ADI signs major wireless BMS deal with GM

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

The wBMS developed by ADI, aquired as part of Linear Technology, uses radio chips inserted in each module and transmit data wirelessly in the 2.4 GHz frequency band. A robust mesh protocol similar to Bluetooth is used.

With the wBMS, car manufacturers can dispense with the wiring harness for communication and save up to 90 percent of the wiring and up to 15 percent of the volume in the battery pack, says ADI. At the same time, the wBMS allows greater flexibility in development and simplifies production. Range and accuracy are maintained over the life of the battery.

The wireless battery management system contains all integrated circuits as well as hardware and software for power supply, battery management, RF communication and system functions in a single system component that supports functional safety up to ASIL-D at module level and builds on ADI’s proven, industry-leading BMS battery cell measurement technology. With high accuracy over the entire vehicle lifetime, the battery management system enables maximum energy utilisation per cell, which is required for the best vehicle range. The new wBMS is also suitable for safe and cobalt-free battery chemistries, such as Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP).

The wBMS solution not only simplifies manufacturing, but also enables new applications to be built using wireless data,” said Patrick Morgan, Vice President, Automotive at Analog Devices. It allows batteries to measure and report their own condition, which allows faster early detection of faults and optimised installation of traction batteries. The data can be remotely monitored throughout the battery life cycle – from assembly, storage and transport to installation, maintenance and any second phase of the battery’s life.

Because the wireless management system makes the battery modules smaller and lighter, users such as General Motors in this case can more easily use the modules in their different types of vehicles without having to adapt the wiring harnesses or communication systems.

General Motors introduced its Ultium battery platform in the spring. The Ultium batteries will be produced in partnership with Korean company LG Chem. The Ultium batteries will be used in the full range of GM’s planned electric vehicles, including pickup trucks.

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