For a long time, Battery Management Systems (BMS) have ensured that batteries are safe for use – monitoring their state and protecting them from operating outside their safe operating area. But, as the number of electrified applications, along with our expectations of on-the-go performance, grows, BMSs are reaching their limits. This means additional measures are required.
BMS or battery management system from an electric car Nissan Leaf. High angle view. At service station of the electric car. May, 2019. Kiev, Ukraine.
Batteries might be safer as a result of continuous technological advances, but Battery Management Systems (BMS) still have to take care of a number of vital tasks: they monitor battery pack parameters, take care of performance management through State of Health estimation, perform battery pack diagnostics through abuse detection and error data logging, communicate the battery status to the user and thus ensure safe operation.
GOING FROM REACTIVE TO PREDICTIVE
The ‘problem’, however, is that a BMS, as a concept, is reactive. It has a limited amount of memory and can only store data for a limited period. And on top of that, it is a local solution, limited to one individual battery. Which means that, when the battery is damaged or destroyed, there is nothing left for possible root cause analysis, or any other kind of investigation.
That is why it makes sense to take additional measures. Please note, however, that the term ‘additional’ is key here, because a BMS is and will stay vital – but there is room for improvement. This could, for example, mean diagnostics that provide pre-warnings and prediction, and store/provide detailed historic data throughout a battery’s entire lifetime. This way, owners can easily compare all their batteries, see how they perform and take measures to ensure a longer lifecycle.
As a result of technological innovation, specifically in the field of Internet of Things (IoT), said measures are within reach. By combining the BMS on-board controller with a cloud-based computing system, its performance can be dramatically improved. Complex algorithms required to perform state estimations would be too demanding for a BMS but are possible thanks to cloud-based solutions such as Diagnose by Akkurate: the complex algorithms are running on a powerful remote server, improving estimation accuracy, computational speed, multi-tasking capability and data-storage capacity.
Other than data processing and storage, cloud-based solutions open up a whole new world of other possibilities as well: things like usage history, recommendations for time and extent of charging based on a battery state, mobile app-based monitoring and temperature distribution, charging station availability… the list goes on. It is safe to say that cloud computing will have a huge impact on BMSs.
UNDERSTAND BATTERIES BETTER
At Akkurate, we are experts at helping customers understand their batteries better. Because we are independent, we have no reason to smooth over any bad results. What’s more, most vendors have their own way to calculate battery health. To our offering, Diagnose, all batteries are the same. It also provides up to date warranty monitoring. Which is important, because typically, battery vendors or integrators have rather strict and complex warranty rules. Using our offering, customers can ensure warranty rules are fulfilled.
Battery data is our core competence, and we refine it to help different industries to learn and optimize their battery solutions in an increasingly electrified world. Please get in touch to learn more about our solutions – we’d be delighted to tell you more about them!