Dr. Ricardo de Castro, research scientist at the DLR Institute of System Dynamics and Control (SR), received the best paper award during the 2019 IEEE Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference (VPPC) for his work on „Model Predictive Power Allocation for Hybrid Battery Balancing Systems“.
VPPC is one the flagship conferences of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for electric mobility. In this conference, Ricardo presented a new solution to mitigate imbalances in battery packs of electric vehicles. Batteries are usually composed by series inter-connection of a large number of cells, which are prone to capacity, thermal, and aging imbalances, limiting power delivery. To mitigate this issue, Ricardo and his co-author (Prof. Rui Araujo from University of Porto, Portugal) proposed a new class of battery balancing systems, called “hybrid battery balancing”, capable of simultaneously equalizing battery capacity and temperature while enabling hybridization with additional storage systems, such as supercapacitors. Their research departs from the current research paradigm, which regards battery equalization and hybridization as two independent functions performed by two separated power converters. In contrast, their concept integrates these two functions into a single system, paving the way for a lower cost of power conversion in hybrid energy storage units. Through validation in a small scale prototype, they have demonstrated that this hybrid balancing concept can significantly decrease energy losses and battery stress while increasing a vehicle’s range as compared to conventional balancing methods.