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Integrated Circuit for Advanced Battery Management

Final Report Summary - ICAB (Integrated Circuit for Advanced Battery Management)

Executive Summary:
The consortium behind the ICAB project wished to address a major market opportunity with development of the new ICAB battery management system (BMS) for lithium-ion battery packs targeted primarily at electro mobility applications. Specifically, the consortium wanted to develop an innovative integrated circuit for performing advanced battery management, at lowered cost of production, which enabled improved reliability, efficiency and safety compared with currently available BMS solutions.
The ICAB consortium managed to produce a cutting-edge technology which will play a significant role in the mass introduction of electric vehicles (EVs) on the market worldwide.

The ICAB project managed to increase the competitiveness of the participating SME manufacturers and suppliers by providing them with state-of-the-art technology which:

• meets high quality and recent safety standards, such as the ISO26262 – Functional Safety in Road Vehicles
• improves battery performance - extends battery life and vehicle driving range.
• Supports any lithium chemistry and battery pack size.
• Drives manufacturing costs down significantly by means of the developed ICAB ASIC.
• Reduces the size, cost, parasitic power consumption and weight of the battery pack.
• Satisfies EV consumers’ demands and meets the requirements of the automotive industry.

The ICAB project will play a significant role for the SMEs’ core business in future business strategy and will leverage the potential of their portfolio of products within the automotive industry. Furthermore, the ICAB project has generate increased competitiveness for the SME value chain; for the end-users; and for the EU as a whole.

Project Context and Objectives:
The European Commission has published a strategy to cut most of the EU greenhouse gas emissions and transforming Europe into a competitive 'low-carbon' economy by mid-century. However, this sizeable reduction will only be possible by the integration of electric mobility into our systems of transport and by the replacement of fossil fuel vehicles. In this context, governments of several countries are promoting EV market uptake by providing subsidies for the automotive industry as well as incentives for the consumers.
Nevertheless, electric vehicles are still too expensive, when compared with fossil fuel vehicles, and the procurement and replenishment of batteries are largely responsible for the high price of EVs.
Additionally, consumers are reluctant to invest in EV technology because of safety concerns with respect to lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries and also due to the limited range capabilities of EVs.
Battery management systems play a key role in optimizing batteries in terms of endurance, performance and reliability, and represent up to 15% of the battery cost. There is a considerable need for versatile, reliable and cost-effective BMS platforms. It is expected that the trend in the automotive industry toward greener and more efficient cars will provide significant demand for breakthrough battery management technology in the near future. The BMS market for Automotive lithium batteries is estimated to be as large as 7,100 million euros by 2020, with growth continuing also in the longer term.
In the aforementioned context, ICAB proposes the development of a novel integrated circuit for battery management of lithium ion batteries for EVs that will overcome the limitations of the BMS currently in the market. The main innovation behind this project relies on the development of a BMS technology that significantly advances beyond state of the art, and aims at reducing the high component count and overall price, through the use of ASIC technology. The developed solution will therefore leverage the incorporation of premium technologies in higher volume (lower cost) products. As such, the ICAB solution builds on the following innovative key features:
# Universal. The BMS platform will be modular, scalable and it will support any lithium chemistry in the market and any battery pack size. Additionally, this technology will be prepared for the emerging battery technologies currently at R&D stage (such as metal air batteries).
# Affordable, Lightweight & Small. Standardization and miniaturization of electronic components through the ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) technology will drive the cost of manufacturing down and make the production of the system more cost-efficient than current systems on the market. The integration of an ASIC chip in each BMS slave board will significantly minimize the size of the platform, and hence the weight. Additionally, a power line communication solution will prevent the use of an additional communication infrastructure reducing significantly the cabling burden and saving in expensive wiring and improving the mechanical robustness of the battery pack.
# Reliable & Efficient. The ICAB platform will have a innovative energy-efficient active cell balancing solution to maximize the driving range and battery life, which reduces the vehicle cost over its entire lifetime and enables energy savings.
# Safe. ICAB solution will be certified according to the automotive international standards and, additionally, it will comply with novel functional safety standards.
This next generation technology presents unique features and clear advantages in terms of cost, size and weight, performance, reliability and versatility over the existing technologies. ICAB solution is envisaged for large-scale production and will be non-exclusively supplied to the major lithium battery manufacturers and to the automotive industry in order to generate a major technological breakthrough in the batteries and automotive industries.
Project Results:
The ICAB solution
The ICAB project's main objective was the development of a novel integrated circuit for battery management of lithium ion batteries for EVs that overcame the limitations of the Battery Management Systems (BMS) currently in the market. The novel ICAB BMS technology is a decentralized platform consisting of a master board connected to intelligent slave boards housed in each module of the battery pack (Figure 1). The latter boards will enable reliable cell monitoring, cell balancing, state of the art battery evaluation and communication with the master board.

See, S & T appendix
Figure 1 – ICAB overall concept.

The main innovation behind this project relied on the development of a BMS technology that significantly advanced beyond state of the art, and aimed at reducing the high component count and overall price, through the use of ASIC technology. The developed solution therefore leveraged the incorporation of premium technologies in higher volume (lower cost) products. As such, the ICAB solution builds on the following innovative key features:

▪ Universal. The BMS platform is modular, scalable and it supports any lithium chemistry in the market and any battery pack size. Additionally, this technology is prepared for the emergent battery technologies currently at R&D stage (such as lithium air batteries).
▪ Affordable, Lightweight & Small. Standardization and miniaturization of electronic components through the ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) technology drives the cost of manufacturing down and make the production of the system more cost-efficient than current systems on the market. The integration of the ICAB ASIC chip in each BMS slave board significantly minimize the size of the platform, and hence the weight. Additionally, use of a power line communication solution preventing the use of an additional communication infrastructure, significantly reducing the cabling burden and saving in expensive wiring and improving the mechanical robustness of the battery pack.
▪ Reliable & Efficient. The ICAB platform has an innovative energy-efficient cell balancing solution by means of utilizing a hybridized strategy (active and passive mixed balancing) to maximize the driving range and battery life, which reduces the vehicle cost over its entire lifetime and enables energy savings.
▪ Safe. ICAB BMS is developed according to the automotive international standards and it comply with the functional safety standards ISO26262.
This next generation technology presents unique features and clear advantages in terms of cost, size and weight, performance, reliability and versatility over the existing technologies. The ICAB solution is planned for large-scale production and will be non-exclusively supplied to the major lithium battery manufacturers and to the automotive industry


Project S&T objectives
The overall objective of ICAB was to develop an innovative technology to control and monitor large lithium-ion batteries. In order to overcome the technological barriers associated with the project goals the following scientific and technological objectives were accomplished:

1. To develop a modular and scalable BMS platform with the ability to support any lithium chemistry in the market and any battery pack from 12 to 1000 volts size, so that it can be used in a wide range of EV segments and supplied to different battery manufacturers. The BMS platform consist of a master board connected to a plurality of slave board units (one in each battery module). The slave boards monitor and control the cells (voltage, temperature and current monitoring, cell balancing, state of the charge assessment) and communicate with the master board. (WP4)

2. To develop an ASIC integrating the relevant parts of the battery management printed circuit board. The ASIC chip will be used in each BMS slave board and it will significantly minimize the size of the platform (at least 50%) and hence, the weight, and additionally it will reduce the cost of overall BMS production by at least 30 and 40%, considering a volume production of >10000 and 50000 units, respectively. (WP4;WP7)

3. To develop a power line communication system that will use the high voltage bus bar as the signal carrier to the master board communicate with the slave boards. This system does not need an additional communication infrastructure and it removes the need of additional expensive wiring in the battery pack. The specific objectives are to: evaluate strategies and protocols for power line communication in electric vehicles’ batteries, design a power line communication solution with the ambition of integrating in the ASIC design, implement and develop a protocol layer, implement an application layer based in open standards. (WP5)

4. To develop a hybridized cell balancing strategy that consists of mixed balancing, combining active (inductive or capacitive) and passive (resistive) cell balancing to enhance cell equalization and reducing energy losses. The target is to improve cell balancing efficiency up to 75%. The design of the hybridized solution will be performed with the ambition of integrating in the ASIC design. (WP6)

5. To investigate and apply relevant functional safety standards (e.g. ISO26262) in the development of integrated circuit and to ensure the implementation of high quality automotive grade international requirements. (WP3)

6. To provide a prototype battery module with the novel BMS platform ready for implementation in an electric vehicle. To accomplish this objective prototype modules will be manufactured and then validated through a wide range of tests namely, EMC (Electromagnetic compatibility) tests, mechanical tests, HALT (highly accelerated life testing), HASS (highly accelerated stress screening) and Environmental tests, and finally, in an industrial electric vehicle (WP8).

Overall strategy and general description:
The work plan of the ICAB project includes 9 work packages (WPs), schematically presented in figure 2 below, which have been designed to ensure rapid technology uptake and broad involvement among the SMEs. The overall scope of the project activities was planned to be addressed in a 24-month period, covering development work, testing, management and exploitation of results.

See, S & T appendix

Figure 2 – PERT diagram of the activities in ICAB project.

Research, Technological Development and Innovation Activities (WP2 – WP8)

WP2 focused on the definition of the overall system requirements and technical specifications. The involved SMEs provided details for the market needs, design specifications and manufacturing requirements, while the RTDs contributed with expertise within their areas of knowledge regarding the project’s S&T goals.
The input generated in this WP was used in all other WPs. WP3 focused on the safety engineering items and application of these features throughout the entire process of development and testing to achieve the final certified product. That means WP3 was closely related to all the others WPs along the project. In WP4, a battery management system design that fulfils all requirements defined in WP2 was developed. WP4 dealt with the components intended for integration in the ASIC. WP5 explored a solution to use power line communication (PLC) in the battery management system, taking into account the unique noise and temperature environment of the electric vehicle. In WP6, a novel and unique solution for balancing was created by means of utilizing a hybridized strategy between active and passive balancing. The results of WP5 and WP6 was transferred to WP4 and integrated into the overall BMS design. WP7 involved the development and manufacturing of the ICAB ASIC that integrates the relevant parts of the technology developed in previous work packages. Finally, WP8 involved the integration and testing of the overall system. The battery management printed circuit board (PCB) and the ASIC was integrated in the battery module. Preliminary performance tests of the final prototype will be performed in an electric vehicle.

WP2: Requirements and technical specifications.
The first step in the ICAB project was an investigation of the applicable standards and regulations for automotive integrated circuit development, cell balancing and power line communication.
Thereafter an investigation on the relevant certification bodies was conducted together with a specification of the overall safety and non-safety requirements.
To prepare for the environmental and EMC test all relevant standards within EMC (Electromagnetic compatibility) tests, Mechanical tests, Environmental tests, HALT (Highly Accelerated Life Testing), HASS (Highly Accelerated Stress Screening), were identified.
Thereafter a state of the art study was done on power line communication identifying only one commercially available PLC modem with CAN interface and an IP core available on the market.
Then a state of the art study on balancing techniques resulting in the identification of the three most promising techniques applicable to the project in terms of suitability, costs, complexity, efficiency, performance and copyright features.
A list of all the applicable patents for power line communication and balancing strategies in Electric vehicle batteries and battery management systems (BMS) was investigated and compiled.

WP3: Safety engineering
Functional safety focuses on ensuring that all of the electrical and electronic systems function correctly. This does not mean that all systems can be made to work with zero errors but implies the absence of unacceptable risk due to hazards caused by malfunctioning behaviour of electrical and electronic systems, including ICs like the ICAB ASIC. The use of electronics in any functions that can be described as safety relevant, such as a battery management systems demands that these processes function safely and cause no damage, even when simple failures occur.

In 2004 there was an industry-wide recommendation, for reasons of liability, that IEC 61508 be applied to all safety-relevant developments and for the automotive industry in particular ISO 26262 (based on IEC 61508) is the current functional safety standard in force. Functional safety is dealt with by the ISO-26262 standard (published in November 2011).

The safety lifecycle starts with a definition of the system to be considered at vehicle level.
The next step is to carry out a hazard analysis and risk assessment for the system to be considered.
A corresponding safety goal is determined for each hazard.
Typically, a large number of safety goals are identified at this point.
Each safety goal is classified either in accordance with QM (not safety critical function) or in accordance with one of four possible safety classes, which are termed Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) in the standard, with the four levels being termed ASIL A to ASIL D.

The rating "QM" indicates that a standard quality management system and the observance of established standards such as Automotive SPICE (i.e. use of ISO/IEC 15504) are sufficient to achieve the corresponding safety goal and that no additional requirements need to be taken from ISO 26262.

ASIL A indicates the lowest safety classification, ASIL D the highest. The ASIL is determined for each safety goal based on exposure, controllability and severity.

What this means for the ICAB project is that the IC, at the pre-design specification phase, had to be evaluated. Critical faults must be detected and potential malfunctions should be actively prevented. This entails a thorough evaluation of aspects such as error monitoring (losses from GND or the VCC connections between the outputs); start up behaviour, required logic level shifts; power dissipation, current loads etc.
A primary concern is that failures can be detected; how the circuitry reacts to loss of ground or a power connection due to PCB defects; loss of or variation in the supply voltage; short circuits; supply line transients and high temperature. The evaluation uses FMEA (Failure Mode Effect Analysis) to methodically document the measures needed to achieve functional safety according to ISO 26262.

The goal of WP3 was to insist on the proper safety engineering and application of functional safety features according to ISO26262 throughout the entire process of development and testing. Those include specification, design, implementation, integration, verification and validation of the prototype. The ultimate objective was to have the battery management system ISO 26262 compliant, this was accomplished.
The system safety engineering plan, (SSEP) was tailored and created according to the ISO26262 standard. All the safety deliverables done in the project has been reviewed internally by the partners and by external ISO26262 experts, and found to be compliant.

WP4: BMS design
The ORCAD schematics and software design for the BMS was created based on the safety analysis and requirements defined in WP2 and WP3.
The parts of the electrical design that was intended to be integrated into the ASIC design were defined. The outline, interface, input and output of the ASIC were specified.
An executable model for the BMS was created in MATLAB Simulink together with test cases for the model test of the BMS.
A Proof-of-concept study were conducted on the mission critical parts of the battery management design that were to be integrated in the ASIC. This included a prototype build together with tests to evaluate that the prototype design was ready for the later integration with the ICAB ASIC.
Advanced State of Health (SoH) and State of Charge (SoC) algorithms were developed. Specifically, different Kalman-Filter implementations were evaluated in terms of estimation accuracy vs. processor power in order to choose the best solution. Finally, an Extended Kalman Filter implementation was developed and tested in Matlab Simulink and then migrated to C programming language to be integrated as part of the BMS firmware.
The discrete component prototype of the battery management system was manufactured and the test proved the designed circuit worked. This work were continued in the final design in WP8.

WP5: BMS communication
The specification of the physical layer of the power line communication between the BMS modules was written and the physical media to be used in the PLC solution was characterized.
Noise and impedance characteristics for the battery line were investigated in an electrical vehicle, involving voltage and current induced noise and impedance measurements in relation to frequency of the battery cells. As overall conclusion, a noise-proof PLC solution working above the narrowband (> 1 MHz) was recommended, and a solution that proved reliable in the noisy DC environments while using the 5 MHz band was chosen.
A study of a commercially available PLC modem solution showed that it did not provide sufficient amplification for the communication to work properly in a noisy electric vehicle environment. A new and better frontend was developed and tested up against the old frontend. This lab test proved that the new frontend provided the needed amplification to enable the power line communication (60% success rate at 5 MHz vs. 25 % with the Commercial frontend, without data retransmissions). A test of the solution to use PLC in a real vehicle was performed in Denmark at Lithium Balance.

See, S & T appendix
Figure 3 – picture showing the PLC test in a real vehicle.

This test proved that the PLC, (with retransmissions), was able to communicate in real driving environment with 0 % loss of data packages.

WP6: Hybridized balancing
An executable model, modelling a battery cell to evaluate the selected balancing strategies using MATLAB Simulink, was created based on charge and discharge data from real cells in terms of temperature, current, voltage and resistance.
In order to test the three most promising balancing topologies identified in WP2, the battery model was integrated with PSIM electronic circuit designs. This resulted in different SOC scenarios that were evaluated in terms of balancing time, energy performance and component costs. The selected solution proved in simulations to have a high balancing efficiency up to 90 % and a higher balancing current, 1 ampere, than most commercially available solutions, which is in the area of 100 mA.

See, S & T appendix

Figure 4 – Balancing test setup.

Starting from the previous simulation results, the schematic and PCB of the prototype were designed and manufactured and then tests were performed in order to check that the balancing current could be controlled and injected in the desired cell package. The control strategy for the hybridized balancing was validated through comprehensive testing. See figure 4. The test showed a balancing efficiency of up to 87.5 %.


WP7: ASIC development and manufacturing
The ASIC development followed a formal flow based on ECSS-Q-ST-60-02C (European Consortium for Space Standardization) with the addition of ISO26262 Functional Safety Requirements.
The development comprises an Architecture Phase (sub-division of overall device functions into defined blocks or cells, including their interconnection) where overall objectives for reliability, testability, power consumption etc. are defined.
The important output of the architecture phase were the selection of an architecture which supported the functional and safety requirements, e.g. the ability to measure the cell voltage for up to 16 stacked cells, i.e. up to 72 Volts maximum input common mode voltage over a vide temperature range. A 2 string shared resistor divider combined with a differential instrumentation amplifier were analyzed and simulated to show the best performance. Using this architecture the matching properties of the resistors combined with the temperature and common mode linearity of the instrumentation amplifier defines the measurement performance. In addition, polarity-switching techniques were implemented to allow for amplifier offset error elimination. To support the safety requirements a number of features to allow for self-test were also added.
The control of the ASIC are implemented via a digital SPI interface and an associated state machine. Elaborate techniques to secure the validity of the communication and the validity of the state in the state machine were added as required by the safety standard ISO 262622.
A Detailed Design Phase followed, where the high-level, architectural design data, were translated into a detailed design implementation.
Then a Layout Phase, where the detailed design data is used as input to placement information, floor planning, pad frame creation, block layout and assembly, power and interconnect routing and clock routing, including clock tree synthesis.
The design was then converted to a GDSII files for tape out of the ASIC design.
The prototype devices were produced and packaged; the devices were then delivered for characterization testing (Design Validation) to DELTA.
The ASIC characterization work was performed on three samples randomly selected from the material received from one assembled wafer. The random selection should result in the chips coming from three different areas of the wafer.
The measured results obtained from characterization of the devices indicate that they comply with all technical and safety requirements with the small exception of a non-compliance on two devices during test of cell voltage accuracy (+5mV (0 ºC to +60 ºC)), where measured data are just outside the specification, +1 mV; this is contrary to the simulated results obtained during the ASIC development.
The measurements were made using offset cancellation in the chip, at the input to the instrumentation amplifier, and by swapping the cell voltage inputs; so the final result is double correlated. The error is a variation over temperature; this is to be handled in the BMS design by calibration.



WP8: System integration and testing
The ASIC from WP7 was designed into the ICAB BMS schematic from WP4. The PCB layout was done, and the BMS was sent for manufacturing.
The ICAB ASIC functions as an analog frontend for the BMS. Enabling all battery cells to be monitored both single ended and differential. Safety diagnostics to check if a cell should have an open wire, over or under voltage were implemented. The BMS also implements the temperature measurement of up to 24 temperature sensors. Both temperature circuit and voltage circuit was designed to ISO26262 ASIL C level. Test cases and test software was developed to test the BMS functionality and performance. This test was successful and proved that the BMS works as intended and fulfills ISO26262 ASIL C levels.

See, S & T appendix

Figure 5– The ICAB ASIC.


The design for the battery module to house the ICAB battery management system was started by deciding on capacity, voltage and cell types for the module.
The battery module was chosen to consist of 15 cells @ 180 Ah, cells from CALB in series. Making it a 48 VDC battery module. The module consist of an onboard charger, a battery box with the cells and a heat-mat inside. The charger and switch box is mounted on top of this battery box. The switch box holds the BMS, fuses, relays and current sense device to control the cells in a safe manor in accordance with ISO26262.
All mechanical parts where designed, produced and the battery module were assembled. Evaluation of cell voltages and temperature measurements was performed on the module together with charge and discharge testing.

See, S & T appendix

Figure 6 – The ICAB battery module.

See, S & T appendix

Figure 7 – Complete system for electrical forklift with Charger, Battery management and Cells


An environmental and EMC test plan were created. The test plan covered vibration, IP, corrosion, ESD and EMC testing. All the tests were performed and a list of suggested improvements was delivered from DELTA.


See, S & T appendix

Figure 8 – To the right the ICAB battery module is seen radiation tested in 10 m absorber lined chamber and to the left it is being immunity tested in reverberation chamber.

The main results from the environmental and EMC test showed that the battery module would be improved with better ground connections between the sheet metal parts, this will improve the shielding effect and make a more effective common ground for transient and surge currents.
The test also showed that the selected charger did not live up to the tested EMC standards for immunity therefore a new charger will be selected. The test also showed that the DC/DC did not live up to the EMC standards for emission this was solved by adding ferrites to the output. The test of the mechanical design showed a need for better ingress protection. This can be achieved with a better gasket, better protecting of the venting holes, welding of small air holes along the switch box bending sides. Their where no findings pointing to any issues with the ICAB ASIC or the ICAB BMS HW design.
The test and evaluation in a commercially available electric vehicle is pending the battery module design changes based on input from the environmental and EMC test. This test is planned to take place as soon as the last changes to the battery modules is done post project.

Conclusion

The consortium behind the ICAB project wished to address a major market opportunity with development of the new ICAB battery management system (BMS) for lithium-ion battery packs targeted primarily at electro mobility applications. Specifically, the consortium wanted to develop an innovative integrated circuit for performing advanced battery management, at lowered cost of production, which enabled improved reliability, efficiency and safety compared with currently available BMS solutions.
The ICAB consortium managed to produce a cutting-edge technology which will play a significant role in the mass introduction of electric vehicles (EVs) on the market worldwide.

The ICAB project managed to increase the competitiveness of the participating SME manufacturers and suppliers by providing them with state-of-the-art technology which:

• meets high quality and recent safety standards, such as the ISO26262 – Functional Safety in Road Vehicles
• improves battery performance - extends battery life and vehicle driving range.
• Supports any lithium chemistry and battery pack size.
• Drives manufacturing costs down significantly by means of the developed ICAB ASIC.
• Reduces the size, cost, parasitic power consumption and weight of the battery pack.
• Satisfies EV consumers’ demands and meets the requirements of the automotive industry.

The ICAB project will play a significant role for the SMEs’ core business in future business strategy and will leverage the potential of their portfolio of products within the automotive industry. Furthermore, the ICAB project has generate increased competitiveness for the SME value chain; for the end-users; and for the EU as a whole.

Potential Impact:
The ICAB project has resulted in 22 identified exploitable results, of which most of them are planned to be used post-project in commercial products that will generally be available to the market during 2016 - i.e. within the first year after the completion of the ICAB project. Siginificant economic results are expected to materialize for the SME partners during 2017, the second year after the completion of the ICAB project.

The exploitable results derived from the ICAB project will strongly impact the competitiveness and economy of the SME partners in the consortium, and in summary the exploitable results are:

o Hybrid balancing design
o Powerline communication design
o Algorithms for parameter estimation
o Battery monitoring ASIC ASIL C rated
o Prototype 16 cell BMS
• ISO26262 compliant safety plan
• Battery pack based on the ASIC and BMS prototype

During the project and also after the project, the expected and later achieved results have been disseminated publically to the extent possible due to the confidential/trade secret nature of some results. Already in the first year of the project, the ISO26262 implementation for battery management systems and the intended resulting ICAB ASIC was presented at the Automotive Battery Management Systems conference in Cologne, September 2014 where most of the Automotive Tier 1 and OEMs in Europe were present. A similar presentation was made in 28th International Electric Vehicle Symposium in South Korea in May 2015. At the upcoming 29th International Electric Vehicle Symposium in Canada in June 2016, three articles about the ICAB results have been accepted for publication and presentation on the subjects of advanced algorithms for lithium-based battery management systems, noise characterisation in electric vehicles and hybrid balancing and powerline communication in an EV battery.

Besides these publications and presentations at major international Scientific conferences, the SME partners have throughout the project discussed the project and exploitable results with potential customers, both to get their input for the requirements and feedback on results achieved, but also to start the promotion of the the results in an effort to get a head start on the post-project commercialisation. This includes meetings at the conferences CeBIT, Intersolar and Testing Expo in 2015, as well as on-site visits/meetings with major Automotive OEM's including Honda, Nissan, Renault, SAAB/NEVS, Automotive battery manufacturers and suppliers, and a multitude of smaller European, Japanese and Chinese manufacturers of niche vehicles, buses and industrial machines. One such potential customer, the forklift manufacturer Cargotec, during the project agreed to let us develop a prototype battery pack, with the ICAB ASIC and prototype BMS embedded, for one of their forklifts, with the intention of testing the solution and provide feedback for a Commercial version (to be developed and produced post-project).

Lithium Balance is in the process of preparing a patent application for the concept of hybridised balancing, that has been successfully developed and tested in the ICAB project.

The market available to the ICAB exploitable results is fundamentally driven by the market for Lithium batteries. Lithium-ion is the highest growth battery segment, with a market that has more than tripled in 10 years (source: Avienne Energy). ICAB focused on developing new solutions to be exploited with large format lithium-ion battery cells, which are being used in larger applications such as hybrid- and full electric vehicles, grid storage, telecom and industrial applications. The sales of Lithium batteries for these segments is growing fast and especially the production of electric vehicles is expected to drive the lithium market growth from $11b in 2010 to $57b in 2020 according to one study by Natureo Finance. The Battery Management System typically costs about 5-15% of the battery pack costs depending on application and size of the battery pack. This means that by 2020 the BMS market could be as large as 8 bUSD and still growing. Of this market at least 75% would be BMS for large format batteries, which means that by 2020 the ICAB results can exploited in a market of 6 bUSD with 25% annual growth rates. There is currently a strong deveopment towards considerable lower prices for lithium-ion batteries, and this will make the use of large format lithium batteries more competitive and accelerate the adoption of for example electric vehicles - to the benefit of the exploitation of the ICAB results.

A competitor analysis has shown that the ICAB ASIC is currently leading in the number of cells it can monitor per ASIC, being also one of few ISO26262 compliant ASICs for battery monitoring. This makes the ICAB ASIC highly competitive in price and allows Lithium Balance to produce its BMS 25% cheaper compared to using currently available battery monitoring ICs available in the market. As all the major competitors in this field are non-European, the ICAB project actually strongly strengthens the European position in the future market for components for electric vehicles.

The adoption of the functional safety standard ISO26262 also strongly strengthens the competitive position of the participating SMEs in the ICAB project. This standard is an absolute requirement in the top segment for automotive grade battery management systems, and only very few companies can today supply BMS at this quality level – typically the existing Tier 1 automotive suppliers such as AVL, Magna, Bosch and Continental, and their products are typically only available to the top automotive OEMs. The SMEs will therefore be able to help smaller European manufacturers of Electric vehicles to comply with ISO26262 through the delivery of BMS. But the dissemination activities have revealed high interest in the ICAB results among the large OEMs as well.

The partners intend to exploit the ICAB results in the following way post-project.

1.Hybrid balancing design
Lithium Balance is in the process of applying for a patent for this result. In addition a grant has been received from the Danish Government under the ENERGY TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT AND DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM for a project where the hybrid balancing concept is implemented in an actual battery management system and battery pack that facilitates hot swap of battery modules. The ICAB partner Aalborg University also participates in this project. It is expected that the project will result in a commercially available BMS product by the end of 2017.

2. Powerline communication design
Lithium Balance is also implementing powerline communication in a BMS and battery pack in the same project as mentioned from hybrid balancing.

3. Algorithms for parameter estimation
Lithium Balance is developing a ISO26262 compliant BMS for commercial release in 2016 that will include the new advanced algorithms. The project is supported by a grant from the Danish government under the program INNOVATION FUND DENMARK. The ICAB partner Aalborg University also participates in this project.

4. Battery monitoring ASIC ASIL C rated
Lithium Balance has put the ASIC into production at the ICAB partner Delta, and expects to receive the first commercially ready batch in October 2016. In addition, the partners have through the learning process in ICAB come up with ideas for further Development of the ICAB ASIC with new and Unique functionalities, and application for new research grants to develop these ideas have been been submitted to the H2020 GV8 program in 2015, with review comments expected March 2016.

5. Prototype 16 cell BMS
The prototype 16 cell BMS developed in ICAB utilising the ICAB ASIC will in the second half of 2016 be developed into a commercially ready ISO26262 compliant 16 cell BMS, that can be used to make 48V battery packs and battery modules.

6. ISO26262 compliant safety plan
The SME partners will utilize the tools developed to plan all safety activities related to the development of ISO26262 compliant electronics and battery packs post-project. Evoleo will in addition be able to sell consultancy and access to the tools as well as conduct safety audits to other developers of automotive electronics and battery packs. This knowhow and tools are ready to be commercialised by Evoleo

7. Battery pack based on the ASIC and BMS prototype
The battery pack developed in ICAB based on the ICAB ASIC and ICAB prototype BMS was developed as a prototype battery pack for the Irish forklift manufacturer Moffett, part of the Cargotec group. After the ICAB project, Moffett will test the prototypes in their vehicles, with the intention of using them in the production of their electric forklifts when the ICAB ASIC and ICAB BMS become commercially available end of 2016. The battery packs will be produced for Moffett by Lithium Balance and Cleancarb. Cleancarb will in addition use the ICAB results in its business of developing battery packs for other industrial and automotive customers.

As a result of ICAB the three participating SMEs have considerably improved their market position:

• Lithium Balance is now able to provide the ICAB ASICs to developers of automotive grade battery management systems
• Lithium Balance can exploit the ICAB ASIC as well as the power line communication and hybrid balancing concepts for the development of its own automotive grade battery management systems and sell those to battery pack manufacturers, Tier 1 integrators or directly to OEMs
• Cleancarb is one such battery pack developer, that can exploit the ICAB results to develop automotive grade battery packs for OEMs
• Evoleo can now provide ISO26262 tools and consultancy to developers of automotive grade components and battery pack developers as well as for OEMs.

The ICAB results open the automotive market to the SME beneficiaries to a higher degree than pre-project as Lithium Balance and Cleancarb previously focused on manufacturers of battery driven applications in industrial segments and for niche manufacturers of vehicles, while Evoleo has previously focused on the aerospace and train markets.

The ICAB results are basically power electronics components or services related to the development of such components. Even a battery pack is essentially a component in someone else’s final product. The goal of Lithium Balance and Cleancarb is therefore to get our “components” designed into the products of manufacturers of electric and hybrid vehicles and machines, so that these manufacturers or their sub-suppliers will buy our components on a continuous basis as materials for the production of their own products. For Evoleo the goal is for the developers of such components or vehicles to buy Evoleo’s tools and consultancy services to assist them in their development efforts.

The consequence of this business model for all three SME partners is a typically very long sales process, as they need to participate in and support their customers development efforts from the initial concept phase and through all the development stages and into the commercialization and production stages. It typically takes 2-3 years from the first prototype order until the customer starts production, and then it may still take some time before their product is commercially successful and production takes place on a continuous basis. The SME partners can therefore foresee that tit will take some years from the end of the ICAB project until commercial success is achievable.

In terms of geography Lithium Balance and Cleancarb will initially sell the ICAB solutions in Europe, targeting their own network of potential clients in Denmark, Turkey, Italy, UK, Spain, France and Germany, mainly, where it is possible to offer timely and onsite support on short notice. The ICAB BMS production will be outsourced to sub-suppliers, most likely Flextronics in Sweden or Hungary, but Lithium Balance is responsible for selling the product to their customers.

In parallel to this, Evoleo will exploit the safety toolset in their internal development projects (hardware and software) regarding the development of electronic components for the automotive industry and also to conduct external audits for customers. These services will be mainly in Europe, and they will significantly increase their network of clients in the automotive industry.

To further accelerate the commercial success of the exploitable ICAB results it would be a natural development for the participating SMEs to seek partnerships with value-adding resellers from the market to promote and support the ICAB products and services to a broader audience than the SME’s are able to approach on their own. Lithium Balance has for example during the project started the dialogue with a major European distributor of integrated circuits to become a global distributor of the ICAB ASIC. Lithium Balance has also during the ICAB project contracted with 18 distributors and agents both in Europe and abroad who will be promoting the ICAB BMS locally on behalf of Lithium Balance. If a BMS customer needs assistance to develop the complete battery pack or to establish ISO26262 compliance for all or part of their application, Cleancarb and Evoleo will be drawn in to provide those service.

The next step in the marketing plan for Lithium Balance is to establish sales subsidiaries in major markets – most likely US and China. A staff of at least 4 persons (including technical supporters for customers and distributors) will be needed in each region at the establishment of a sales subsidiary, and this may then grow with the business. Lithium Balance envisions establishing the Chinese sales office first, by the end of 2016, based on current positive development of BMS sales.

At the end of the ICAB project the participating SMEs all have come to the conclusion, that since the planned results of the project all have been achieved, they will also post-project be able to fulfil the economic projections as originally planned. The market expectations are the same or better than forecasted before the project, and the competitive position of the SME’s have also been greatly enhanced based on the ICAB results. The SME’s will therefore post-project continue with the originally planned exploitation activities and expect to achieve significant growth over the coming years as a result of the ICAB exploitable results.

Lithium Balance will commercialize the ICAB results by focusing on battery pack manufacturers and automotive OEMs. The ICAB ASIC and the hybrid balancing and powerline communication solutions will be integrated into new ISO26262 compliant BMS platforms during 2016, with financial grants from primarily the Danish Government under the ENERGY TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT AND
DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM. The ICAB project and its results have already been presented to numerous existing and potential customers with very positive response, and several have requested to start using the ICAB ASIC based BMS as soon as it is ready. Lithium Balance is therefore quite confident with the provided sales forecast.

In the first year of commercialization in 2017 it is anticipated that Lithium Balance will sell 1000 BMS-ICAB units. Initially end-users will need to test the product before they decide to buy it in large volumes, and the sales numbers will therefore increase year by year in the forecast period. It is foreseen that the successful implementations and demonstrations at the first customers in the first year will lead to an increase of sales up to 4000 units in 2018 and 10,000 in 2019. By then the cost of production is expected to decrease 30% due to the use of the ASIC technology integrated in the BMS. By 2021, when sales are expected to reach 50,000 units, another reduction in the cost of production (40%) is expected, and a sales price of about 375€ - highly competitive, compared to the current price of a BMS (1000€), will be achieved.

Cleancarb has through the ICAB project gained insight into the employment of ISO26262 in the development of automotive battery packs and can use the tools developed by Evoleo as well as the ICAB BMS supplied by Lithium Balance when they develop lithium-ion battery packs for electric vehicles for automotive clients. Cleancarb’s business model will benefit from the declining costs of not only lithium-ion battery cells in the coming years but also of the significant reduction of the BMS costs as a result of ICAB. Cleancarb still estimates to sell 5500 battery packs for electric vehicles with the novel BMS technology by 2021.

Evoleo has in ICAB developed its ISO26262 Functional safety development Toolkit and general knowhow related to employment of ISO26262 that Evoleo intends to exploit in its consultancy services. Post-project they can now conduct safety audits in the automotive industry (electronic components). Table 4 presents the direct sales forecasts for Evoleo. As originally forecasted in the ICAB application Evoleo expect to conduct 10 safety audits in the first year at a price of 4500€, but these services will significantly increase in the subsequent years mainly due to the new clients network in the automotive industry that they will gain through the consortium partners Cleancarb and Lithium Balance. These safety audits are only the direct impact of the project on Evoleo activities. The company heavily expects to apply its knowledge to the development and appropriate certification of own automotive technologies/solutions as part of its own strategy of applying its electronics expertise to other areas.
List of Websites:
http://www.icab-project.eu