and more strain on these networks.

The United States saw 20 natural disasters that caused over one billion dollars in damages in 2021 alone. With the scaling challenges of climate change looming, taking control of your grid has become more important than ever.

First, let’s discuss what exactly is a microgrid more in-depth, and how they work.

What is a Microgrid?

Source: MicrogridKnowledge

Microgrids are a form of an energy system where a group of buildings or a neighborhood develops and implements its own self-contained network of power. A microgrid draws power from utilities just like the central grid but has supplementary energy production and storage that augments its daily functions. The specific configuration and resources of any microgrid are determined by the needs of the facilities relying on it.

This self-contained network of energy assets can operate invisibly alongside the main grid and then seamlessly transition into a fully independent energy system. To accomplish this, microgrids incorporate an active, intelligent control module that helps compensate for vulnerabilities and improves overall performance. 

Moreover, to effectively manage and keep these energy assets working at peak capacity, remote monitoring solutions can provide accessible visibility and insight into their performance. By augmenting the control functions of a microgrid with enhanced oversight operators can minimize risks and effectively maintain these independent energy networks.

Why go through the hassle of setting up a microgrid?

The main factors to consider when thinking about developing your own microgrid are site security and the reliability of the centralized grid network. Especially in regions where grid access is inconsistent, or fuel theft and vandalism are rampant, microgrids can provide the energy stability needed while keeping workers and contractors safe.

Safety features are the weakness of any centralized system because it takes the responsibility out of the hands of the people relying on that system and creates barriers to dealing with vulnerabilities. Microgrids resolve these accessibility issues and can also integrate extra security features because of the greater degree of focus.

Microgrids can also:

  • Collect data – A microgrid tracks energy use patterns to increase overall system efficiency and reduce energy costs by actively managing unused equipment, rooms, or even buildings.
  • Improve sustainability – With the increased connectivity comes the ability to enhance the integration of renewable energy with the microgrid to maximize a network’s sustainability and reduce its carbon footprint.
  • Optimize maintenance – With advanced prediction and malfunction reporting capabilities that reduce the need for in-person oversight, microgrids can decrease response times and minimize the impact of any emergency.
  • Increase efficiency – Generating the electricity for a microgrid from assets that are closer to customers means that less of power is lost in transit. In addition, the enhanced control over energy assets lets microgrids plan their load balance more effectively.

The increased accessibility also enables extra responsiveness and flexibility with demands that otherwise overwhelm centralized electric utilities. In municipalities with inadequate facilities, spikes in demand can regularly knock out the power supply.

Even areas with fully functioning grids do not bother to have the capacity for exceptional spikes, leaving their customers without power. A microgrid is able to address the local energy situation and compensate for gaps without wasting resources and building extra energy capacity.

Most importantly, microgrids provide facilities and organizations autonomy from traditional energy purchasing, and even in some cases sell it if enough excess energy is generated. If there is a reasonable concern about any of these factors, a microgrid could be the solution.

Who is using microgrids?

Examples of different ways microgrids can be organized and the power sources they use
Source: NordicEnergy

Microgrids are historically popular grid formations in a variety of different settings and scales.

The primary limiting factors to more widespread microgrid use are:

a). A large enough energy requirement to justify the investment

b). An incentive to take control of their energy supply

This has limited the application of microgrids for the most part to large communities with security concerns like military bases and institution complexes, but they have seen use in the following:

Hospitals

Medical care is always in high demand, with many critical services that people literally depend on to live. Furthermore, modern developments in medicine include a wide array of electronic equipment, making medical facilities require more power than the average building. This makes microgrids extremely useful as an extra source of electricity as well as insurance against local power failures causing irreparable harm.

Smart communities and buildings

In the face of increasingly frequent extreme weather and the effects of climate change, many communities in North America are choosing to invest in securing their energy supply. These microgrids are concentrated on supplying power to essential services such as firefighters and police departments. Supported facilities also serve as shelters during particularly dangerous weather events.

Government and corporate campuses

Some governments pushing for microgrids lead the way by installing backup systems in their capitals. Albany, New York is supporting its governing complex almost entirely through its own microgrid. This way, the government can preserve its bureaucratic functions in the face of all kinds of challenges. This also provides increased durability in the case of natural disasters or political unrest that damages critical infrastructure like the grid.

Utilities

While seemingly in direct competition, utilities are discovering ways that they can use microgrids to satisfy their customers while retaining control. By investing in microgrid technology, utility companies are able to offer customizable solutions that lower the cost of producing and using energy.

Advances in monitoring and management technology have made the centralized aspect of microgrids more accessible than ever. It has become possible to create a microgrid network out of almost any collection of buildings and energy assets.

The full range of applications for microgrid technology has only just begun.