Global economies have started to invest in the future of renewable energy and are pushing for aggressive adoption. This helps in increasing the demand for better and smarter batteries. As the demand for electric vehicles (EV) increases globally, the vehicle battery market is expected to reach $43.48 bn. by 2030. This significantly shifts the focus to cutting-edge battery management systems (BMS). Today most electric vehicles, homes, and large solar/wind micro-grids are powered by lithium-ion batteries that boast the highest energy densities of battery technology. The lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery technology family has performed magnificently over the last decade.
We should also be aware that the chemistry inside the battery is very susceptible to certain risks, such as overheating, over-voltage, deep discharge, over-current, and pressure or mechanical stress. The batteries should be operated in a safe and well-defined operating window, and the need arises for a supervising system to prevent battery failure and mitigate potential hazardous situations. This supervising system is known as a BMS.
The BMS is responsible for constant monitoring, gathering, and communicating information to an external interface where users can observe the status of each cell and the health of the battery pack as a whole. The BMS typically consists of several functional blocks, including field transmitters (FETs), fuel-gauge monitors, cell-voltage monitors, cell-voltage balance, real-time clock, and temperature monitors. All these functional blocks are controlled with the help of a microprocessor. The BMS may have a centralized architecture or a distributed/modular architecture consisting of a BMS master and several remote BMS units to monitor the modules and cells. In distributed systems, remote units monitoring individual cells may be connected in parallel/series to the BMS master.
IoT & Machine Learning in BMS
Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics have been a disruptive force in offering customized and smart battery management solutions. These solutions provide extensive system diagnostics, such as cell voltage, state-of-charge, temperature monitoring, etc., and helps the end-user to derive health insights, constantly monitor, and improve the battery’s performance. By blending advanced electronics with IoT and data science for machine learning, the BMS can predict its battery life and identify potential degradation/breakdown of their causes to fix delays/errors even before they arise.
Future of Wireless BMS
Wireless BMS uses a 2.4GHz radio technology for communications. The ICs are paired with a wireless transceiver node that communicates with the master wireless transceiver located at a distance in the pack. The wireless BMS innovation reduces the weight of the batteries by reducing wires and connectors. This solution is also cost-effective as it eliminates inter-module isolation components. The future of mobility is all about electrification. There will be a need for wired and wireless BMS for 2W, 4W cars, multi-wheel trucks, etc. All these developments place India at the very center of the revolution, especially in the transport industry.
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