Home » Case Studies » Fuji Tecom is preventing water leakage and offering more efficient operation thanks to an innovative water leakage detector
Saft VL 34570 xlr – A compact, rechargeable lithium-ion cylindrical cell that boasts unrivalled nominal capacities and long cycle-life, and can be charged and discharged over a wide temperature range.
Key benefits for Fuji Tecom
• A safety first designed solution, to ensure end-users peace of mind
• A water leakage detection systems able to sustain outdoors conditions, including cold temperatures (down to -20°C)
• A compact, lightweight and ergonomic handheld detection system
• Voltage monitoring system with long operating times between battery charges, and an extended cycle life
Features of Saft’s power solutions
• A battery cell featuring safety redundancy features
• A battery that can not only discharge but also charge at low temperatures
• A battery cell with an energy density of 151 Wh/kg
• A D size battery cell with a capacity that can reach up to 5.8 Ah and a cycle life from 600 up to 2500+ cycles
The challenge: Creating a compact device capable of pinpointing water leakages, which can fit in a limited underground space, and which offers a long life and stable operation in various demanding outdoor conditions
Water resources are limited and supply and sanitation systems are under pressure from increased urbanization and factors linked to climate change. Facilitating leakage detection and water network analysis has become key to tackling the issue as aging infrastructure can be the cause of huge water waste.
“Fuji Tecom” is the top supplier of water leakage detectors in Japan. Their 60 years experience and know-how of water leakage detection technology has been instrumental in preserving scarce water resources in Japan. They have embraced the Internet of Things and created several solutions to help them address water leakage issues.
One such solution, the “Quatro Core” LC-5000, can automatically pinpoint the location of a leak by calculating the time difference of the detected noise caused by the water leakage between sensors. A combination of 4 sensors allow for complete accuracy of the system and distance calculation from the measuring point. The sensors are also used as radio repeater, extending the wireless communication and avoiding poor connection due to obstacles. The solution can record up to 6 routes simultaneously and display the data on one screen, which expedites operations.
The water leakage detector is used outdoors, in various temperature conditions since Japan’s weather can vary greatly from one region to another. Fuji Tecom wanted a robust and wide temperature working rechargeable battery with a maximal capacity. The capacity was also key since the module has not only a “leakage detection” function but also a “radio repeater” function and a “time recording” function. Finally, they wanted to produce small and slim sensor modules so they could be installed anywhere, even in the smallest of subterranean spaces. From a safety point of view, obviously the battery system had to be high quality and secure.
For Saft, that meant matching the application with a single cell rechargeable battery that could be charged even in the lowest temperatures with a maximum capacity, a long life and a proven track record of complete reliability…
The solution: Saft VL 34570 xlr: 3.65 V high-energy cylindrical rechargeable Li-ion cells
Saft’s small cylindrical VL 34570 rechargeable cells happened to be the ready-made solution for Fuji Tecom’s LC-5000 boasting as they do; high nominal capacities coupled with long cycle-life, but more innovatively, the ability to be charged and discharged over a wide temperature range, especially at very low temperatures. Batteries operate over a wide temperature range, but very few also charge them at these conditions.
Generally, the capacity of a Li-ion battery cell for these applications is around 3 Ah-3.8 Ah and manufacturers adopt the multi cell battery packs to reach the expected or needed capacity. However, our VL 34570 xlr rechargeable cell offered a 1.5 times greater capacity than Fuji Tecom required, even with a single cell battery configuration! (its capacity ranges from 2.6 to 5.8 Ah). With 600 to 2500+ cycles obtained depending on conditions, the system would achieve the lengthy operating times that Fuji Tecom required in a compact cell. To top it off, the built in redundant safety features such as electronic protection circuit, integrated circuit breaker in case of a charger fault, shut-down separator, and safety vent, as well as additional features such as state-of-charge (SOC) and state-of-health (SOH) indicators, made them ideal for Fuji Tecom’s demanding application. The adoption was instantaneous!
Saft VL 34570 xlr battery’s capacity to charge at low temperature is very rare and innovative. Added to this, the robustness of the cells at a wide range of temperatures, and their large capacity in a small size, we didn’t need anything else to convince us to adopt that technology over the others.Mr. Katsuhiro Kaji Technical Development Group Manager, Fuji Tecom