From sketch board to launch in three quarters. Ola Hellström, WSI project manager, tells of a successful partnership where everyone involved has given it all.
– We at WSI have developed the electronics, the gateway and the radio module in the battery. With the help of the others involved in the project, we have built a battery that is smart as soon as it is manufactured. The radio module will monitor the battery throughout its life. Thanks to gateways both in storage and on site, all facts about the battery will be available for the users, Ola explains.
As soon as the battery leaves the factory and is shipped out in the world, anyone needing to access information can find out the exact status. As soon as the battery enters the warehouse the system will start to fetch the battery data. This will allow the users to obtain real-time health and status updates on all batteries.
– When it is time for the battery to be installed, in a mobile base station as an example, the mobile app adds great value to the system. With the app, the installer will receive installation guidance through all critical steps. By a clever procedure where the installer scans QR-codes on the installed units, the system will obtain all vital information to ensure a secure connection. The app will make the installation considerably easier and ensure all necessary steps are taken, Ola continues.
What is the level of security in the system? There are a lot of facts and information that should not fall into the wrong hands.
– This is something that has been on the drawing table from day one in the project. We have built in several layers of security which ensures that the system only transmits data through encrypted links. In the portal, all data is associated with a customer, and the system only allows access to their own batteries. A smart battery like this must always work. Operational safety is increased by constantly and proactively ensuring that the battery has the right back-up power for the specific use.
What challenges have you encountered during the project?
– The requirements of the system have been developed and clarified during the process. This requires that the various project teams can rethink and act quickly together. One success factor has been that we started very broad-based with all the diverse skills of the involved companies. We come from completely different backgrounds, creating a major new concept for the future IoT world. To accomplish this, you have to help one another and constantly check that the project progresses at the right pace. “What issues do we face right now?”, “Who can solve a certain type of task?”, “How do we coordinate?” are questions we always solve with the help of a completely open dialogue between the companies, says Ola Hellström and proudly continues to say that the NorthStar project also has given him plenty back, in the form of entrepreneurial energy, confidence and new skills.
– In February, we sketched the first battery module. In September we connected a battery with all the functionality. It feels absolutely amazing, Ola Hellström says when he presents the finished NorthStar battery that is ready for the future.
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