When the battery in the smartphone is depleted and cannot meet the normal battery life experience, users often choose to switch to a new device to solve the problem. This is a very routine operation. However, this is not the case with electric vehicles, which require far more battery life than mobile phone batteries. Therefore, it is very important to pay close attention to the battery status in electric vehicles in order to take appropriate measures to extend their life and help design longer-lived successors.
GM engineers test Ultium batteries at the Battery Electrical Laboratory.
Based on these factors, GM has developed a wireless battery management system that manages battery information and monitors battery status through wireless technology. According to themedia Spectrum IEEE, there is currently no electric vehicle in the world equipped with such a wireless battery management system, but it will be used in GM’s ongoing development of Ultium batteries, the future of GM’s all electric vehicles standard.
Specifically, unlike today’s battery modules, which are wired to an on-board management system, the universal wireless battery management system integrates an RF antenna on the board to transmit data via a 2.4 GHz wireless protocol. For example, collect information from battery modules and send voltage and other measurements to the user. This mode of transmission is similar to Bluetooth, but consumes less power. If problems are identified, users can also communicate with GM through the cloud.
With the addition of a wireless battery management system, users and GM can learn more quickly and better about the health of their batteries, including real-time driving data in extreme weather or in use, even before they are assembled into a car. In addition to acquiring and transmitting data, the wireless battery management system balances the charge in a single battery pack for optimal performance.
In addition, software systems and battery nodes can be reprogrammed in the form of OTAs. To prevent hacking, the wireless battery management system was also designed with end-to-end encryption in use. Battery reuse has become easier because there is no need for thorough overhaul of the management system or tampering with hard-to-recycle lines.
Andy Oury, chief designer of GM’s high-voltage batteries, says:
In the future, customers will benefit from wireless battery management systems without having to buy a new car.
Tim Grewe, GM’s head of global electrification, says consumers may soon expect batteries to last four to five times as long, so companies need to be prepared. Moreover, the wireless battery management system stores data from the cell module, and real-time battery health checks will ensure the normal use of the battery. By analyzing this particle data, you can also identify small differences in battery batches, suppliers, or performance between different regions and climates.
Of course, users can also choose to join or exit this battery-monitored driving mode.
This eco-friendly approach eliminates about one kilogram of weight per vehicle and three meters of wiring. Eliminating nearly 90% of this battery pack wiring has another advantage: across the industry, wired batteries require sufficient physical clearance when connected for human technicians to operate. Eliminating wiring and connection points saves space and allows more batteries to fill a given space.
In addition, GM can provide plug-and-play battery modules for heavy trucks and passenger cars without having to redesign harnesses or communication systems for them. This can also help companies speed up the process of new car market, to a certain extent to ensure the ability to make a profit. GM engineers and executives say they have reduced the cost of Ultium batteries to less than $100 per kilowatt hour — not an easy thing to do.
GM will launch a new electric Hummer with up to 1,000 horsepower next year, the first of about 20 universal Ultium battery models, targeting the U.S. and Chinese markets.