GM relies on ADI's wireless battery management system

September 14, 2020 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
GM relies on ADI's wireless battery management system
To monitor the batteries of its electric cars, General Motors will use a wireless battery management system its Ultium battery family that has been developed by Analog Devices (ADI).

Today's batteries use complex, wired management systems to monitor and control temperature, charge level and health parameters. This makes these systems heavy, expensive and prone to failure. The wBMS developed by ADI, in contrast, uses radio chips that are inserted in each module and transmit data wirelessly in the 2.4 GHz frequency band. A protocol similar to Bluetooth is used.

With the wBMS, car manufacturers can dispense with the wiring harness for communication and save up to 90% of the wiring and up to 15% of the volume in the battery pack, says ADI. At the same time, the wBMS allows greater flexibility in development and simplifies production. Range and accuracy are maintained over the life of the battery.

The wireless battery management system contains all integrated circuits as well as hardware and software for power supply, battery management, RF communication and system functions in a single system component that supports functional safety up to ASIL-D at module level and builds on ADI's proven, industry-leading BMS battery cell measurement technology. With high accuracy over the entire vehicle lifetime, the battery management system enables maximum energy utilisation per cell, which is required for the best vehicle range. The new wBMS is also suitable for safe and cobalt-free battery chemistries, such as Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP).

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