Question: Is it important to have a BMS or SBM installed on the battery pack?
Answer: Simply said: Yes!
It is important to install and to use a protection of the lithium batteries. The batteries need to be protected against deep discharge and the overcharge of the individual cells. In general there are many ways to protect the cells or packs of the cells against improper use. Whatever system is used, the main function of the system is to disconnect the battery from the load to prevent over discharge, or disconnect the battery pack from the charger to avoid over charge. The primary reason for the protection is the relatively high cost of the lithium cells and quite easy way to damage their performance or destroy them completely. In view of the expected lifetime (up to 30 years) and number of cycles (thousands) it is worthy to have a measure of protection installed.
Installing a complete Battery Management System (BMS) is the most advanced way of protecting the cells and the battery pack. At this moment there are about 50+ different BMS systems on the worldwide market. Check these links to the BMS selector and BMS option selector. (There are many other systems not listed on this page, and new BMS systems are being developed and produced by more and more companies.) The BMS monitors the voltage of each cell and based on the voltage of each cell, the BMS sends information to the charger and the discharger to protect the battery.
GWL/Power does not endorse any specific BMS model against others. We let the decision to be made by each customer. Based on our long-term commitment to the customer support, we provide an additional support for the RT-BMS system and the BMS123 system.
The cell protection can be done in a simpler way using the Simple Battery Management Board (SBM) or monitoring equipment like CellLog or Akumon (for 12V packs). To allow for an extra safety, multiple „layers“ of protection are suggested to be installed, especially for application critical installations.
** The overview of related links:
The Simple Battery Management Board (SBM) - a single board solution protect the battery pack
The Real-time BMS (RT-BMS) system – a complete BMS with multiple functions and ballancing currents up to 10 Amp
The BMS123 system – an innovative BMS solution with simple installation directly at the cells. (Commercially availible from Sept. 2012, testing units available now)
The Cell Ballancing Module (CBM) to allow the balancing of single cells
The CellLog and PowerLog tools to monitor the cells in small installations
The Akumon – battery monitoring and balancing board for 12V packs.
** Check following FAQ published previously: