Navigant Research Blog

Renamed Canara Hones its Battery Monitoring Tools

Sam Jaffe — June 3, 2013

The world’s largest uninterruptible power supply (UPS) battery monitoring company, IntelliBatt, has unveiled a more comprehensive battery monitoring system and announced that it is changing its name to Canara.  The San Rafael, California-based company, which has been monitoring UPS battery systems for more than 2 decades, recently completed a new round of investment that will allow it to roll out its new monitoring product ‑ and could also fund the acquisition of regional UPS installers.

The new name of the company ‑ Canara ‑ is meant to evoke the memory of canaries that would descend into the coal mines of 19th century England as an early warning system for dangerous gases.  Canara performs a similar feat (although without sacrificing birds’ lives in the process) for data center UPS battery systems.  By monitoring the batteries via a cloud-based architecture, the company can diagnose power system issues and employ predictive analytics to extend the life of the batteries and improve overall power quality in the system.  Navigant Research estimates that the overall global UPS battery market was worth $3.4 billion in 2012 and will grow to $6.7 billion in 2023.

Single to Branch

The task of monitoring and maintaining the lead-acid batteries that provide backup power in the case of a grid blackout is a notoriously unloved job among data center managers.  They tend to be computer people, not battery people, so Canara’s outsourcing model is especially appealing to them.  The company currently monitors more than 265,000 individual lead-acid cells in more than 3,000 systems throughout the world.  Most of those systems are monitored as a single circuit today; Canara is now offering a branch circuit monitoring product that will allow the company to monitor individual strings of battery cells.  By ensuring the proper functioning of the system, Canara’s service can extend battery life in a typical system by up to 40%, which usually leads to a direct savings of 40% in the battery system operating budget.

While the company continues to lead the battery monitoring industry, it also hopes to begin offering other power management services, including energy cost management and even participation in local demand response markets through Canara’s monitoring infrastructure.  In that regard, Canara is in an excellent position: few other companies can claim that they have monitored more than 1 million batteries to date distributed throughout the world.

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