By Allen Byrne
Battcon, the annual international stationary battery conference and trade show is back this year having had to cancel last year because of Covid-19. This year’s convention is being held from November 2-5 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL – just a few miles from Ft. Lauderdale international airport and adjacent to Interstate 95.
This will be the 24th Battcon, which has weathered the recent demise in the number of other conferences and declining attendance. From its humble beginnings at the Boca Raton Marriott in 1997, it has grown steadily. Still, the organizers have wisely limited the attendance to roughly 500 in order to keep things more intimate and interactive.
What makes Battcon so special and successful? In this author’s humble opinion, it is several things. There is a single focus – stationary batteries and ancillary equipment as used in backup power, energy storage and certain Starting, Lighting and Ignition (SLI) applications. It has not been diluted, as many conferences have, by including loosely related topics. The authors’ papers that are delivered are topical and are required to be non-commercial. Presenters have to submit a written paper, and each paper and PowerPoint presentation is thoroughly reviewed by a carefully selected technical committee of subject matter experts that represent all aspects of the stationary battery industry. A tried and true format is used that mixes things up and allows for a lot of audience participation. There are tutorials, speaker, panels and breakout sessions.
Everything is included in the conference registration, and you really have no need to leave the hotel. Breakfast, lunch and snack breaks are provided, and in the evening, the exhibit hall is open, which offers food and an open bar. There are also hospitality suites that stretch out the evenings. The nice thing about the trade show and exhibits is that they don’t conflict with any of the other conference activities.
Perhaps the most unique feature about Battcon is the accessibility of the technical committee, speakers and panelists for interaction. Many a user has had a battery-related problem solved on the conference floor. Obviously, the Covid epidemic is of great concern and all government mandated precautions and procedures will be observed. The conference is totally committed to protecting the attendees and their families.
What can be expected at this year’s/ Battcon?
Well, the pre-conference tutorial sessions are kicked off by an informative discussion on all things NERC PRC-005. Are you electrical utility folks doing it right and prepared to avoid that heavy noncompliance fine?
- The opening day of the conference properly features a keynote speaker who will tell us what really happened leading up to and during the Texas deep freeze power outage in February. What are the facts and the lessons learned? Will mistakes be repeated?
- In addition to the 18 peer-reviewed diverse paper presentations from the many submitted, there will be three panel sessions featuring Safety Standards and Codes, Battery Maintenance and the various Lithium Ion chemistries. The ever-popular workshops, which are divided by industry, will draw from the telecom, UPS and utility segments. Come and learn from the experts.
Eagle Eye Power Solutions has been a great supporter of Battcon, and this year will be no different. They will have a booth representing their products and services and a separate booth for Eagle Eye University. Come and meet some of the staff and technical advisors who will treat you like family.
Eagle Eye Power Solutions – Come see us at Booth 419
Eagle Eye University – Come see us at Booth 424