Continental’s new sensors can protect battery health and warn of impact damage

Continental announced the development of two new specialized sensors: a Current Sensor Module (CSM) that can help protect battery health, and a Battery Impact Detection (BID) system that can detect and warn of impacts on the battery protection structure. .

Continental said the BID can help significantly reduce the weight of electric vehicles (EVs) by eliminating the need for the heavy “shielding” currently used to protect batteries, which are typically mounted in an underfloor position where they contribute to a low load center. gravity.

The BID, intended for use in combination with a lightweight structure, “detects impacts under the floor and alerts the driver if a stop in a garage is necessary as a result,” Continental said.

Without such a system, the driver would have to examine the damage and decide if a trip to a repair shop was necessary. “It is not a satisfactory situation because there is poor visibility under a car, and it takes a trained eye to assess the real damage,” said Johannes Clemm, managing director of Continental Safety Engineering International in Alzenau, Germany. , in a press release.

The pressure sensor-based BID detects and classifies underfloor impact events, allowing the driver to take precautions to avoid a battery fire. “Additionally, the BID identifies the area of ​​damage, so battery management can dump cells in that area to avoid fire hazard,” Clemm said.

The company suggested that when low-speed contact occurs, the BID could signal a fast-acting suspension system to lift the vehicle, reducing the severity of damage.

Compared to current metal floor protection, the BID system can save up to 50 percent in weight, Continental said.

The pressure sensors used in the BID are derived from Continental’s Pedestrian Protection System (PPS), which has been mass-produced for more than 10 years and installed in millions of vehicles. The system detects impacts via air-filled silicone tubes at the bottom of the battery compartment and can determine the location and severity of an impact.

The CSM can measure current and sense temperature at the same time, providing information to the vehicle’s battery management system.

“Since the battery is the most expensive component in an electric car, the CSM was not only developed to protect the battery from overcurrent, but it will also help maintain battery parameters by limiting the effects of aging,” Continental said.

The system protects the battery from overcharging by controlling the charging current to limit the temperature gradient.

“A lithium-ion battery has an optimal temperature range in which it is very safe and ages very slowly,” said Horst Gering, program manager in the passive safety and sensors segment. “However, fast battery charging is a trade-off between battery safety and health and limiting charging time. It’s best done on an accurate data basis.

Continental said the CSM could be integrated into a vehicle’s battery disconnect unit or into the battery itself. The sensor will enter mass production before the end of 2022 and will be offered in a global automaker’s electric vehicle, the company said.

“Vehicle electrification brings new use cases and thus opens up more opportunities for our sensor businesses, as an electric car has all the sensor needs of a conventional car – and more,” Laurent said. Fabre, Head of Passive Safety and Sensors Segment at Continental. in a report. “Protecting the battery and maintaining its performance, for example, are two additional tasks in electrified vehicles. The Current Sensor Module and Battery Impact Detection solutions perform both functions.


Feature Image: Continental’s High Voltage Current Sensor Module (CSM) provides current and temperature information to protect the battery and ensure its long-term durability. (Provided by Continental)

The Battery Impact Detection (BID) system warns the driver if an impact under the floor may have damaged the battery. (Provided by Continental.)

A current sensor module. (Provided by Continental)

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