The challenge to mitigate the risks of a new technology never really ends; it is a continuous improvement to ensure that the risks, even the most remote ones, materialize.
With this attitude, Energica has introduced on the Ego Corsa motorbikes used in the MotoE World Cup the remote battery health monitoring system. Its name is LPWAN (the full name is "Low Power EV Battery Monitoring System"), and it consists of an electronic card designed and produced by Energica, which records the main data of the battery, including voltage, temperature and state of charge. This data set is transmitted by radio from an antenna embedded in the card and becomes accessible to various users through a web portal.
The aim is to identify possible malfunctions of motorbike batteries at an early stage before becoming a real risk. For example, monitoring the battery voltage during charging helps to detect possible overcharging in advance. The system not only detects when a parameter reaches a critical threshold but can also predict how quickly and how soon this might happen. The same applies to the temperature of the battery cells.
The system was tested for the first time in a race at Valencia in 2019, and it was then introduced permanently from the 2020 season. Currently, the battery monitoring system is used by Energica to observe the health status of all Ego Corsa bikes engaged in the MotoE World Cup: when they are on track, in the pits, during charging, and also when they are transported from circuit to circuit during the season.
In addition to Energica specialists, the FIM and Dorna team that manages the MotoE World Cup can access the system at any time through the dedicated web portal and have the overall picture of the status of the bikes and batteries. Last but not least, among the users is the Safety Event team that is responsible for ensuring safety in the paddock. This team is exclusively dedicated to MotoE and is responsible for intervening on the track in the event of a damaged bike with an electrical issue. The system's interface can tell team operators if something abnormal is happening to a particular motorbike and where exactly in the paddock it is located, for example, in the team's box or at a charging station.
Last season, the system also proved useful in the bikes' operational management, not only in the area of safety. For example, during the Jerez’s round, when the ambient temperature reached 37 °C during the day and did not fall below 30 °C, at night, the system allowed Energica to advise the teams how and when to intervene on the cooling of the batteries so that they were at the recommended temperature before each new session on the track.
Giampiero Testoni - Technical Director - Energica Motor Company
Giovanni Gherardi - Electronics and Powertrain Manager - Energica Motor Company
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