Modular tool facilitates development of battery management systems

July 08, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The new RCP system from development tool vendor dSpace GmbH simplifies the development of battery management algorithms in that it enables measuring and controlling the cell voltage of lithium-ion batteries at very high precision. Battery management systems (BMS), being a very complex system itself, interact with other vehicle systems such as powertrain, energy management, vehicle safety or infotainment. For this reason, these systems cannot be developed independently but require intuitive rapid control prototyping systems in the vehicle which offer fast interaction with a maximum of controllability.

The new dSpace development environment for battery management systems meets all requirements with regards to performance and safety in the development of high-current lithium-ion batteries. The modular system can be integrated into the vehicle and allows designers to implement battery systems consisting of up to 200 cells and a total voltage of 846 Volts. Independent of the number of cells, it offers an accuracy of ± 3mV at a frequency of 1 kHz. This enables designers to reproduce the performance characteristics of the cell chemistry in a real-world environment.

The system offers comfortable cell balancing functions which equilibrate the charging status of the cells and guarantee safe and secure operation. Thus prevents thermal instabilities and extends the battery's operating life. The Manual Balancing mode offers all degrees of freedom to equilibrate the cells as single units or en bloc in any desired intervals. The Automatic Balancing mode enables users to focus on developing complex algorithms without the need to grapple details such as target voltages and switch-off times.

Since the high voltages of lithium-ion battery packs requires reliable safety measures, the Battery Cell Voltage Measurement and Balancing system offers comprehensive error detection and alarm functions, including warnings for the occurrence of errors in hardware, communication and synchronization as well as overheating, isolation faults and over- or undervoltage.

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