Using renewable energies means having to deal with a strongly stochastic behaviour, since for photovoltaics the sun has to shine or for wind generators the wind has to blow. For being able to supply the load any time, storage solutions are needed. Decreasing costs and better availabilities of new battery technologies like lithium-ion therefore result in a growing demand for more sophisticated battery systems in off-grid and grid connected applications. In e.g. off-grid applications, lead-acid battery systems are state of the art. Though, lithium-ion batteries become more popular because of their high energy density and long life time. Another application for electrochemical storage systems are electric vehicles. In all those cases the battery storages need to be managed. But the management of a battery system is not a trivial problem. The batteries must be monitored and controlled, there are challenges regarding safety, electrical isolation and energy efficiency. The article gives an introduction to different architectures of battery management systems (BMS). There are different approaches to design a BMS the article describes in the first part. In the second part, there is a more precise description of the electronic hardware and the software behind a BMS. To understand both function and importance of a BMS, the article introduces in the third part a few applications of BMS in bigger battery packs.
About the authors
Max Jung, M.Eng., received a bachelor of engineering in electrical engineering/information technology from the University of Applied Sciences Offenburg in 2008. In 2009 he received his master of engineering in electrical engineering/information technology from the University of Applied Sciences Offenburg. Since 2009 he works as a researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg. Main topics of work are: hardware and software development of battery management systems.
Simon Schwunk, M.Sc., Electrical Engineer. Electrical Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Mannheim, finished in 2006 with Dipl-Ing. (FH). Electrical engineering at University of Hagen, finished with M.Sc. in 2008. Researcher at Fraunhofer ISE since 2005. Head of team Battery Modules and Systems since January 2011. Main fields of work: Modelling and simulation of batteries, state estimation, monitoring and control algorithms for batteries, system analysis.
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