16-11-2016 | | By Paul Whytock
What is claimed to be the World’s first wireless car battery management system (BMS) concept car has been unveiled by high performance analog IC specialist Linear Technology.
The concept car was developed in conjunction with Linear’s design partner LION Smart, experts in energy storage and battery management. It combines Linear’s battery stack monitors with the LION Smart SmartMesh wireless mesh networking technology in a BMW i3 vehicle.
This replaces conventional wired connections between the battery packs and the battery management system and both companies believe this development has the potential to improve reliability, cut cost and weight and reduce wiring complexity of the large multi-cell battery stacks used in electric and hybrid/electric vehicles.
One of the design and product challenges for car manufacturers is making certain that electric and hybrid/electric vehicles are safe and reliable.
The LTC6811 from Linear Technology is a complete battery measuring device for hybrid/electric vehicles that can measure up to 12 series-connected battery cell voltages with better than 0.04% accuracy. Combining the LTC6811 with the SmartMesh wireless mesh networking system addresses the potential reliability issues associated with automotive wiring harnesses and connectors and, say the companies, can deliver >99.999% reliable connectivity in harsh environments by employing path and frequency diversity.
In addition to improving reliability by creating multiple points of redundant connectivity the wireless mesh network enables additional BMS capability.
The wireless connectivity concept enables more flexible placement of battery modules and makes possible the installation of sensors in locations previously unsuitable for a wiring harness. Wireless sensors integrated into the SmartMesh network, such as current and temperature monitors, offer the potential for synchronising these measurements with cell voltages.