NorthStar

NorthStar’s award-winning solution for wirelessly monitoring batteries

Areas Used

  • Development
  • Industrialization

NorthStar’s award-winning solution for wirelessly monitoring batteries

NorthStar Battery needed a solution that would make their batteries smarter and more interactive. WSI and a team of partners developed a wireless battery-monitoring solution in just nine months. The solution can increase battery lifetime by up to 30 percent, and has enabled NorthStar to create a new business model for product and services.

NorthStar is a global leader in designing, manufacturing and deploying an innovative range of batteries and power solutions. The company provides reliable backup power solutions, such as for the telecommunications industry, and provides power solutions for demanding vehicles, like heavy-duty trucks.

Insufficient lifecycle management

More than half of the batteries used by companies are replaced prematurely, due to insufficient lifecycle management. When field installers are sent out to check on batteries, they sometimes replace batteries before it is necessary, and in other cases, batteries can die before being replaced, leading to downtime.

“We needed to take our next step into the future and add value to our batteries,” says Per Werin, CMO at NorthStar. “There are many companies out there selling batteries, but few know how long they last and what performance they have during their entire lifecycle.”

WSI brings together cross-functional team

NorthStar contacted WSI to solve the problem. WSI managed this complex project from design all the way through to regulatory compliance, certifications and production set up. As the main project leader, WSI brought together a team of companies who closely collaborated to launch a fully functioning, industrialized solution in just nine months: the NorthStar Advanced Connected Energy system.

With NorthStar ACE®, batteries are smart as soon as they are manufactured. WSI developed both the hardware and the firmware for the system. This includes an embedded battery measurement unit with Bluetooth connectivity in every battery and an industrial gateway.

The system also includes an IoT cloud with a portal, and a mobile app for installers and field support. Realtime Embedded developed all software to the system’s gateway, Kombridge built the portal where all battery information is collected, and byBrick built the app that sends status updates in real time.

Less downtime and extended battery life
NorthStar Battery needed a solution that would make their batteries smarter and more interactive. WSI and a team of partners developed a wireless battery-monitoring solution in just nine months. The solution can increase battery lifetime by up to 30 percent, and has enabled NorthStar to create a new business model for product and services.

NorthStar is a global leader in designing, manufacturing and deploying an innovative range of batteries and power solutions. The company provides reliable backup power solutions, such as for the telecommunications industry, and provides power solutions for demanding vehicles, like heavy-duty trucks.

Insufficient lifecycle management

More than half of the batteries used by companies are replaced prematurely, due to insufficient lifecycle management. When field installers are sent out to check on batteries, they sometimes replace batteries before it is necessary, and in other cases, batteries can die before being replaced, leading to downtime.

“We needed to take our next step into the future and add value to our batteries,” says Per Werin, CMO at NorthStar. “There are many companies out there selling batteries, but few know how long they last and what performance they have during their entire lifecycle.”

WSI brings together cross-functional team

NorthStar contacted WSI to solve the problem. WSI managed this complex project from design all the way through to regulatory compliance, certifications and production set up. As the main project leader, WSI brought together a team of companies who closely collaborated to launch a fully functioning, industrialized solution in just nine months: the NorthStar Advanced Connected Energy system.

With NorthStar ACE®, batteries are smart as soon as they are manufactured. WSI developed both the hardware and the firmware for the system. This includes an embedded battery measurement unit with Bluetooth connectivity in every battery and an industrial gateway.

The system also includes an IoT cloud with a portal, and a mobile app for installers and field support. Realtime Embedded developed all software to the system’s gateway, Kombridge built the portal where all battery information is collected, and byBrick built the app that sends status updates in real time.

Less downtime and extended battery life

NorthStar ACE® enables companies to monitor individual batteries at every stage of their lifecycle: from warehouse, to installation, operation and replacement. This has resulted in less downtime, fewer planned onsite visits, and an increase in battery lifetime of up to 30 percent.

“The cooperation with WSI on our new battery concept has paved the way for new business models,” says Per. “We were previously just a product company, now we are a product and services company.”

In 2017, the Battery Council International trade association awarded NorthStar the Sally Breidegam Miksiewicz Innovation Award for NorthStar ACE®.