Battery management system enables hot swapping

November 22, 2021 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Battery management system enables hot swapping
Complete hardware and software battery management system with ASIL C rated key components targets low voltage electric vehicles like 2- and 3-wheelers, material handling, drones and robotics.

The i-BMS Battery Management System from Sensata’s Lithium Balance product brand, acquired by Sensata earlier in the year, is a cell chemistry agnostic, compact, integrated BMS developed for the cost-optimized mass-production of applications up to 60 V, such as 2-, and 3-wheelers, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), and robotics.

Hot swap functionality and parallel battery pack support allow for the ability to quickly exchange depleted batteries with fully charged batteries. For example, for material handling vehicles, delivery vehicles and drones, when returning to base to pick up a new load, the vehicle’s depleted batteries can be quickly swapped for charged ones, allowing for continuous uptime. For electric motorbikes and three wheelers, instead of needing to recharge for several hours every evening, fully charged batteries can be rapidly installed in the field at battery swap stations, practically eliminating the need to wait and charge on the road and helping alleviate end-user’s concerns around charging time.

Parallel pack support allows the use of two or more battery packs in parallel. This functionality allows OEMs of 2- and 3-wheelers to have smaller battery modules, improving the safety and serviceability of the battery system. For example, if one battery cell fails while in use, the issue is isolated to that one faulty module which is easier to replace than the entire system and additional battery packs can continue to provide power.

While measuring only 65- x 200-mm (2.6- x 7.9-inches), the i-BMS PCB board is equipped with everything required to manage and maintain a battery system without the need for any external components, making it a convenient and cost-efficient design for mass production. All critical components are pre-integrated into the battery management system, including a pre-charge circuit, on-board current measurement, MOSFET power switches for battery disconnect, and a DC/DC power supply. The solution features key components that are ASIL C Safety rated and include self-test capabilities for safety critical measurement circuits.


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