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Lithiumate™ Manual

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Quick overview

Road map on getting the BMS up and running

Four steps

This is a quick review on how to set-up the distrubuted BMS.

  1. Plan the battery layout, the BMS in it, and how it interfaces to other devices
    1. Decide how you will arrange the cells, and how you will divide them into banks
    2. Decide if the BMS controller will drive contactors and/or cooling
    3. Decide how the BMS controller with read the battery current: through sensors or from the CAN bus
    4. Decide how the BMS controller with control the source (e.g.: a charger) and load (e.g.: motor controller) to limit and shut off the battery current: through hard lines (on / off, or analog) or through the CAN bus
  2. Install the BMS
    1. Install the cell boards onto the cells
    2. Connect wires between adjacent cell boards within a bank
    3. Install the BMS controller
    4. Connect the BMS controller to each bank of cells
    5. If using a cable-mount current sensor, install it on a battery power cable and plug it into the BMS controller; or, if using an HV Front End with a current sensor, route the battery current through it
    6. If a cooling system is controlled by the BMS, wire it to the BMS controller
    7. If contactors are controlled by the BMS, wire them to the BMS controller
    8. If an interlock is used, connect it to the BMS controller
    9. Connect the BMS controller to the other devices in the system, such as a charger, a motor controller, a CAN Bus...
  3. Set-up the BMS
    1. Connect a terminal to the serial port on the BMS controller
    2. Power-up the BMS
    3. If the CAN bus is used:
      1. If contactors are controlled by the BMS through the CAN bus, specify the format of the message that does so
      2. If other devices on the CAN bus measure the battery current and report the value, specify the format of those messages
      3. If the standard set of messages that the BMS controler places on the CAN bus interfere with some other device's messages, change their starting ID
      4. If a custom messages is required from the BMS controler, define its format and data
    4. Program the functions of input and output lines:
      1. If a normally closed interlock is used, switch the polarity from the default to normally closed
      2. Specify which inputs are used to measure battery current
      3. If any output (LLIM, HLIM, FLT) should be normally shorted to ground, switch its polarity from the default to normally closed
      4. If contactors are controlled by the BMS, select which tests are performed when turning on
    5. Program the battery pack arrangement:
      1. The 1st time it is powered-up, the BMS learns automatically how many cells are in the battery pack. To relearn, clear the number of cells in the 0th bank, and cycle the power; you may also enter the number of cells in each bank manually
      2. If using a number of batteries in parallel (each battery has its set of cell boards), specify that number
    6. Program the operating parameters:
      1. If the cells are other than LiFePO4, program the cell voltages
      2. Program the max charge and discharge currents during normal operation
      3. If the BMS measures the battery current with current sensors, specify their gain and offset
      4. Specify the nominal capacity of the battery pack
      5. Many other parameters may be customized, but usually they are left to their default
    7. Confirm that the BMS has found all the banks and all the cells
    8. Confirm that the BMS can control the Source (charge) and the Load (such as a motor controller) to limit the battery current
    9. Confirm that the BMS is able to read the battery current
  4. Test the system
    1. If a cooling system is controlled by the BMS, confirm that the BMS is able to drive it
    2. If contactors are controlled by the BMS, confirm that the BMS is able to drive them
    3. If an interlock is used, confirm that tripping it shuts down the battery
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