Battery Management System (BMS) in a Nutshell

Battery Management System (BMS) in a Nutshell

All the content featured on this website focuses on EV charging. Within the domain of EV charging, BMS stands out as the most crucial component. Therefore, it is essential to have a brief understanding of the BMS to gain a better comprehension of the EV charging process.

What is Battery Management System (BMS)?

A Battery Management System (BMS) is an intricate electronic system embedded within electric vehicles (EVs) to monitor, control, and optimize the performance, safety, and longevity of the vehicle’s battery pack. Acting as the custodian of the battery’s well-being, the BMS orchestrates a delicate dance of measurements, estimations, and controls to ensure optimal functionality.

Why is BMS Needed?

BMS is essential to execute the following functions in relation to the battery:

  • Performance Optimization: The BMS plays a crucial role in maximizing the performance of the battery pack. Through the monitoring and regulation of key parameters like voltage, current, and temperature, the BMS ensures that the battery operates under optimal conditions, thereby maximizing its overall performance.
  • Safety Enhancement: Safety stands as a paramount consideration in EVs, and the BMS assumes a pivotal role in ensuring it. By consistently monitoring crucial parameters and implementing control mechanisms, the BMS effectively mitigates potential safety hazards, such as battery fires, ensuring the protection of both the vehicle and its occupants.
  • Prolonging the Battery Life: The longevity of the battery is a key factor in the economic viability and environmental sustainability of EVs. BMS achieves this by implementing functions like cell balancing and precise control over charging and discharging processes, contributing to the extended lifespan of the battery.

Main Functions of the BMS:

The functionalities of the BMS can be systematically categorized as follows:

1. Measurements:

  • Voltage Measurements:
    • Measurement of individual cell voltage within the battery pack.
    • Measurement of the overall battery pack voltage.
  • Current Measurements:
    • Measurement of charging current.
    • Measurement of discharging current.
  • Temperature Measurements:
    • Measurement of temperatures at strategic locations within the battery pack.
    • Measurement of battery coolant temperature.

2. Parameter Estimations:

  • State of Charge (SOC) Estimation: BMS estimates the remaining charge in the battery, providing precise SOC data to the vehicle’s computer (ECUs) and the driver. This information assists in formulating effective charging/discharging strategies and trip planning.
  • State of Health (SOH) Estimation: BMS utilizes algorithms to estimate the overall SOH of the battery, assessing its condition and capacity. This insight offers a long-term perspective on battery viability.
  • Charging/Discharging Parameters Estimation: BMS employs algorithms to estimate charge and discharge parameters based on present battery parameters like SOC, SOH, Cell voltages and temperatures.
    • List of charging parameters:
      • Charging current limit: Prevents charging above a specified current limit.
      • Charging voltage limit: Restricts charging above a designated voltage.
      • Charging energy possible: Indicates the energy needed for a full charge.
    • List of discharging parameters:
      • Discharging current limit: Restricts discharging above a defined current limit.
      • Discharging voltage limit: Prevents discharging below a specified voltage limit.
      • Discharging energy available: Specifies the energy available for discharging.

3. Controls:

  • Charging Control: BMS manages the charging process by providing the charging parameters. This prevents overcharging, a critical factor in preventing thermal runaway and preserving battery health.
  • Discharging Control: BMS regulates discharging by providing the discharge parameters to prevent over-discharging, which could lead to irreversible damage. This control mechanism safeguards the battery during usage, contributing to its longevity.
  • Cell Voltage Balancing: BMS ensures that each cell within the battery pack maintains a similar voltage level through the process of cell balancing. This prevents overcharging or over discharging of specific cells, promoting uniform wear and tear, and extending the overall battery life.
  • HV Battery Contactors’ Control: BMS performs the precharge, HV activation and HV deactivation by controlling the the HV battery contactors.
  • Isolation Monitoring: BMS performs the isolation monitoring to detect the isolation failures between power lines and chassis of the vehicle.
  • Temperature Management: Thermal management is crucial for battery health. BMS monitors and controls battery pack temperature by regulating coolant flow, maintaining optimal temperature levels during charging, and discharging cycles.
  • Fault Detection and Diagnostics: BMS continually examines the battery pack for any irregularities. If a fault or malfunction is detected, it initiates protective measures and offers diagnostic information for maintenance purposes. Some of the faults it looks for include violations of charging and discharging parameters, exceeding temperature limits, and violation of cell voltage limits. Protective measures may involve requesting to stop the charging or discharging processes.
  • Communication and Reporting: BMS communicates crucial information to the vehicle’s onboard computer (ECUs) and, in some cases, to external systems. This includes real-time data on battery parameters such as SOC, SOH, charging and discharging parameters, temperatures, and diagnostic data.
BMS high level representation

In summary, the BMS seamlessly integrates measurements, estimations, and controls to orchestrate the optimal performance and longevity of electric vehicle batteries. Its multifaceted role in ensuring safety, precise estimations of battery parameters, and effective control mechanisms underscores its indispensability in the landscape of electric mobility.

3 responses to “Battery Management System (BMS) in a Nutshell”

  1. vishnu venkat Avatar
    vishnu venkat

    Hey! Nice introduction to BMS.

    You can also add contactor control section as it is also a crucial function handled by BMS.

    1. Amar Reddy Avatar

      Thanks for your suggestion. It is added now.

  2. wei Avatar

    good job man!

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  1. Hey! Nice introduction to BMS.

    You can also add contactor control section as it is also a crucial function handled by BMS.

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