Linear Technology Demonstrates Wireless Battery Management System in BMW i3 at CES

09 January 2017

BMS concept car. Source: Linear Technology BMS concept car. Source: Linear Technology Linear Technology reportedly demonstrated the industry’s first wireless automotive battery management system (BMS) concept car at CES 2017 in Las Vegas. This wireless BMS concept car, developed with Linear’s design partner LION Smart, combines Linear’s highly accurate battery stack monitors with its SmartMesh® wireless mesh networking products in a BMW i3, replacing the traditional wired connections between the battery packs and the battery management system. This breakthrough addresses the persistent reliability issues associated with automotive wiring harnesses and connections in electric and hybrid vehicles, and simplifies the BMS design and manufacture.

Automakers are challenged to ensure the driving public that electric and hybrid vehicles are both safe and reliable. Linear’s high voltage battery stack monitors deliver high accuracy and reliability, enabling battery management systems that maximize battery pack performance and longevity. The LTC6811 battery stack monitor is a complete battery measuring device for hybrid/electric vehicles that can measure up to 12 series-connected battery cell voltages with better than 0.04% accuracy. Combining the LTC6811 with Linear’s SmartMesh wireless mesh networking system addresses the persistent reliability issues associated with automotive wiring harnesses and connectors.

Field-proven in industrial Internet of Things applications, SmartMesh embedded wireless networks deliver more than 99.999% reliable connectivity in harsh environments by employing path and frequency diversity. In addition to improving reliability by creating multiple points of redundant connectivity, the wireless mesh network enables additional BMS capability. The SmartMesh wireless network enables flexible placement of battery modules and improves battery state of charge and state of health calculations.

Additional data can be gathered from sensors installed in locations previously unsuitable for a wiring harness. SmartMesh also provides time-correlate measurements from each node, allowing for more precise data collection.

A reference design to enable customers to demonstrate wireless BMS capability, including the LTC6811 battery stack monitor and SmartMesh wireless sensor network, will be available the first half of 2017.

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