panels & workshops

Keep Learning. Stay Ahead!

As part of the conference, Battcon offers four panel sessions over three days. Panels are comprised of experts who will discuss hot topics, specific concerns, or areas of interest. Members of each panel are selected based on their knowledge, expertise, and background. During each panel discussion, you can share relevant knowledge and experiences, offer comments, and ask questions. The wrap-up panel is an open forum designed to resolve issues raised during the conference. Refer to the Schedule page for topics and time.

Three breakout workshops are offered on the second day of the conference. Workshops are open to all registered attendees. Each workshop is geared toward a segment of the stationary battery industry: telecommunications, utility, and UPS. The actual content of these audience driven workshops always varies and is dependent on the interaction among the attendees. We request that you select a workshop at time of registration, but you may attend a different workshop than you signed up for online.

The actual days and times for panels will be posted on the Schedule page soon.

Panel Sessions
Panels for 2017 are as follows.

Panel 1: Alphabet Soup: NEC, IEC, NFPA, IFC, UL, NEBS, etc., etc. Making sense of what documents apply to your battery installation.
Curtis Ashton (Chair) (CenturyLink), Bill Cantor (TPI), Jeff Donato (Enviroguard), Randy Schubert (Telcordia NIS, a Division of Ericsson, Inc.)

This panel will comprise subject matter experts in the area of various codes and standards who will attempt to answer your questions, or give the traditional “it depends” answer, or more importantly, stir up comments from those in the audience who are truly “in the know”.

Panel 2: Developments in battery management and charging. What’s good, what’s promising, and what’s questionable.
J. Allen Byrne (Chair) (Brass Tacks Power System Advisors), John Kim (EnerSys), Mike Nispel (Quality Standby Services, LLC), Vance Persons (La Marche Manufacturing Co.), Nigel Scott (Custom and Contract Power Solutions)

The focus of this panel will be on recent and developing trends in battery charging compared to traditional methods. Intermittent charging, individual cell equalization, pulse charging, charge monitoring, ohmic measurements, charging current and voltage control, countering temperature effects and more will be discussed. The panel will be interactive and the audience will be encouraged to participate.

Panel 3: Selecting the right battery technology for your application.
Curtis Ashton (Chair) (CenturyLink), Dan Borneo (Sandia National Laboratories), Andrew Miraldi (FZSoNick, Inc.), Jim McDowall (SAFT America, Inc.), Steve Vechy (EnerSys Americas)

Despite what some marketers say, there is no battery technology that is the best choice for all applications. Even within the lead-acid product lineup, there are different performance types (UPS, general purpose, telecom), different plate designs (pasted plate, tubular), and different alloys (lead calcium, lead selenium, lead tin, etc.). Nickel-cadmium technology has similar differentiating factors. Now we are seeing the emergence of new technologies, such as advanced lead-acid, lithium-ion, sodium-beta, and a host of others. The task of battery selection just got a whole lot more complex, so this panel will provide clarity on the process, and whether an advanced technology makes sense for your application.

Panel 4: Battcon Technical Committee Wrap-Up Panel
Curtis Ashton, Bill Cantor, Tom Carpenter, Jim McDowall, Mike Nispel, Mark Sherwood, Rick Tressler, Kurt Uhlir, Lesley Varga

Bring in your boxed lunch and participate in a wrap-up panel session, which is comprised of individuals from across the battery industry who will attempt to answer any outstanding questions from previous presentations and panels and discuss industry issues in general. The session will be audience driven; all questions are welcomed.

Workshops for 2017 are as follows.

Telecom Workshop: Telecom battery open season/session.
Curtis Ashton (Chair) (CenturyLink), John Gagge (EnerSys Americas), Dan McMenamin (Dan McMenamin and Associates, Inc.)

This audience participation session will discuss the major problems associated with telecom batteries, from supplier problems to user abuse. Also, appropriate backup times for various types of telecom services in an evolving competitive and regulatory market will be addressed. Finally, we’ll discuss other pertinent points the audience would like to bring up.

UPS Workshop: UPS battery systems.
John Polenz (Chair) (Vertiv), Dale Campbell (BRPH), Mark Sherwood (East Penn Manufacturing Co., Inc.)

The UPS workshop will be an interactive session, with audience participation, discussing UPS battery systems. We will explore topics such as VRLA vs. VLA battery systems, sizing for appropriate backup time, battery system designs, charging techniques, installation, testing/commissioning, and maintenance. We welcome questions and topics from the audience.

Utility Workshop: Electric utility batteries and chargers.
Tom Carpenter (Co-Chair) (Tennessee Valley Authority), Kurt Uhlir (Co-Chair) (Standby Power System Consultants, Inc.), Jeff Gruseck (Duke Energy Corp.)

This workshop is for those interested in the use and issues of batteries and chargers in electrical utilities. The workshop will feature an open atmosphere where attendees are encouraged to bring up questions they have about their dc equipment and get answers/feedback from the moderators and other attendees. Bring your concerns and expertise for an interactive session to obtain and share knowledge. Some topics that may be discussed include: NERC Standard PRC-005 impacts; NERC Standard PRC-005 requirements vs. IEEE recommendations; New and recently issued/updated IEEE standards; New technologies.


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