Cell simulator for latest monitors

The cell module controller simulator can handle up to 35 BQ79718-Q1 devices from TI

MicroNova has enhanced its Cell Module Controller (CMC) simulator to support the latest high-accuracy battery cell monitors and balancers from Texas Instruments, or TI (writes Nick Flaherty).

The NovaCarts CMC simulator has a daisy-chain comms interface to the bridge device on the master board of the BMS or the master control unit to provide precise timing as well as accurate simulation.

The CMC simulator can handle up to 35 BQ79718-Q1 devices from TI. These are used as a monitoring, balancing and protection unit for battery modules in high-voltage BMSs, and engineers involved in the development and testing of BMSs can also combine several CMC simulators to simulate batteries with a large number of cells.

“The BQ79718-Q1 allows automakers to maximise the true range of their EVs with high-precision battery cell voltage measurements down to 1 mV. Together with the NovaCarts CMC simulator, it can be an effective and efficient way for engineers to prototype a BMS,” said Sam Wong, vice-president and general manager for battery management solutions at TI.

MicroNova says the NovaCarts CMC simulator provides a cost-effective and safe solution for performing tests on BMSs, and simplifies and accelerates their development. The fact that CMC simulation on a HiL simulator can easily be combined with actual cell module controllers also reduces the cost of the HiL system. Simulating CMCs minimises changeover times and downtimes on HiL simulators, saving test and simulation time.

“Setting up a HiL with real CMCs is complex, because it requires simulating the actual cell voltages of the battery and as well as the temperature sensors,” explained Detlef Naundorf, product manager at MicroNova. “High overall voltages are generated in the HiL when emulating high-voltage batteries, increasing complexity in terms of reliability and hence the costs involved. The simulation of the cell module controller chips acts as a countermeasure to this.

“At the same time, the NovaCarts CMC simulator can be used as a standalone solution for software development and testing. It’s also easier to recreate and test fault situations than with a real-life set-up.”

The NovaCarts CMC simulator previously supported the BQ79616-Q1 and BQ79618-Q1 devices from TI. Adding the BQ79718-Q1 allows the simulator to support 18 cells in series with ASIL-D safety levels.