LEM brings high-accuracy current measurement to electric vehicle battery packs

State-Of-Charge (SOC) is a critical measurement function in EVs and HEVs. During the driving cycle the battery is either driving the vehicle, or current flow is reversed in regenerative braking or charging, returning energy to the battery. In these transient conditions battery voltage does not give a good indication of SOC – each unit of charge (Coulombs) delivered by, and returned to, the battery has to be accurately tracked, which demands precise current measurement.

The CAB transducer offers current measurement capability of up to ±400A, with unlimited overload capacity, and with high levels of accuracy: Coulomb-counting error over the driving cycle is reduced to under 0.1%. It is galvanically-isolated and non-intrusive; no electrical connection to the power circuit is needed. This ensures safe operation and, in contrast to techniques that use a sensing resistor in the power feed, generates no waste heat or losses.

The CAB takes the form of a small panel-mounted module measuring just 71 x 52 x 21 mm, excluding mountings, that has an aperture through which the primary (battery feed to the vehicle motors) conductor passes. It operates from the vehicle”s 12V power supply, and is rated for operation from -40 to +105 ºC.  The CAB transducer transmits its data to the EV/HEV”s control circuitry using the automotive-industry standard CAN bus; LEM can supply variants that deliver data via other bus and interface standards, on request.

In the CAB transducer, LEM chose to use its proven implementation of the fluxgate principle. Fluxgate transducers use an advanced magnetic current-measurement principle that inherently cancels or nulls many of the offset and drift errors that appear in simpler current-sensing techniques.

LEM

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