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Reference design provides hardware blueprint for battery fuel-gauging in electric scooters

July 30, 2012 // Paul Buckley

Reference design provides hardware blueprint for battery fuel-gauging in electric scooters

The company, ams has developed a reference design which shows how a simple current and voltage measurement circuit can produce state of charge (SOC) readings for electric scooter batteries.


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The reference design uses the AS8510 sensor interface from ams, a two-channel battery sensor interface, together with a simple 8-bit microcontroller, an LDO and an LED driver (driving an LED bar-graph display). The bill-of-materials cost for these active components is around 3 / $ 3.70.

By implementing the design, electric scooter manufacturers can replace todays crude voltmeter displays with a fuel gauge, thus making the vehicle more useful and convenient to the rider while adding little to its bill of materials.

Electric scooters, normally powered by four series-connected 12V lead-acid batteries, are an increasingly popular choice of transport because they are cheap to buy and run, and emit no exhaust fumes. But the voltmeter dials provided in them offer a poor indication of the scooters range, since the output voltage at the batteries has a non-linear relationship with SOC, and varies markedly depending on the load on the batteries.

The new e-scooter fuel-gauging reference design from ams succeeds in meeting the tight cost requirements of electric scooter manufacturers while delivering accurate voltage and current readings across the charge/discharge cycle and across the batterys operating temperature range. This is due in large part to the circuits use of the AS8510 sensor interface, which integrates data acquisition and data conversion in a single chip, and which produces virtually offset-free current and voltage measurements across a wide, dynamic range.
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