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Power/Alternative Energy  

Monitoring high-voltage batteries in cars

Posted: 17 Nov 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:high voltage batteries  car battery  electric motors battery 

Cars whose wheels are driven by battery-powered electric motors, continuously or intermittently, have become a hot topic. These "green" vehicles rely on batteries of series-connected cells to obtain sufficiently high voltage to operate the motor efficiently.

Such high-voltage (HV) stacks are used in all-electric vehicles (EV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), which rely on an internal combustion engine (ICE) for charging and (in many cases) shared propulsion.

EVs must be plugged into a power source for charging; some newer hybrids are designed as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and are intended to run as EVs essentially but they do utilise an ICE for range extension.

HV stacks are already used in many industries and applications outside of the transportation industry—typically in UPS to store energy from the grid in DC form; as emergency DC supplies in 48V communications equipment; as emergency supplies in crane and lift systems; and in wind turbines for feathering the blades in an emergency. Although we discuss here the use of battery stacks in vehicles, the underlying issues are common to all types of stacks.

View the PDF document for more information.

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