LG Innotek: a wireless battery management system for electric vehicles, what for?
In addition to a battery pack, the main element of an electric vehicle is its battery management system, or Battery Management System (BMS) in English. This electronic component is both the control tower and the guardian angel of the battery pack, ensuring that no short circuits or overvoltages occur. This also applies to abnormal temperature rises. The BMS ensures a dialogue between several elements, manages the balancing of the cells in order to optimize the performance and the life of the battery in real time. Several BMS are connected by cables and connectors inside a battery pack.
Communication between the elements is done by wire or wireless. It is this last mode that LG Innotek has chosen (LG subsidiary specializing in the manufacture of components such as photo sensors for mobile phones and vehicles, converters for cars, LEDs, Bluetooth/Bluetooth+wifi chips, etc. .) for its new 800V BMS for electric vehicles.
The latter combines “for the first time in the world essential components for wireless communication, such as an RF communication chip and an antenna, in a single unit”. Previously, on the existing wireless BMS, all the components had to be fixed one by one on a printed circuit, which involved a manufacturing process that was far too long.
This new wireless battery management system would, according to LG Innotek, reduce the weight of the car by approximately 30 to 80 kg, thanks to the elimination of cables and connectors. Another positive effect is a space saving of around 10 to 15% for the battery pack, thus increasing its capacity.
This disappearance of cables and other connectors will also make the system more reliable which, previously, could be subject to connection faults due to jolts induced by the moving vehicle. Another argument advanced by LG Innotek in favor of its wireless BMS, the reduction of manufacturing costs, the absence of cables automating the development of battery packs. Finally, the South Korean company specifies that its high frequency (RF) communication module mounted on the BMS is “compatible with all types of communication chips”.
LG Innotek plans to start mass production of the wireless BMS in 2024 in its global market, which was worth $7.16 million in 2022 and is expected to reach $1.1 billion eventually. The website Electricity reminds that the wireless BMS is not a new product. Indeed, Texas Instruments (TI) had already presented a model of this kind in 2021, but not designed in 800 V. However, this voltage is increasingly adopted by car manufacturers for their electric vehicles, knowing that the duration of the charge decreases as the voltage increases.
always according to ElectricityGeneral Motors (GM) would also develop “an almost completely wireless battery management system” for its dedicated Ultium platform.