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Battery Management Systems for Large Lithium…

Battery Management Systems for Large Lithium Ion Battery Packs

by Davide Andrea

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There is a school of thought that BMS systems do more harm than good. This book is an authoritative presentation of the "pro" camp from someone who builds BMS systems for a living, and as such should be required reading for anyone who owns, or plans to own, an electric vehicle.

The book deals with a complex subject in a largely non-mathematical way; although at least GCSE (maybe even A level) physics would be needed. For sections of the book you also need some familiarity with the jargon of modern electronics - MOSFETS, ASICs, Multiplexers and the rest - but the book still has value if you skip those bits. To the author's credit he doesn't big up his own products, and uses plenty of examples of competitive devices. He also to his credit goes into some details of precautions to take when wiring up circuits, and give an example of a converted Prius, burned out for lack of a washer on a battery connection.

The book has in my view three weaknesses. Firstly the big question with Lithium Ion battery packs is the extent to which individual cells in a pack drift apart in capacity and state of charge. There is published test evidence of this with AGM (a form of valve regulated lead acid) batteries, but the author presents no hard documentary evidence to confirm that Lithium chemistry cells behave the same way. Secondly his arguments for top-balancing rather than bottom balancing are rather shaky. Thirdly, although good, it is an expensive book.
  John_Hardy | Sep 12, 2011 |
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