Battery-monitoring unit

  • 14-Jan-2010 09:59 EST

Denso has developed its first battery-monitoring unit for lithium-ion batteries. It features a newly developed, simple, low-cost voltage-control circuit. Installed in the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid introduced at the end of 2009, it detects the battery’s voltage, current, temperature, and other parameters. Compared to nickel batteries, Li-ion batteries have higher energy density. However, since Li-ion batteries consist of multiple cells with fluctuating voltages, it is necessary to control the voltage of each cell. The conventional voltage-control method for Li-ion batteries converts analog voltage data collected from each cell into a digital form. Then it processes the data by an arithmetic circuit to detect if a cell is operating at a higher voltage and, if so, makes it discharge. The new method detects the average voltage of all cells and uses a simple logic circuit to detect if a cell is operating at a higher voltage.

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