Improved cell voltage detection for fuel cells and batteries

Improved cell voltage detection for fuel cells and batteries

New Products |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

The CVM modules of the fifth generation can be used at temperatures of up to 105 degrees, compared to 85 degrees for earlier versions. The input power voltage has been from 5 volts to now 4.5 to 32 volts with the new modules. They can thus be operated directly from a 12- or 24-volt network.

Smart Testsolutions has also revised the software for the fuel cell monitoring systems and implemented various improvements. For example, a new, parameterizable algorithm for cable break detection has been installed, which makes the detection more reliable. The sensitivity of the cable break detection is freely adjustable so that the system can be adapted to the ambient conditions of the customer application.

Averaging in the module is also configurable in the fifth generation. In addition, a system shutdown has now also been implemented for CANonly systems without MCM-IntelliProbe master module if a temperature limit value is exceeded. The extended software functionality is also available to customers of the CVM generation G4 via a software upgrade.

Externally, the compact measuring modules hardly show the far-reaching improvements. However, the plugs have been moved slightly. They are therefore not plug compatible with the fourth generation CVM modules. This is to prevent the manufacturer from accidentally combining modules from different generations.

A module that can monitor 10 channels and thus 10 cells of a fuel cell, for example, measures only 100 x 30 x 10.5 mm and can therefore be used both in stationary applications such as test benches and mobile in confined spaces – for example in cars or aircraft. If more than 10 individual cells are to be monitored, several modules can be plugged together without extra wiring.

A measuring system consists of up to 42 ten-channel voltage acquisition modules with which up to 420 channels can be monitored simultaneously, a link module for connecting the supply and communication lines and a bus termination module. All measuring channels are sampled synchronously so that there is no time offset between the individual measuring points. Data transmission is either via CAN bus or in combination with the MCM-IntelliProbe master module via LVDS bus and Ethernet.

Another component of Generation 5 of the cell voltage detection systems for fuel cells, batteries and electrolysis applications is the web-based user interface introduced in June. This allows users to visualize and record several hundred channels in parallel and, for example, observe fuel cell stacks in real time. Another advantage of the Web GUI is that it makes the entire monitoring system independent of the PC. All that is required is a terminal device running a browser, while the CVM software runs on the master module of the CVM system. The new Web GUI is also available via software upgrade for systems of the previous generation.


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