Wireless Battery Management

Large automotive lithium-ion battery packs can require monitoring of voltages and temperatures across hundreds if not thousands of cells. This can result in complex and costly wiring from sensor electronics to the measurement points on cells. Given the nature of battery systems and the potential differences that are created through having many cells connected together in series, this can lead to dangerous short circuit failures between different measurement wires. On top of this a single failure point in any of this wiring can cause the battery system to be taken out of action unless further redundancy is employed. This can lead to costly failures and less reliable systems.

By eliminating all sensor wiring in a battery management system the cost, complexity and reliability can be improved. In a proof-of-concept project Vantage Power trialled and demonstrated a distributed battery management system without any sensor wires but replicating the sensing and communication functionality needed in a large automotive battery management system. By injecting a high frequency signal onto the main power line data could be sent and received from each of the individual 154 cells to a single master node.

This successful concept demonstration proved the ability for battery management systems to operate wirelessly in large automotive lithium-ion battery systems leading to potential weight, complexity and cost savings.