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Automotive battery

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Category: Energy Conversion and Storage

Subject: Automotive battery

Question

What are the essential parts of an automotive battery?

Answer

Cells – for automotive batteries, the cells used are usually Li-ion 

Busbars – these are used to connect the cells together electrically and are usually made from copper 

Wiring harnesses – used to connect temperature and voltage sensors from the cells to the BMS 

Master and slave modules – these are the electronics that control the battery and collectively are known as the Battery Management System (BMS) 

Traction cable – a high voltage and high current cable that connects the cell modules together and carries the main power round the battery

Vehicle interface – this is a specific connection between the battery and the vehicle. Information is transferred by CAN-BUS, which is an automotive standard protocol. Typical information is state of change (fuel gauge), battery voltage temperature and current (A) from the battery 

Current measuring device – this measures the flow of current  during discharge and charge 

Isolation monitoring device – a safety device that checks for electrical leakage to ground. This reduces the risk of receiving a shock from the battery 

Main contactor relay – the main switch on the battery, which switches off both positive and negative connections, thereby rendering the battery safe

Answered by: Ming Chung

Affiliation: Johnson Matthey Technology Review