ICP DAS‘s M-7017R-A5-G and M-7018R-G I/O modules collect voltage and temperature data from batteries and transmit it to the GTP-541M series remote controller. The GTP-541M sends the real-time data of an electric bus to the control center via 3G/4G. The data includes the vehicle’s speed, rotating speed of the motor, battery information, and daily mileage. In addition, the GTP-541M series remote controller also has a built-in GPS function, which can transmit the real-time location of a bus to the control center and display it on the map, which has become an important reference for fleet management and vehicle dispatching.
The Alishan National Forest Recreation Area, located at an altitude of 2216 meters above sea level, is Taiwan’s most famous and popular forest recreation area. In order to protect the environment and achieve the goal of eco-friendly tours in the park, the park’s administration uses electric buses to provide transportation services in the recreation area.
Since the Alishan National Forest Recreation Area is located at a high altitude with a very high level of humidity, factors such as terrain and weather can cause the following problems: lowering the mileage and batteries lifespan of electric buses. Therefore, the control center hopes to effectively monitor the charging and the aging process of batteries, driving distance, location, and battery level of electric buses.
This case illustrates how the solution from ICP DAS for real-time fleet management is used to monitor and manage battery and traffic information of electric buses in the Alishan area.
ICP DAS’s GPS Fleet Management Solution for Electric Vehicles
The solution structure is divided into two parts: the electric bus fleet and the control center. The electric bus fleet transmits battery voltage and temperature information to the GTP-541M series remote controller via the M-7017R-A5-G 8-channel high voltage AI module and the M-7018R-G 8-channel thermocouple input module. The GTP-541M is used to obtain real-time location data of the electric bus via GPS and then transmit this information together with battery and traffic status to the control center via 3G/4G. ICP DAS’s M2M RTU Center management software and M2M RTU API SDK are installed on the computer in the control center to receive the vehicle information sent by the GTP-541M series remote controller. The solution architecture is as follows:
The 8-channel high voltage AI module M-7017R-A5-G can be used to obtain battery voltage information in the range of ±50V to ±150V and then transmit this data to the GTP-541M series remote controller via Modbus RTU.
The M-7018R-G is an 8-channel thermocouple input module with high voltage protection. In addition to receiving current and voltage data (2.5 V), it can also receive a thermocouple sensor signal. The M-7018R-G collects battery temperature data and then transmits the collected information to the remote controller GTP-541M via Modbus RTU.
The GTP-541M is a multifunctional 4G controller with a GPS function. It also has a built-in high-performance processor that provides easy logic control of I/O modules in real-time. In this case, the GTP-541M collects voltage data from M-7017R-A5-G, temperature data from M-7018R-G, as well as data from Modbus devices and GPS and transmits the collected information to the remote management software via 3G/4G wireless communication method. Through the ICP DAS‘s RTU protocol, the GTP-541M can send data to the M2M RTU Center software.
The M2M RTU Center provided by ICP DAS is M2M (machine to machine) management software, which has powerful core technology for data processing and allows users to avoid problems when dealing with large amounts of I/O data. Up to 1024 M2M RTU devices can be managed by one M2M RTU Center software, making the remote management of multiple RTU devices more convenient for personnel. Management personnel can use any SCADA software in combination with M2M RTU API SDK and M2M RTU Center, or directly use EZ Data Logger software by ICP DAS for easy implementation of a remote device monitoring and control system.
M2M RTU API SDK is a software tool package developed by ICP DAS for M2M RTU products. It provides users with software development environments (such as VC, VB, BCB, and Visual Studio.NET) to build the application system of these products. Functions of this software tool package include Ethernet and 3G/4G communication methods, which can be used to transmit real-time data. M2M RTU products together with GPS function can be used as a fleet tracking solution or a transportation management system.
ICP DAS‘s fleet management solution for electric buses combines GPS positioning and instant GPRS 3G/4G communication technology. The management personnel can access the fleet management web page through a computer or smartphone browser to monitor the bus’s real-time location, driving status, and vehicle history query result. Fleet performance reports, mileage statistics, and anomaly reports (including over speed, idling, and I/O modules status) can be received as well. At the same time, this solution can also be combined with the SMS function to send notifications to management personnel when an emergency occurs, so they can solve the problem as soon as possible, which can help increase the fleet’s efficiency.
ICP DAS’s M-7000 series I/O modules use the most common industrial communication protocol – Modbus RTU. With the help of the RS-485 communication interface for remote transmission and reception of data, the M-7017R-A5-G and the M-7018R-G have overvoltage protection, protection against electrostatic discharges (ESD), and intra-module isolation that protect I/O modules from being affected when measuring the battery voltage and temperature of electric vehicles. All this increases the reliability and stability of data transmission of serviced modules.
The GTP-541M uses 3G/4G wireless communication with an automatic reconnection mechanism, which can transfer a large amount of data in the shortest time. At the same time, the dynamic IP address of the GTP-541M can be connected to a fixed IP address of the monitoring terminal (M2M RTU Center) to solve the problem of IP address management.
The data transmission mechanism of the GTP-541M provides two modes: sending messages at scheduled times, or sending messages when events trigger a module. In this way, the transmission speed between multiple stations will be effectively increased, the burden on the host computer will be reduced, and the problem of instantaneous data transmission efficiency will be solved.
The solution combines maps to display the location of vehicles in real-time, dynamically updates to display real-time information, and provides constant monitoring of electric vehicles. The system will automatically record anomalies and send SMS alerts. Management personnel can get real-time fleet status information through a computer or smartphone browser, and export management reports and fleet operations statistics.
Complete the remote monitoring system with ICP DAS’s EZ Data Logger software
The EZ Data Logger is a small data logging software developed by ICP DAS. The software is easily customizable and has a user-friendly interface, which provides a simple version of the dashboard that can be used for small monitoring systems. Without programming skills, users can quickly build the data logger software and complete the data acquisition monitoring system. Using ICP DAS‘s M2M RTU Center with EZ Data Logger, the data transmitted by the GTP-541M can be stored not only in a database, but can also be displayed on the EZ Data Logger‘s dashboard for visualization and easy creation of a real-time monitoring system.
For more information about the EZ Data Logger, please follow the link below:
Electric buses in Alishan National Forest Recreation Area provide high-quality carbon-free transportation services. In an effort to protect the environment, green energy is used to reduce carbon emissions as a starting point for the goal of sustainable management of the natural environment. ICP DAS uses IoT technology to help the Alishan’s fleet management team realize the dream of a “low-carbon home“.
ICP DAS has been committed to the development of various wireless products for a long time, not only providing customers with solutions for diverse applications, but also constantly developing suitable products to meet the special needs of customers from different industries. In the future, ICP DAS will continue to develop intelligent transportation monitoring solutions that will help improve road safety maintenance and management.
ICP DAS was established in 1993 and strongly focuses on innovation and the enhancement of industrial automation technology. ICP DAS continuously endeavors to develop a comprehensive selection of products ranging from remote I/O controllers, distributed I/O modules, I/O data acquisition boards, programmable automation controllers, industrial communication modules, web-related products, motion control systems, SCADA/HMI software to automation solutions for applications critical to energy management, motion automation, smart factories, intelligent buildings, and smart cities. Our ambition is to provide a wide range of high-quality products and versatile applications, together with prompt and efficient services, that can be implemented to assist in the continued success of our clients worldwide.