New Electric Vehicle Battery Sensor Design Could Reduce EV Costs

Each block of an EV battery needs its own voltage sensor. Right? Maybe not. Cell balancing may be changing that in the near future.

Engineers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, a university in Germany, have been working on current and voltages sensors that would help reduce the price and weight of EVs.


An example of the sensor circuitry attached to EV batteries for monitoring purposes.

How Electric Vehicle Batteries Work

In case you already know how EV batteries work, you can skip ahead. Battery-powered electric vehicles utilize electricity that is stored in a battery pack to power an electric motor which then drives the wheels forward. Once the onboard batteries are drained, they can be recharged from a wall socket or a charging station.

There are three main components to an EV: electric motor, controller, and battery. When the car is turned on, current flows from the batteries. From there, the controller receives power from the battery and the power flows to the electric motor. However, prior to reaching the motor, the controller converts the batteries 300V DC to 240V AC (maximum), a two-phase power which is more suitable for a motor. The electric motor can now convert this electrical energy to mechanical energy and turn the wheels.

In between the accelerator and the controller are variable potentiometers. These will tell the controller exactly how much power to deliver. If the accelerator is released, it will deliver 0V and, if it is fully pressed, it will deliver the maximum output.

Each battery in the EV consists of an individual block and each block may contain up to 12 cells. In many cases for the EVs that are on the road today, each cell requires its own voltage sensor. Looking at Tesla's Model S, there are 16 modules with 6 groups in series, resulting in 7104 Li-ion 18650 cells. If you know anything about EVs, you might say that this is an extremely large number, and it is. By comparison, the Nissan Leaf has 48 modules with four cells, resulting in only 192 cells.
The benefit to Tesla's design is a much lower price, higher energy density, as well as an increased range of driving. Below is an image of the undercarriage of a Model S, which is also the storage for its batteries.

The base of the Tesla Model S, where its batteries are housed. Image courtesy of Oleg Alexandrov (own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0]

Sensors and Cell Balancing

Lithium ion batteries are quite a fire hazard; due to lithium's instability, the cells are prone to overheating and catching fire. A dramatic illustration of this fact was Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 smartphones this year. To prevent incidences like this, EVs must constantly monitor the cells.
In order to monitor properly, a current sensor and numerous voltage sensors are used. The lead researcher in the development of RUB's new technology is Philip Dost, an EE professor at RUB.


Testing the new battery. Image © Philip Dost.

Dost has reduced the number of current and voltage sensors needed for proper monitoring, regardless the number of cells in the battery. This is done by requiring each sensor—current and voltage—to take on another function: cell balancing. This is a method of extending battery run time and battery life. Cell balancing ensures that the electrical energy is evenly distributed amongst the modules of individual cells.

While each cell might be the same upon its creation, under different conditions, each cell might behave slightly different than others. For example, when one cell is charged completely, other cells are no longer able to charge. Likewise, if a cell is drained completely, the motor isn't able to extract electrical energy from any other cells. This is a problem that cell balancing eliminates by providing for the maximum amount of electrical energy to be extracted and converted into mechanical power.
In short, you might not see another flat EV battery for a long time to come.

Philip Dost (right) and the Department Head, Professor Dr. Constantinos Sourkounis (left).Credit: © RUB, Marquard

Another major result is that future battery systems designed with cell balancing will require fewer sensors, reducing overall fabrication costs, as well as weight.


Dost's innovation is scalable, which ultimately means that it can be utilized in a system of two cells or a system like in the Model S, with 7000 cells. This would prove beneficial in power supply systems that are required to stay operational 24/7, such as those in hospitals. Other systems that would benefit are laptops, tablets, power tools, and mainly EVs. Dost plans on evaluating his prototype in heavy detail.
Previous
Next Post »
My photo

Hi, I`m Sostenes, Electrical Technician and PLC`S Programmer.
Everyday I`m exploring the world of Electrical to find better solution for Automation. I believe everyday can become a Electrician with the right learning materials.
My goal with BLOG is to help you learn Electrical.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Label

KITAIFA NEWS KIMATAIFA MICHEZO BURUDANI SIASA TECHNICAL ARTICLES f HAPA KAZI TU. LEKULE TV EDITORIALS ARTICLES DC DIGITAL ROBOTICS SEMICONDUCTORS MAKALA GENERATOR GALLERY AC EXPERIMENTS MANUFACTURING-ENGINEERING MAGAZETI REFERENCE IOT FUNDAMENTAL OF ELECTRICITY ELECTRONICS ELECTRICAL ENGINEER MEASUREMENT VIDEO ZANZIBAR YETU TRANSDUCER & SENSOR MITINDO ARDUINO RENEWABLE ENERGY AUTOMOBILE SYNCHRONOUS GENERATOR ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTION CABLES DIGITAL ELECTRONICS AUTOMOTIVE PROTECTION SOLAR TEARDOWN DIODE AND CIRCUITS BASIC ELECTRICAL ELECTRONICS MOTOR SWITCHES CIRCUIT BREAKERS MICROCONTROLLER CIRCUITS THEORY PANEL BUILDING ELECTRONICS DEVICES MIRACLES SWITCHGEAR ANALOG MOBILE DEVICES CAMERA TECHNOLOGY GENERATION WEARABLES BATTERIES COMMUNICATION FREE CIRCUITS INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION SPECIAL MACHINES ELECTRICAL SAFETY ENERGY EFFIDIENCY-BUILDING DRONE NUCLEAR ENERGY CONTROL SYSTEM FILTER`S SMATRPHONE BIOGAS POWER TANZIA BELT CONVEYOR MATERIAL HANDLING RELAY ELECTRICAL INSTRUMENTS PLC`S TRANSFORMER AC CIRCUITS CIRCUIT SCHEMATIC SYMBOLS DDISCRETE SEMICONDUCTOR CIRCUITS WIND POWER C.B DEVICES DC CIRCUITS DIODES AND RECTIFIERS FUSE SPECIAL TRANSFORMER THERMAL POWER PLANT cartoon CELL CHEMISTRY EARTHING SYSTEM ELECTRIC LAMP FUNDAMENTAL OF ELECTRICITY 2 BIPOLAR JUNCTION TRANSISTOR ENERGY SOURCE 555 TIMER CIRCUITS AUTOCAD C PROGRAMMING HYDRO POWER LOGIC GATES OPERATIONAL AMPLIFIER`S SOLID-STATE DEVICE THEORRY DEFECE & MILITARY FLUORESCENT LAMP HOME AUTOMATION INDUSTRIAL ROBOTICS ANDROID COMPUTER ELECTRICAL DRIVES GROUNDING SYSTEM BLUETOOTH CALCULUS REFERENCE DC METERING CIRCUITS DC NETWORK ANALYSIS ELECTRICAL SAFETY TIPS ELECTRICIAN SCHOOL ELECTRON TUBES FUNDAMENTAL OF ELECTRICITY 1 INDUCTION MACHINES INSULATIONS ALGEBRA REFERENCE HMI[Human Interface Machines] INDUCTION MOTOR KARNAUGH MAPPING USEUL EQUIATIONS AND CONVERSION FACTOR ANALOG INTEGRATED CIRCUITS BASIC CONCEPTS AND TEST EQUIPMENTS DIGITAL COMMUNICATION DIGITAL-ANALOG CONVERSION ELECTRICAL SOFTWARE GAS TURBINE ILLUMINATION OHM`S LAW POWER ELECTRONICS THYRISTOR USB AUDIO BOOLEAN ALGEBRA DIGITAL INTEGRATED CIRCUITS FUNDAMENTAL OF ELECTRICITY 3 PHYSICS OF CONDUCTORS AND INSULATORS SPECIAL MOTOR STEAM POWER PLANTS TESTING TRANSMISION LINE C-BISCUIT CAPACITORS COMBINATION LOGIC FUNCTION COMPLEX NUMBERS ELECTRICAL LAWS HMI[HUMANI INTERFACE MACHINES INVERTER LADDER DIAGRAM MULTIVIBRATORS RC AND L/R TIME CONSTANTS SCADA SERIES AND PARALLEL CIRCUITS USING THE SPICE CIRCUIT SIMULATION PROGRAM AMPLIFIERS AND ACTIVE DEVICES BASIC CONCEPTS OF ELECTRICITY CONDUCTOR AND INSULATORS TABLES CONDUITS FITTING AND SUPPORTS CONTROL MOTION ELECTRICAL INSTRUMENTATION SIGNALS ELECTRICAL TOOLS INDUCTORS LiDAR MAGNETISM AND ELECTROMAGNETISM PLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS RECLOSER SAFE LIVING WITH GAS AND LPG SAFETY CLOTHING STEPPER MOTOR SYNCHRONOUS MOTOR AC METRING CIRCUITS BASIC AC THEORY BECOME AN ELECTRICIAN BINARY ARITHMETIC BUSHING DIGITAL STORAGE MEMROY ELECTRICIAN JOBS HEAT ENGINES HOME THEATER INPECTIONS LIGHT SABER MOSFET NUMERATION SYSTEM POWER FACTORS REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE INDUCTIVE RESONANCE SCIENTIFIC NOTATION AND METRIC PREFIXES SULFURIC ACID TROUBLESHOOTING TROUBLESHOOTING-THEORY & PRACTICE 12C BUS APPLE APPS & SOFTWARE BATTERIES AND POWER SYSTEMS ELECTROMECHANICAL RELAYS ENERGY EFFICIENCY-LIGHT INDUSTRIAL SAFETY EQUIPMENTS MEGGER MXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS PRINCIPLE OF DIGITAL COMPUTING QUESTIONS REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE-CAPATIVE RECTIFIER AND CONVERTERS SEQUENTIAL CIRCUITS SERRIES-PARALLEL COMBINATION CIRCUITS SHIFT REGISTERS BUILDING SERVICES COMPRESSOR CRANES DC MOTOR DRIVES DIVIDER CIRCUIT AND KIRCHHOFF`S LAW ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTION EQUIPMENTS 1 ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTION EQUIPMENTS B ELECTRICAL TOOL KIT ELECTRICIAN JOB DESCRIPTION LAPTOP THERMOCOUPLE TRIGONOMENTRY REFERENCE UART WIRELESS BIOMASS CONTACTOR ELECTRIC ILLUMINATION ELECTRICAL SAFETY TRAINING FILTER DESIGN HARDWARE INDUSTRIAL DRIVES JUNCTION FIELD-EFFECT TRANSISTORS NUCLEAR POWER VALVE WWE oscilloscope 3D TECHNOLOGIES COLOR CODES ELECTRIC TRACTION FLEXIBLE ELECTRONICS FLUKE GEARMOTORS INTRODUCTION LASSER MATERIAL PID PUMP SCIENCE SEAL ELECTRICIAN CAREER ELECTRICITY SUPPLY AND DISTRIBUTION FEATURED MUSIC NEUTRAL PERIODIC TABLES OF THE ELEMENTS POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS PROJECTS REATORS SATELLITE STAR DELTA VIBRATION WATERPROOF