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JAR Systems
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By JAR Systems, LLC • July 24, 2018

What is the Intelligent Charging System and what does it do?

The Intelligent Charging System was first developed by JAR Systems in 2008 to help charge sets of devices more efficiently from one wall outlet. When you have a set of 30 laptops in a charging cart (for example) you cannot plug all of the devices into a single standard 15A outlet at once because the amount of power that they will draw from the wall outlet is too great and it will likely result in a shorted circuit. To get around this problem, the power must be distributed so that not all of the devices are getting power at once. 

To accomplish this, some charging carts use a basic timer or electrical switch that turns on one power strip at a time to charge for a period of time (20 minutes for example) and then it switches to charging the next power strip for 20 minutes. The timer continues to switch back and fourth a few more times until all of the devices should presumably be done charging or until someone physically turns it off. This method is commonly referred to as "round-robin" and it works, but we knew that there was room for improvement.

The Intelligent Charging System is able to measure the amount of power draw from each of the connected power strips (up to four) using power current sensors. When a user initiates charging, the system will turn on power to as many of the strips as possible without exceeding 15A. If all of the connected devices' batteries are completely dead, the system will turn just one power strip to start. Then, when the devices connected to that power strip are not drawing as much power, the system will turn on the next strip so that two strips are charging simultaneously. It will continue to do this until all four power strips are charging at the same time. The less power draw the devices have, the faster all of the devices will be charging at once. The system turns off all of the power strips automatically when charging is complete.

The Intelligent Charging System's method provides a more even charge throughout the set of devices, which is especially important when there is not enough time to completely charge the devices until they need to be used again and you need all of the devices to get at least a partial charge. The Intelligent Charging System outlives most common cart timers, saving your organization the money and hassle of having to replace it. The system also features an internal circuit breaker, which can protect your devices from a power surge. 

There is also a second charging mode available called "manage mode". this mode charges all of the devices in exactly the same way as the regular charge mode, but after the devices reach full charge the power strips are left on. This is particularly handy if all or some of the devices that are connected may not be powered down all of the way. This means that a user may initiate manage mode and leave the premises for the day and when they return the next morning, all of the will have been maintained at full charge whether they were turned off or not. This mode can also be used in device check-out scenarios, where devices are returned to the cart at various times. This mode enables network management as well since a constant power supply is required (hence the name "manage mode").

The Intelligent Charging System supports auxiliary devices as well, so you can plug in fans, printers, network switches, and more. Just be aware that using the auxiliary items during a charging cycle may extend the time it takes for all of the devices to charge.

For additional information on how to use the Intelligent Charging System, you may download the user manual from the support page or contact our support team for answers to your specific questions.

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