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Researchers uncover early warning system for car batteries

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:vehicle batteries? early warning system? RUB? lead-acid accumulator? electrical motor?

Scientists from the Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum (RUB) working group for Energy Systems Technology and Power Mechatronics headed by Constantinos Sourkounis and Philip Dost, together with the Isabellenhtte Heusler GmbH & Co. KG, have created an early warning system for vehicle batteries. According to the researchers, the battery management system for lead-acid accumulators aims to prevent drivers from experiencing total breakdown.

The car driver is informed via the on-board computer that a change of battery or a new vehicle battery is imminent. Compared to previous battery management systems, no subsequent reprogramming is required in the garage. "During the first journey the system automatically measures and recognizes at the same time the current battery parameters", said Sourkounis. Information is provided about the age, the charge and functionality of the vehicle battery. This intelligent control is urgently required as modern cars require more and more energy. Apart from the combustion motor and headlights, dozens of small electrical motors and sensors need electric power.

"Accumulators with big capacities mean a prolonged service life, but they age as well", explained Sourkounis. High-performance vehicle batteries are also more expensive and also not completely immune to cold and long periods of non-use. If the life of the battery is not eternal, it is practical to be informed permanently about its current state. "For the first time it is possible to predict with our battery management system whether a new start will be possible before the motor is turned offand without the need to adjust difficult to determine parameters such as the diffusion capacity of the battery," noted Sourkounis. Furthermore, an advanced warning function tells the driver if the battery needs charging.

- Paul Buckley
??EE Times

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