High Efficiency Bidirectional Cell Balancer Maximizes Capacity and Lifetime of Series Connected Battery Stacks

October 01, 2013 // By Electronics EETimes

Large, series connected strings of batteries are commonly used in electric vehicles, backup power systems and a wide variety energy storage applications. Maximizing the lifetime and ensuring safe usage of such battery stacks requires accurate measurement and balancing of each cells' state of charge (SoC). Passive, or dissipative, balancing can correct for SoC mismatch due to temperature gradients or cell to cell impedance differences throughout the pack. However, passive balancing cannot compensate for capacity differences that result from cell aging. Cell aging occurs in all cells and occurs at different rates due to the same factors that cause SoC mismatch. Without capacity compensation, the runtime of the battery is limited by the lowest capacity cell in the stack.