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Battery Management System ¨C Introduction and Malfunction

A battery management system, otherwise referred to as a BMS, is an electronic system that manages a battery pack. It mainly manages rechargeable battery packs, which need to be constantly monitored and maintained to maintain the overall battery pack's efficiency, reliability, and safety. A battery pack is made up of different cells. With a BMS, you can constantly monitor, gather and communicate information to the external interface. From here, you can observe the status of each cell and the overall health of the battery pack. 

Therefore, it is crucial to have a BMS in most electric vehicles as you can protect your lithium-ion cells from damage. Furthermore, you will be able to prolong the life of the battery pack and keep it operating within the required safe limits. 

Battery Management System

As stated above, a battery management system is essential for ensuring a person monitors their battery pack's efficiency, safety, and reliability. Every BMS has three critical functions for its applications.
BMS provides protection for the cells, the battery pack, and all the crucial equipment it is powering. It does so to avoid the probability of a thermal runaway occurring within the battery pack, which can cause significant damage to the cells.
BMS also extends the life of the battery by managing how and when it is used. It helps minimize the number of charge and discharge cycles.
Lastly, a BMS keeps the battery in a ready state so that it is constantly prepared to power the application any moment it is necessary.
Apart from the above-mentioned critical functions, a BMS is also necessary to carry out the additional functions below.
Cell protection: BMS offers cell protection to a battery pack that prevents the cells from overcharging and discharging below the expected threshold. Overcharging is risky as it can cause the cells to overheat and cause an explosion or a short circuit, while an overboard discharge is terrible as it can permanently reduce the capacity of a cell.
Charge control- all batteries have a charge and recharge cycle that will eventually see the life of a battery ending when it reaches the limit. A BMS ensures this function is effectively used to maintain the life of the battery pack by balancing the charge across the cells. It does this by calculating how much current is safe for the batteries.
It detects unsafe conditions and shuts down the battery to protect the lithium-ion cells and the battery users.

Battery Management System Malfunction

At times you may get an error message telling you that you have a Battery Management System Malfunction. Such a message can appear from simple things such as keeping your lights or ignition on while the engine is off. Such mistakes primarily discharge your battery to critical levels (below 12.4 volts), triggering the error message.
Most times, when you get such a message, it is advisable to remove any electrical devices plugged into your vehicle and charge your battery. To do this, you can start the ignition key, park your car and let it run for at least 20 minutes to allow the alternator to charge your battery. Afterward, the message should disappear once you start your car. Keep in mind, at times, and the warning message may fail to disappear. It may indicate that your car has other issues that may require a proper and full diagnosis to determine. Some of the common problems that may trigger this warning include;
Orange triangle and exclamation light.
Charging system malfunction.
At times it might be an engine systems malfunction.
Engine auto start/ stop malfunction
Master Malfunction warning.
Most times, some indicators may trigger the battery system warning. You may get such a message when you have issues with the following;
The age of your battery may affect how it holds a charge. Therefore, it is advisable to test your battery life using a battery tester.
A bad alternator.
Installing an incorrect battery that does not meet the required specs in your car.
We are having corroded or loose battery terminals.

Having a bad ground connection between the engine and the vehicle frame.
It is essential to consult an expert repairer or even visit a car auto shop near you if you have a BMS malfunction that cannot be solved by charging your battery.
Battery Management Systems for Large Lithium-ion Battery packs
With the wide diversity and variety of the existing batteries in the market, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are popular because of their high energy density, longevity, high efficiency, and lack of memory effect. With the use of a battery management system in large lithium-ion batteries, you are guaranteed to improve the capacity and lifespan of your battery pack.
With electric vehicles becoming more popular globally due to the ever-growing market, most people look for battery capacity and usage as a deciding factor in purchasing cars. Most of these cars operate with Li-ion batteries with cells typically designed to hold a voltage of between 3V to 4.2V. These batteries are sensitive to temperature changes; hence they cannot overcharge or discharge below the expected limits as you will risk having a damaged battery. With a Battery Management system, one will be able to monitor the energy storage system. A balanced BMS method for your Li-ion batteries ensures you get the most out of your battery pack.  
All in all, a Large Li-ion battery pack is the most crucial component as it determines the driving range of your EV. One needs to ensure there exists communication between the charger and the BMS. Having a charger alone can be costly in case any damage occurs as it does not assure you protection against any short circuits.
From the article above, we show you the importance of a BMS. Not only does it help in preserving the health of your battery, but it also functions to protect the battery while it is in operation. With every cell within a battery pack having an individual voltage, temperature, and current range, having a BMS can detect and control any cell that drops below or exceeds the expected range. In the long run, this saves you from incurring any additional costs from constantly purchasing new batteries. It also ensures you get the needed energy storage capacity to drive your vehicle for long periods without fear of experiencing abrupt battery failures.

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