A BMS battery monitoring system monitors the temperatures across the pack and opens and closes various valves to maintain the temperature of the overall battery within a narrow temperature range to ensure optimal battery performance.
Fitting an EV with a BMS can improve safety. The battery management system performs the following four functions.
1. Monitoring battery parameters
This is the primary function of a BMS. It monitors the state of a cell as represented by parameters such as:
- The state of charge of the cell, to shows the battery’s charge level.
- The flow of coolant and its speed.
- The flow of current into and out of the cell.
2. Managing thermal temperatures
Temperature is the biggest factor affecting a battery. The battery’s thermal management system keeps an eye on and controls the temperature of the battery. These systems can either be passive or active, and the cooling medium can either be a non-corrosive liquid, air, or some form of phase change.
3. Making key calculations
A BMS calculates various battery values based on parameters such as maximum charge and discharge current to determine the cell’s charge and the discharge current limits. These include:
- The energy in kilowatt-hour(s) (kWh) delivered since the last charge cycle.
- The internal impedance of a battery to measure the cell’s open-circuit voltage.
- Charge in Ampere per hour (Ah) delivered or contained in a cell (called the Coulomb counter), to determine the cell’s efficiency.
- Total energy delivered and operating time since the battery started being used.
- The total number of charging-discharging cycles the battery has gone through.
4. Facilitating internal and external communication
A BMS has controllers that communicate internally with the hardware at a cellular level and externally with connected devices.
This communication is often through a centralized controller, and it can be done using several methods, including:
- Different types of serial communications
- CAN bus communicators, often used in vehicles
- DC-BUS communications, which are serial communications over power lines
- Various types of wireless communication include radio, pagers, cellphones, and so on.
The various benefits of BMSs can be summarized as follows-
Overall Functional Safety
Hands down, for large format lithium-ion battery packs, this is particularly prudent and essential. But even smaller formats used in, say, laptops, have been known to catch fire and cause enormous damage. The personal safety of users of products that incorporate lithium-ion powered systems leaves little room for battery management error.
Total Life Span and Reliability
Battery pack protection management, electrical and thermal, ensures that all the cells are used within declared SOA requirements. This delicate oversight ensures the cells are taken care of against aggressive usage and fast charging and discharging cycling, and inevitably results in a stable system that will potentially provide many years of reliable service.
Improved Performance and Range
BMS battery pack capacity management, where cell-to-cell balancing is employed to equalize the SOC of adjacent cells across the pack assembly, allows optimum battery capacity to be realized.
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