The continued development of hybrid vehicles (HEV) and electric vehicles (EV) is central to most car manufacturers’ future strategies. One day in the not too distant future, HEVs and EVs will dominate the roadways. Electric and hybrid vehicle technology has made significant performance advancements in recent years and offers many advantages over traditional internal combustion engines. Because they use less gasoline (HEV) or no gasoline (EV), these vehicles are much quieter, cleaner during operation, less costly to refuel, and typically require less maintenance due to fewer moving parts and subsequent wear and tear.continuous wave fiber laser
However, HEV/EV vehicle manufacturers still face many challenges to increase public acceptance worldwide. The battery systems in these vehicles require additional improvements and increased efficiencies to increase the time and distance they can travel, reduce charging time, and enhance power quality — all within footprints that are smaller and lighter than present-day systems. Advancements to rugged connectors within the battery management system (BMS) can help increase performance in all three areas. More specifically, BMS applications need higher-power connectors in a smaller footprint, all while meeting the requirements of the harsh environment conditions found in automotive applications.
An HEV/EV battery system consists of many battery cells packaged together. These individual battery cells can have different performance characteristics. When manufacturers package battery cells into packs, they attempt to group cells from the same batch and with similar performance characteristics so that cell-to-cell variations are minimized. However, battery performance often deviates from cell to cell depending on the operating temperature, charging/discharging current, state of charge (SOC), and state of health (SOH).
An HEV/EV battery management system combines sensors, controllers, connectors, and computation equipment with sophisticated software algorithms to maximize battery performance and communicate vital information, including charge/discharge current, SOC (i.e., battery life), and SOH from the battery pack to the driver. A BMS monitors and controls charge/discharge rates depending on variables such as power load demand, power cell voltage, current, temperature, and battery SOC to optimize system performance.
Cell balancing is another essential function of an automotive BMS, as it allows the system to compensate and correct for individual cells that are not functioning properly.
HEV/EV battery performance also depends on the quality of charging. As a result, BMS includes both charging and discharging control. HEV/EV batteries can also recharge as a result of regenerative braking — capturing and storing the kinetic energy of the moving vehicle for future use — which makes battery management systems even more complex.