We all desire a battery with an extended lifespan. The battery, once recharged, must operate within a safe operating area. If the battery does not operate within safe limits, the lifespan of the battery will reduce significantly. Besides, the battery will not give optimum performance and might get damaged after a short period.
The battery parameters that need to be controlled include voltage, temperature current, and coolant flow. Therefore a battery monitoring system (BMS) is an electronic system that controls a secondary battery, commonly known as rechargeable battery parameters. It protects the battery from operating outside the safe operating limits of the battery. The system calculates secondary data, displays the data, controls its environment, and conveys information relating to the battery state.
There are different types of batteries that require a battery monitoring system. Among them are:
·Nickel cadmium batteries
·Nickel metal hydride batteries
·Lead-acid batteries- absorbed glass mat(AGM) and Gel battery
·Lithium-ion polymer rechargeable batteries.
There are different types of battery monitoring systems in the market today. They differ in a lot of features, among them cell balancing, charging and discharging protection, temperature control, whether programmable EEPROM or EPROM, MCU requirement, temperature sensing, under temperature protection, overvoltage, and under-voltage protection, the maximum number of series cell and a minimum number of series cells among others.
What is the best battery monitoring system·
Battery monitoring systems come in different types, sizes, and prices. Battery monitors can capture vital battery parameters like current, voltage, and temperature. They then relay this data to a microcontroller. Below are various types of battery monitoring systems:
·Scalar battery monitoring system
This is the most straightforward battery monitoring system that uses a scalar concept. A single reading is taken in a scalar monitoring system compared to a single reference reading to estimate the battery capacity. A car battery analyzer uses this type of monitoring system.
·Vector battery monitoring system
This method is not commonly used since its operating system is complex. It applies multiple frequencies and currents and measures the response rates in response to preset vector points. Complex automotive testing can utilize this monitoring system.
·Spectro battery operating system
This system gives detailed data on the battery parameters. An in-depth battery capacity can be performed using a lithium battery tester, which scans a battery with a frequency. The lithium battery tester then captures a topographical image of the battery, including unusable space and battery capacity.
·Power plant BMS
These are monitoring systems installed in large factories. They provide all elements of the state-of-art battery monitoring solution. The information provided includes cell voltage, cell-specific gravity, and bank voltage readings. They also give direction and magnitude of the bank current and automatically monitors the bank during discharge.
This system has an interface with onboard systems, works in real-time In rapidly changing charging and discharging conditions as the car accelerates and stops. It has to operate in extreme conditions.
Therefore, the best battery monitoring system will depend on which type of battery you are using. You need to check your battery’s characteristics before you install a battery monitoring system. The best way to do so is to contact your battery manufacturer, who will advise you on the best battery monitoring system for your battery.
How does battery monitoring system work·
The two essential functions of a battery monitoring system are monitoring and protecting the battery. It takes measurements of voltage, current, and temperature of a cell inside the battery. Below is an explanation of the various principles employed by the BMS:
·It calculates the state of charge. This is the amount of energy remaining in the battery. It does so by measuring the amount of energy going in and out of the battery pack and monitoring cell voltages.
·Protection of the battery pack from being overcharged or over-discharged. This is achieved by continually monitoring individual cells in the battery pack and computing exactly how much current can safely go into the battery pack without causing damage. The calculated current limits are then sent to the battery charger and the load, which allows them to charge the battery within limits.
·Monitoring the battery pack's health and safety is done by checking for shorts breakdowns, loose connections, and damaged battery cells that need replacement.
·Balancing all the battery pack cells is accomplished by bleeding excess energy from cells charged more than others.
·Temperature control of the battery pack. The BMS controls a battery fan to regulate the temperature of the battery pack. The output of the fan is also monitored to ensure that it works correctly.
·The BMS also provides real-time data and information to other devices such as chargers, motor controllers, and data loggers using digital outputs.
The BMS is equipped with the following:
·Cell voltage sensors
·Battery current indicators
·Cut off FETs that allow the connection and isolation of the battery pack between the charger and the load
A BMS can detect and log problems within the battery systems. It reports the errors. It performs the following essential functions:
·monitoring the conditions of individual cells in the battery pack
·protecting the cells from extreme damaging conditions
·setting the battery operating point to allow regenerative braking charges to be absorbed without the risk of overcharging
·provides information on the state of charge of the battery
·provides information on the state of health of the battery
·Records battery usage
·Predicts the range possible with the remaining charge in the battery
·Isolates the battery in case of an emergency
·Provides the optimum charging sequence for charging the cells.
Therefore the benefits of using a BMS in your battery include extended battery lifetime, improved reliability, maintenance of battery cells health, and reduction in operating cost of the battery system.
The battery monitoring system is vital for any battery. Running a battery without an installed BMS can be risky. The battery might get damaged due to overcharging, and you will incur an extra cost. Before you purchase a BMS, read and understand your battery’s capacity.
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