Marelli, a global developer and supplier of components for the automotive industry, has unveiled its Wireless Distributed Battery Management System. The system, abbreviated as wBMS, has been designed for use in future EVs and is expected to offer several advantages over the conventionally wired solutions offered in EVs today. 

At the core of the new system’s offering is its wireless communication capabilities, through which wBMS eliminates the need for wired physical connections, such as daisy-chain communications and wiring. These connections are replaced with wireless technologies that facilitate communication between the batteries and the central control unit. In adopting this new method of communication, Marelli has said that its system can help reduce the complexity, weight, and cost associated with traditional battery management systems while increasing efficiency, reliability, and flexibility. In reducing the wiring harness by 90% and simplifying the battery cell construction and installation the wBMS offers further benefits and added convenience over these conventional systems. Likewise, within battery cell production, it works to reduce the complexity of assembly while providing further flexibility in the placement of individual battery cell modules. 

Another key benefit of Marelli’s system is its reduced weight. In removing the connectors used in wired battery management systems, wBMS allows OEMs to benefit from greater energy efficiency. Not only does this efficiency benefit OEMs, but the supplier also claims that it will allow the end customer to benefit from a boost in driving range on the same battery charge. Removing the wired components also frees up space in the battery pack that would otherwise be unavailable. With this space, Marelli highlighted the fitment of larger batteries as an example use case for OEMs – one that allows for further versatility, scalability, and optimization throughout development and production. For the end user, this case would ultimately translate to enhanced power performance as well as enhanced vehicle range. 

An optional software application layer provides further support and convenience for users and OEMs alike. This layer leverages a series of advanced algorithms based on the supplier’s proprietary Sensor Fusion technique to estimate the key metrics and parameters tied to each battery cell – including the state of charge, state of health, and the state of power. The algorithms leverage these individual statistics to ensure that the battery’s overall status is calculated with greater accuracy while also informing the powertrain’s other components as such. 

Marelli’s new wireless battery management system will be made available for OEMs during the second quarter of 2022 and is intended to support in-development EVs launching from 2024 onwards.