Good morning and welcome to 2018!! We’ve got the entire year ahead of us – let’s make it a great one together!
Breakthrough Battery Technology Right Around the Corner
Imagine an electric vehicle with a battery that can go 500 miles on a single charge, can recharge in less time than it takes to fill a gasoline tank, costs less than Lithium Ion batteries, and has almost no chance of fire hazard. Sounds like pie in the sky, but a number of global-sized companies are betting big with plans to introduce a solid-state battery technology and they claim that it will be market-ready by 2022. Toyota, BMW, Fisker, and now Dyson (yes, that Dyson) are claiming that they will have solid-state battery technology in their automobiles by 2023.
A solid-state battery contains no liquid electrolyte like conventional batteries do. The liquid electrolyte is replaced with a thin, solid material, which makes the battery lighter and makes a thermal runaway event far less likely. With 2.5 times the energy density, lower weight, extremely fast charging times, and lower risk, what’s not to like?
According to The Economist, a small coin-sized solid-state batteries are in use today. Samsung plans to use solid-state batteries in their Galaxy phones within one to two years. This technology is clearly on the way.
There are, however, challenges to overcome for use in automobiles and stationary applications. Solid-state batteries still have performance issues in cold temperatures, as well as numerous wide-scale manufacturing issues. Despite the problems, this is a technology that appears poised to be a game changer.
PBT’s Unique, Quality Driven, National Workforce Grows 500% in Two Years
In 2017, PBT’s national workforce performed over a thousand battery monitoring installations using a unique new system that ensures that installations are performed correctly, completely, and on time. In the battery industry, nationwide service organizations have typically made ample use of independent contractors to supplement a small in-house workforce for their installation services. In traditional hardware-only battery installations (battery, frame, and cabling, etc.) this has worked well even though many techs have varied skillsets and PC knowledge. The world is changing, however, and with remote battery monitoring technology now gaining wide acceptance across the globe, a new layer of sophistication that wasn’t accounted for in the old service model has been added.
PBT faced these challenges early on and decided that we had to break with the past and view installation work from a fresh perspective. Instead of relying on the conventional processes and oversight, PBT innovated new methods for performing installations with great success.
- PBT developed totally new methods for training and certifying technicians and their installations using automated tools to simplify and ensure installation success and allowing for immediate billing of a certified site.
- PBT’s team developed software tools to automate key functions of the installation configuration and the certification, which substantially reduces installation time.
- PBT’s certification team communicates throughout the day with each technician in the field, providing technical support, proposing solutions to installation problems, handling customer communications, and providing installation certifications for in-house and contract workers.
- Upon completion, a complete set of installation documentation containing system performance information, configuration status, and photographs is sent.
- In large-scale enterprise-wide deployments, an audit team follows the workforce to ensure that things were done correctly.
PBT’s new service model has proven to reduce installation mistakes and installation time, as well as eliminate finger-pointing. We are certain that at least some of our service growth is due to our installations being completed on time and the systems working right the first time, providing value in the installation from day one.