Brill Power, an Oxford University spin-out company, has launched the first in a new class of ‘intelligent’ battery management systems that it believes will revolutionise the performance of stationary energy storage systems. The breakthrough technology, it says, will transform the cost and performance of energy storage systems by increasing battery life by up to 60%, enhancing storage capacity by up to 129%, increasing systems uptime and drive down the lifetime operating costs for energy storage systems.
The BrillMS B62 Premium battery management system eschews the compromises inherent in the two existing categories of BMS. Until now, energy storage solutions relied upon either passive balancing or more costly active balancing options in order for batteries to operate safely and efficiently. The Brill intelligent BMS represents a paradigm shift forward for battery performance without reliance on advances in materials or cell chemistry.
This new approach is a solution to the challenges of performance, lifetime and safety of series-connected battery cells that have previously been defined by the weakest cells in the pack. Brill Power has solved this problem through a patented approach to optimised cell-level current control, and also designed the hardware and software to implement it. Proprietary algorithms determine the state of health and power capability of every parallel-connected cell block in the battery and novel control circuitry regulates the electric current accordingly. Stronger cell blocks maintain higher discharge currents than weaker ones. As a result, no single cell limits the energy storage capacity, power capability or lifetime of the battery system.
As well as improved electrical performance, this provides three game-changing benefits. Firstly, levels of reliability and uptime are enhanced since faulty battery cells and modules can be bypassed and replaced while the battery system remains fully operational. Secondly, with regulated battery output voltage, the battery can also be directly connected to other power sources or loads in the system, such as solar photovoltaic arrays or electric vehicle chargers without the need for a DC/DC converter or charge controller. And the BMS enhances safety through cell-level protection that prevents currents exceeding safe limits, while any cells approaching hazardous conditions can be isolated.
The BrillMS B62 Premium is the first in a series of new BMS product launches from Brill Power intended to transform both the stationary energy storage market as well as the motive application of battery cells in electric vehicles.
Brill Power was formed in 2016 to commercialise this know-how.
The new BMS is considered to be particularly valuable for applications where the battery is a mission-critical component, such as uninterruptible power supplies, telecoms, and medical applications. The technology has been extensively tested and validated by independent assessment and validation authorities, including DNV. DNV acted as technical consultant through the testing and verification of the new BMS technology, which confirmed that the new concept brings advantages for a number of key battery characteristics like higher utilised pack capacity, that potentially result in lower lifetime cost. DNV also concluded that the BMS complies with the functional safety requirements of standards IEC62619, UL1973, UL9540 and VDE-AR-E 2510-50.