For its battery management systems (BMS), Vitesco Technologies reports an order backlog worth more than €2 billion. To one customer, the company, a manufacturer of advanced powertrain technologies and electrification solutions, will deliver the associated battery controllers for 400V and 800V e-vehicle architectures already in a wireless communication version. This innovative solution reduces wiring within the battery and frees up installation space, either allowing room for greater battery capacity or enabling a more compact battery system with lower weight.
Battery management is a key function of electric driving: intelligent BMS solutions consisting of control units, sensors and application software protect the battery from overheating and ensure a balanced state of charge for all cells. This is essential for safe operation and a long battery life. With its many detailed functions, the BMS protects the battery as the largest and most valuable single system in the electric vehicle.
Vitesco’s BMS developers have distributed the core functions of the system across two controllers: The battery management controllers contain algorithms that permanently monitor the condition of the cells and modules. If this diagnosis detects undesirable conditions, corrective measures are initiated. In this way, the battery can provide the maximum range and achieve its longest possible service life. For this purpose, for example, the high current flows into the battery are detected and controlled with a high-voltage current sensor. In the event of an accident, the BMS ensures that the high-voltage network is safely disconnected from the rest of the vehicle.
The second type of control unit contains the Cell Supervising Circuits. They monitor the individual battery cells and compensate for different states of charge between the cells, which can always occur with Li-ion cells due to the manufacturing process. “For this task, we are currently developing a new process for active cell balancing, which can enable a further increase in efficiency of several percentage points,” explains Rodrigo Peres, Head of Battery Product Line.
“With our modular battery management software and hardware, we can offer customised solutions to our customers. Innovations such as wireless connectivity to battery modules also enable advances in battery system design and lead to lower system costs for our customers,” comments Thomas Stierle, board member and head of the Electrification Technology and Electronic Controls business units at Vitesco Technologies. According to the board member, the company’s current BMS order book comes from customers of all sizes – from large volume and premium vehicle manufacturers as well as start-ups and newcomers in the automotive business.
As a generic development, Vitesco Technologies’ modular BMS portfolio is prepared to enable integration of its functional components into other ECUs. In this way, the company anticipates a trend in electrical and electronic vehicle architecture: the reduction to fewer individual devices with significantly higher performance and with complex software systems.
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