Lithium Battery BMS: What It Is and Why It’s Important
A lithium battery’s Battery Management System (BMS) acts like a battery bodyguard. It wards off unsafe situations and helps extend your battery’s lifespan.
BMS Three-Fold Battery Protection
- Your battery (and your investment)
- Your vehicles/applications
- You and your family
The battery management system prevents your boat, RV, or other application from being damaged by the battery. It also protects you and your family.
But that’s not all. The battery management system manages your battery’s performance. It measures energy, regulates temperature, and more. This makes it a crucial component of your LiFePO4 battery.
Still on the fence about replacing your old lead acid or gel battery? The perks of a sophisticated battery management system provide more reasons than ever to make the switch to lithium!
Battery Management System Benefits
- Protects against overcharging and undercharging
- Extends the life of your lithium battery
- Calculates state of charge (gauges how much energy the battery has left)
- Checks for problems (shorts, defective cells, loose connections, etc)
- Balances cells
- Regulates temperature
- Sends real-time information to your charger
- Shuts battery down when it detects unsafe conditions
How a Lithium Battery BMS Works
Ionic’s battery management system consists of a circuit board that monitors each cell in the battery pack. It gauges how much current is safe for the battery to accept, as well as how much can be discharged from it. It sends this information to the battery charger to ensure the battery won’t be overcharged or overdrawn. This is one way that the BMS protects the battery from damage and increases its longevity.
A lithium battery BMS also measures how much energy comes in and out of the battery. This is how it can provide information about the state of charge, or how much energy is left in the battery pack at a given time. When the battery is drained too much, it will shut the battery down to prevent damage.
All LithiumHub batteries have a built-in battery management system. Lead acid batteries generally do not have a battery management system.
Battery Management System Functions
Why a lithium battery BMS is important:
- Keeps battery working in optimal condition
- Prevents thermal runaway and fires
- Makes your lithium LiFePO4 batteries safe for operation
- Shuts your battery off when a problem occurs to prevent damage
Protection from Overcharging and Overdrawing
When you exceed the cell voltage that your battery can handle, it “overcharges”. This can cause irreparable damage. Overdrawing, or over-discharging a battery is when you overdrain it, causing the cell voltage to get too low. The battery management system prevents both of these problems from occurring.
To prevent overcharging, the BMS calculates current limits and sends that information to your battery charger so that it won’t overcharge your battery. When discharging, it measures how much energy can safely leave your battery and sends that information to your load (such as your power inverter or device controller).
Lithium batteries can withstand colder and hotter temperatures than most traditional batteries. But even these high-tech batteries have their limits. That’s why a lithium battery BMS controls and monitors a built-in fan that’s responsible for cooling the battery off when needed.
The temperature regulation function detects extreme temperatures. It shuts down the battery pack when conditions are unsafe.
Problem Detection and Prevention
The battery management system detects the following problems:
- Loose connections
- Short circuiting
- Defective battery cells
- Wire insulation breakdown
- Defective battery fan
These issues don’t occur often. But in case they do, your lithium battery BMS is ready to handle them. The BMS will diagnose the issue and store error codes so that you can make repairs or replace a faulty battery.
Another crucial function of the battery management system is cell balancing. A battery is made up of individual cells. Ideally, all these cells should have the same or nearly the same voltage. Your lithium battery BMS balances them by distributing energy from cells that are charged more to those that are charged less.
Here’s why that’s important: a lithium battery will shut off when the cell with the least energy reaches its discharge limit. Cells that still have energy will be left unused. Without a BMS, you would have to charge your battery pack constantly. It will wear it out faster. The BMS ensures the longevity and optimum performance of your battery by keeping the cells in balance. That way, all cells can be fully charged and discharged, and you can harness your battery’s full energy potential.
Other Smart Functions of Lithium Batteries
- Bluetooth Capable
- Built-in heater for extremely cold temperatures (certain models only)
- Fast charging (especially when paired with a lithium smart charger)
- Efficient energy use
- Low self-discharge rate (Only 2% per month).
Fast Charging and Efficient
The advanced battery management system isn’t the only smart function of LithiumHub batteries. Lithium batteries accept energy faster than traditional kinds. They also use that energy more efficiently. When you pair your ionic lithium battery with a smart charger, you can charge it up to 4 times faster than a lead acid battery.
Keep tabs on your battery by tapping a few “tabs” on your smartphone. The lithium battery BMS provides data about your battery’s state of charge. You can quickly access it on your smartphone. See how much longer your battery will take to charge, how much charge it has left, and more.
You can discharge or use a lithium battery no matter how cold it gets. You don’t have to worry about damaging it. But charging below freezing causes plating/crystallization, which can cause your battery to fail. This is why a lithium battery management system won’t accept a charge if the temperatures drop below freezing
Need to take a trip up north or do some ice fishing? You’re in luck– we’ve added a built-in heater to certain battery models. This heater allows you to charge your lithium battery in freezing temperatures. Be sure to check out our 12V 125Ah and 12V 300Ah batteries to learn more.
HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR BATTERY’S BMS? CONTACT US HERE
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