Marelli introduces a new Wireless Distributed Battery Management System (wBMS) for electric vehicles, which is expected to bring noticeable advantages over wired distributed solutions.

The global automotive supplier (united Calsonic Kansei and Magneti Marelli) explains that the wBMS eliminates the wired physical connections (daisy-chain communication and wiring), typically needed in other Battery Management System (BMS) architectures, by using wireless technology to enable the communication between batteries and the control unit.

According to the company, it directly translates into a reduction of complexity, weight, and cost of the BMS, while increasing efficiency, reliability, and flexibility (more freedom of how the batteries are arranged). The reduction of the wiring harness is as high as 90% and "simplifies the battery cell construction and installation".

Overall, lower weight (due to connectors no longer required) and less space taken for the battery management purposes, should slightly increase battery pack gravimetric and volumetric energy density. Potentially it might increase the range a bit.

Dr. Razvan Panati, Head of Power Electronics Technology of Marelli’s Vehicle Electrification Division:

“Wireless BMS is a real game-changer for the automotive industry, eliminating the need for the battery harness, wires and connectors associated with the standard wired BMS systems. Marelli designed both the wBMS and the Wired BMS with identical base architectures, supported by two different ways of communication and interfaces. In that way our technology can be applied across multiple vehicle platforms with minimal change. This flexibility of the solution guarantees significant reduction in engineering costs and allows Marelli to make this high-end technology affordable for the mass market.”

Marelli adds that the wBMS can be delivered with a highly sophisticated software application layer that uses advanced algorithms based on a proprietary technique so-called “Sensor Fusion”. Those algorithms estimate crucial parameters of each battery cell, like state-of-charge (SOC), state-of-health (SOH) aka battery degradation, or state-of-power.

It all sounds like a pretty interesting package and is another step toward advancing electric vehicles.

Marelli says that the wBMS will be available for OEMs from this quarter (Q2 2022), "to support customer launches in 2024". In other words, it might take two more years until we will see a wBMS in new series-produced EVs.

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