A DISCUSSION OF BATTERIES IN HOTEL GUESTROOMS
Since the introduction of remote control televisions many years ago, the use of batteries has grown tremendously in hotel guestrooms. There is a wide variety of types, sizes, costs, and voltages associated with the use of batteries in various devices found in typical guestrooms. Batteries are used in electronic card locks, smoke detectors, clock radios, guestroom safes, in some digital thermostats and certain energy management systems and, of course, TV remote controls. Hotels are accustomed to replacing batteries on a Preventive Maintenance (“PM”) schedule prior to failure, based upon occupancy and historical battery life in the particular device. Environmentally responsible hotels also have a battery-recycling program that enhances their “Green Lodging” image.
Lodging Technology's GEM Link™ Wireless' energy management system's estimated useful life (EUL) exceeds 20 years. An inordinate amount of time and money was spent on selecting the type, size, cost, and availability of batteries used in the wireless PIR Occupancy Sensor and Door Switch modules. The company developed innovative, proprietary circuits that minimize battery consumption and allow the use of standard, low-cost AAA Alkaline batteries in the PIR Sensor and Door Switch modules. For example, with the hotel entry door closed (normal position of the door), the Door Switch module consumes less current than the normal self-discharge rate of an Alkaline battery.
Internal chemical reactions cause batteries to self-discharge over time. The shelf life of AAA Alkaline batteries is 7 years at which point it is assumed that the battery has self-discharged below one (1) volt from its rated 1.5 volts when new. Other factors affecting battery life include hotel occupancy, original battery quality, and the date code stamped on the battery case.
Mathematical projections and field tests show that GEM Link™ Wireless components will have an average battery life of 4 to 6 years — far exceeding the battery life of any other device in the hotel room. The company recommends a PM schedule for replacement of the AAA batteries based on the factors mentioned above. By definition, low battery warning circuits consume battery power shortening useful life of the batteries in the device being served. A scheduled maintenance replacement of batteries is preferable to low battery warning circuits except in life-safety devices such as smoke detectors.