GRENOBLE, France - Dec. 6, 2018 - The standard multi-cell battery has had a critical makeover: No longer will the battery fail if a cell fails.
CEA’s Sigma Cells battery can power products ranging from laptops to electric vehicles and is the world’s first three-in-one battery solution with integrated inverter, charging and battery-management functions. This revolutionary technology serves as the battery’s brain, governing the smart use of battery cells. If a cell is about to fail, Sigma Cells finds an alternative pathway, activating the "best" cells and, in the process, preventing downtime.
The innovative battery-management system (BMS) architecture and operating mode deliver the inverter and charging functions by default. In addition to freeing up space in the vehicle, the position of the batteries is flexible. Because the system operates with traditional grid voltage, any standard electrical outlet in any region of the world can be used for charging.
The CEA team revisited traditional battery architectures to create a multi-cell power supply, and deliver enhanced performance by all three main functions: switching, charging and battery management. The integrated charger and bidirectional system enable fast charging directly off the grid at no additional cost. The battery lifespan is increased by 15 percent.
"Electric-powered transportation is booming, but the industry must solve several battery-management challenges," said Philippe Despesse, senior engineer at CEA-Leti. "Currently, if one cell in a battery pack fails, it generates a fault on the whole pack. At best, this puts the battery pack out of service until it can be repaired. At worst, the battery is discarded. CEAswitched-cell technology will revolutionize batteries by lengthening their lifespans and reducing weight and size."
In addition to powering small electronic devices, Sigma Cells smart-battery technology meets the requirements of rapidly growing electric-mobility markets: electric bikes, cars, buses and boats. Production is slated to begin in September 2019.
Visitors will see a battery-equipped with Sigma Cells technology installed on an electric bike. The demonstration will allow them to remove a battery cell to prove that the battery continues working, because Sigma Cells has found an alternative pathway.