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Monitoring system boosts Li-ion safety, efficiency

Posted: 03 Jan 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:EV  hybrid car batteries  semiconductor monitoring devices 

Devices also maximize performance and capacity usage of EV and hybrid car batteries. While Li-ion batteries promise dramatic improvements in electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, fulfilling that promise requires a new generation of semiconductor devices. These devices must monitor and manage Li-ion cells efficiently to get the batteries' promised performance. Otherwise, a vehicle that should go 200 km (125 mi) on a charge might coast to a stop after 180 km (112 mi).

Equally important, the new semiconductor monitoring devices must detect battery faults reliably. That means monitoring each Li-ion cell as well as monitoring the monitoring system itself.

These considerations have become familiar in the automotive industry, as electronics play an ever-increasing role. Yet Li-ion batteries introduce entirely new safety concerns which accompany use of a high-current system that contains large numbers of individual cells. The system must use multiple semiconductor monitors to measure the state of each cell continuously. To handle this task, all the monitoring devices have to communicate among themselves with absolute reliability—a tall order in a vehicle environment that has high levels of electromagnetic interference (EMI).

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