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  • G. David Felt
    G. David Felt

    LG 800V Wireless Battery Management System (BMS) Available

      LG Innotek has produced the first wireless BMS system for the automotive industry allowing gains in EV range and management.

    Today's electric vehicles (EV) all have battery management systems, these systems are either the old 400V system such as Mercedes-Benz uses or new 800V systems that General Motor and Hyundai / Kia uses. Depending on the size of the EV such as a subcompact where you have 66lbs of wiring from the battery pack to the controllers or a full-size EV where you can have 198lbs of wiring or more, wiring is an area that contributes mass to the overall weight of the EV.

    LG Innoteck has announced their latest management system, a wireless battery management system (BMS).

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    Why is this such a big deal some would ask.

    LG Innotek BMS Advantages

    • Industry First 800V wireless battery management system (BMS)
    • BMS combines the essential components for wireless communication into one module that is compatible with all communication chips.
    • LG BMS implements an advanced inspection system for checking the communication performance, enhancing the convenience of its customers.

    Lets start this off with a definition of BMS or Battery Management System: BMS is an essential component for electric vehicles that monitors the voltage, current, temperature, etc. of a battery in real time to optimize the performance and life span of the battery.  When the BMS receives data from a battery cell, the electronic control unit (ECU) of the vehicle controls the power input/output according to the state of the battery cell. Most of the electric vehicles produced up to now have wired BMS’s on them. Multiple BMS’s are connected via copper cables (wire harness) inside a battery pack. Because of this, the cables and connectors occupy a significant portion of the battery pack's volume and weight.

    The key advantage of this wireless BMS system is the reduction of weight which is estimated to be as little as 66lbs of wiring in a subcompact EV to 198lbs in a full size EV. Everyone has complained about the bloat of EVs weight. This is the first solution that helps to reduce EV weight.

    LG Innotek developed this wireless BMS solution using Radio Frequency (RF) communication modules.  Some would say big deal as we already have wireless stuff. Others will be excited to learn that once you remove all that copper wiring, you gain space throughout the EV. Bigger yet is that the space you gain 10-15% increases the battery pack size and or gives additional space for added flexibility of battery pack design, battery pack structure and more.

    OEM adoption of a wireless BMS enhances the reliability of the EV still further. Cable or connector failure due to vehicle vibration is completely removed. This further increases reliability due to the assembly of battery packs can be totally automated by the reduction of battery cable connections allowing for further cost reductions in building EVs.

    Charging duration decreases as the voltage increases, all Auto OEM's have stated they will move too or are going to build on an 800V system for their EVs and thus they now have two options, the original wired BMS that LG has been building since 2020 or the new wireless BMS system starting today in 2023.

    Originally BMS systems were made up of multiple PCB boards of individual components, requiring more assembly and testing time for a finished BMS product. LG Innotek applied their decades of wireless knowledge in other products, especially RF communication to build a high-precision, high-density, multi-layer board. The RF communication module is composed of a four-layer board with dozens of wireless communication components, densely integrated into a single board. 

    LG Innotek designed a global RF communication module to work with their BMS module so it is compatible with all types of communication chips, allowing ease of integration by all Auto OEMs.

    LG Innotek has established a simulation, virtual inspection system to ensure inspection of the wireless BMS modules pass all required inspections for OEMs.

    Mass production of the Wireless BMS is estimated to start early 2024. Current prototype evaluation by Auto OEMs is ongoing now to allow testing of the system for roll out into production EVs at the same time the wireless BMS system goes into mass production. 

    LG Innotek has also stated that the Wireless BMS system will be used as a base starting point for an 800V EVCC or Electric Vehicle Charge Controller which is expected to be available soon after production of the BMS system. BMS and EVCSS market needs are expected to grow to significantly by 2030.

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    Excited that 800V wireless BMS is happening and even more excited that they are working on a Wireless Charging Controller. This is a true game changer for for EVs as this will truly make society so much happier when all they have to do is drive onto a matt that can wirelessly charge their auto.

    I am honestly surprised that Tesla has not thought of this or made it happen.

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    • Some interesting reading. Here's Why People Are Willing to Pay More for an EV - CNET The Real Costs of Electric Car Ownership - CNET Why I Don't Own an Electric Car Yet - CNET EV Charging vs. Gas: We Do the Math to See Which is Cheaper - CNET I will say that the last writing where people say installing a home charger negates any savings on charging versus gas buying. That might be true if they have been driving a Prius but for me that had an SS my wife drove spending $600 a month on premium fuel or $7,200 a year on gas, even if I had paid the cost of an Electrician installing a home charger rather than doing it myself as I wrote about here:   I am still coming out ahead on home charging with an EV that is roomy, comfortable and way better in many ways than my SS was.
    • Yes, that is correct, the miles between charging that has been driven by my wife. Correct, on your 265 miles statement. We are charging almost 100% at home as unless I go on a road trip, there is no need for local fast charging at this time since we can just come home plug it in and the next morning before my wife leaves, she has a full battery pack. So other than the Electrify America Charging in Yakima that we did when we went for cherries two weeks ago, all charging is at home.
    • Great writeup, David! It's much appreciated. On your screenshot of "Charging Activity" Is that the miles driven between those dates?  So, you drove 265 miles from the 5th to 10th and it cost you $9.22? Am I reading that correctly? And at 0.10/kw that's about 92.2kw used from the two dates?  What percentage do you charge to at home? Are you charging to 100%? 90%? 80%?
    • The grand plan was a separate new service to the house of 200 amps so that the garage would have plenty of power for charging multiple EVs and I would have a separate bill each cycle for knowing what I was spending for EV driving. Waking up in the morning to a full charge of power and never having to stop at a gas station due to having a Level 2, 240-volt home charger is a luxury everyone should have allowing you to smile as you drive by a gas station with folks outside dealing with their fueling. The ultimate perk of EV ownership.  I started with reaching out to my local utility and inquiring of the process for a new service. My local utility was more than accommodating in helping me out with the details. As an engineer that loves to learn, this process was very eye opening into the costs, lack of efficiencies by agencies and electrical contractors with a surprising ending to my eventual solution. Let's start off by making one thing clear, every state has their own regulations in regard to electrical. While the USA follows the national electrical code as a starting point, each state, county and city then adds their own additions or subtractions to the code. Always make sure to follow your local code no matter if you hire a company, independent contractor or are a DIY (Do it Yourself) type of person. Full information on the national electrical code can be found here:  The National Electrical Code (NEC) - Electrical Safety Foundation (esfi.org) Another thing to point out is every state has their own way of dealing with electrical supply and competition. As such, some states allow their end users to pick among competitive electrical suppliers even to the point of choosing to use Green Energy (Solar, Wind, and or Hydro) or not (Coal, Natural Gas, Nuclear). Other states tend to regulate this down to the city and or county within a state. 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Many utilities will have rebates if you purchase through your local utility or in the case of my own system, I had to file a rebate form as my charger was on the approved list, but not available from my utility. ChargePoint+ also points out that till 2032 you might be able to qualify for a $1,000 rebate from the federal government. Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Incentives | ChargePoint Now that I have covered some of the basics about electrical and power source, lets dive into my journey for a Level 2 Home Charger. Karl at the Snohomish PUD sent me a form that I had to fill out, this was a "New Service Residential Request" form. Here I had to fill out the normal details such as my house address, current status of the electrical to the home, type of new service being requested, pictures of where the service would need to be connected to the house and where I wanted the service panel to be, etc. This form had an area for requested measurements from the house to the utility pole, gross measurements of where the wiring would need to go so that the service could be sized up accordingly. The last part was the direction from my PUD on checking with the city for any additional requirements. For those wanting to see what the new service request form looks like I supply it here: 1097R_NSQres.pdf City requirements were that any electrical changes to the existing structure that comprised more than 10% cost of the home improvement value as assessed by the county required that the electrical lines from the utility pole to the house be installed underground rather than overhead. Luckily for me, my estimated costs would be under this so I was not looking to have to figure this into the cost of adding the service or so I thought. Karl at SNOPUD said he would do the assessment and have out to me the updated info shortly. In the meantime, I reached out to a couple of recommended electrical companies from the SNOPUD website and a few independent electricians to get estimates on the work to be done. Specifically, I wanted two quotes, first is the all-new service added to the house with dedicated panel feeding the garage. Second was updating the existing panel to support a charger in the garage using my existing service. Here I was expecting a $5 to $6 thousand dollar install connection for the first service and based on the auto industry estimate of around $1,500 to $2,000 for the second. Boy was I off by a bunch. All the estimates from both the electrical companies I contacted, and the independent contractors had the new service install between $10 to $12 thousand dollars and the existing services was between $4,700 to $6,200. This also did not include the connection to the PUD. Here I was informed from Karl at SNOPUD that the service could be done but would require a new transformer to our cul-d-sac to support the added amperage pull. As such, this was more than just a wire connection but an outage to the cul-d-sac ending in an almost $15,000 charge. Who knew that adding a service where you pay them for the flow of electricity would have such a huge cost and impact on my project. This put the cost of a new service between $25,000 to $27,000 dollars. So much for the Auto Industry estimates of $1,500 to $2,000 dollars and it also did not include the required $125.00 electrical permit I would have to get from the city and inspection. 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With this information, I researched from the ChargePoint+ website on installing the hardwired charger I had purchased from them. ChargePoint+ has installation videos and covers all the information on installation as well as becoming a certified installation expert. ChargePoint Home Resources | ChargePoint ChargePoint Home Flex (CPH50) Hardwired Installation Video | ChargePoint Become a Certified ChargePoint Installer | ChargePoint From the website above I gathered the following information on the materials that I would need. Conduit large enough to hold the wiring Brackets to attach the conduit and screws 90-degree wire access conduit Associated pipe nipple for connection into the panel Insulated bushing Appropriate washer and locknut for connection to the panel 6 AWG wiring Black, Red and Green wires per code ChargePoint+ clearly states to use 6AWG for their Level 2 Charger installation. 6 AWG wire stripper 70amp circuit breaker Some states require these to be Arc or GFCI for indoor or outdoor, national code for outdoor installation is a GFCI breaker upstream from the outdoor installation. Check local regulations for proper type required. Make sure to get the proper type of circuit breaker for your panel, I had D block circuits. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters vs. Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters - Bob Vila Torque Screwdriver set Most do not know that depending on the size of the circuit breaker, when you connect the wiring to the breaker, the screws must be torqued to a certain range. The 70amp circuits per the side of the breaker states 45 in. lbs. Paintable caulking to seal both access points into the house for the charger. With having my list of materials, I choose to first compare prices online from Home Depot and Lowe's. What I found was that Home Depot was much higher in the cost of the wiring, but cheaper in conduit, circuit breakers and accessories. Lucky, I have both home improvement stores within a 2-mile radius of my house. What I also noticed was that neither home improvement store had the required tools I would need, so clearly, I would have to stop off at my local Harbor Freight tool store. Harbor Freight Tools | Quality Tools, Lowest Prices With the knowledge of what I needed and a shopping list, I headed out and accomplished the following: Electrical Permit from my city.  Wiring from Lowe's - Lowe’s Home Improvement (lowes.com) Conduit, circuit breaker and accessories from Home Depot - The Home Depot Tools from Harbor Freight tools company - Harbor Freight Tools | Quality Tools, Lowest Prices Opening up the electrical panel as you can see here, I have my household 200amp circuit at the top. This will kill power to everything in the house, below this was the kitchen and laundry room 240V circuit and then on down throughout the rest of the house to the garage with various circuits. At this point, I knew that I would be turning off the 200amp circuit to work on this panel and protect the rest of the house. Note to point out is that when you turn off this 200amp circuit, the power is not flowing to the rest of the panel, but you still have the power coming from the street to this panel and so there is live electricity in that 200amp circuit. One must always be cautious when working with electrical. One safety thing to do, remove ALL jewelry, watches, phones, etc. Have nothing on you that is electrical or any kind of metal and that includes a wedding ring. All these are places that can cause an electrical jump / short that can cause you harm. As one that grew up working on auto's and having great respect for the electrical system of auto's, homes, datacenters, etc. there are some things that I do not have a problem doing. In this case I kept the power to the house on while I pulled the panel cover off. A proper panel should have all the wires in 90 degrees to the circuit breakers and to the grounding / neutral bars that are silver in this case. Here I have not had any manipulation of the box done with patchwork electrical hacks. It is always best to learn the details or hire the proper person to do your electrical work. Being that I am comfortable with pulling out the circuit breaker that is turned off, I choose to pull and replace the 240V 30-amp laundry room circuit. Here in this picture, you can see it removed and a better view of the grounding / neutral bar of the electrical panel. At this point, I wanted to pull out the punch of where I was going to run the new electrical lines into the panel. Once I pulled out the punch, I drilled a small starter hole from the inside to the outside so I could line up properly the larger drill bit for the incoming conduit. Upon drilling, I attached the pipe nipple extension to the 90-degree wire access conduit, and I inserted it through the outside wall. Here I put on the washer, lock nut and insulated bushing as you can see here. Now the next step was to install the conduit, some love their hard conduit and gluing it together as it comes in 10ft lengths, and you then have to either use a special heater tool to bend the hard conduit or buy the proper pieces that are curved. I choose to go with liquid proof flexible commercial conduit. The benefit here is that while this is a bit more expensive, the flexibility of the line makes it so much easier to install. One thing no matter what type of conduit you choose to use is that one has to run the electrical lines through the conduit. Hard conduit can be with tight bends very challenging to run the electrical lines unless you have a special tool that allows you to snake through the conduit, attach the electrical lines and then it uses an electrical motor to pull it. I choose to run my flexible conduit out in a straight line, and I had pushed through my three 6awg lines through it so that I had the wire already in the conduit. Now this does make the conduit much heavier to install, but I found it faster and easier to do it this way. You will also notice that I have a Black, White and Green wire rather than the code dictating a Black, Red and Green wire. Both Lowe's and Home Depot were out at the time of purchase the red 6awg wire. So, I did what is allowed and that is on the ends of the wire at both ends, I wrapped them with red electrical tape. I started with connecting the liquid tight end connector to the flexible conduit and attaching it to the 90 degree wire access to the panel. I pushed the wires through to the inside and reattached the liquid tight cover and then started using the brackets to attach the conduit to the house. Two things to consider, one is the over all look of the installation, sometimes the cheapest approach is not the best especially when it comes to ones significant other, wife, partner, etc., not everyone likes to see conduit. I choose to do my best to minimize the visibility of the conduit and once I paint it to match the house it will truly not show up as the wife never noticed it when she came home till after I showed here. Upon installation of the conduit with the 6 AWG wires, it was time to mount the home charger in my designated place. Here you need to make sure it is level, supported by the wall which can sometimes require additional bracing. Here you see my ChargePoint+ unit being installed on the wall. With the charger installed onto the wall, I finished up the connection of the conduit / wires into the unit. Connected the electrical supply side and the charging cable side and reinstalled the cover. With the installation of the charger unit and wiring done, it was time to focus on the circuit breaker installation side. Here I had an LED head light as I finally turned off the 200-amp circuit breaker to the house. I attached the red and black wires to the circuit breaker, installed the ground wire and then installed the circuit breaker into the panel. I also at this time wrapped each wire from the laundry outlet in proper electrical tap and a wire twist to add additional protection and secured them out of the way in the panel corner. I also at this time used my torque screwdriver to ensure proper torque on the wires. With the installation completed at the panel side, I turned back on the 200-amp circuit enabling the house to have power and was time to go enable the charger unit. Here ChargePoint+ has an outstanding cellphone app to enable you to finish up the setup of the charger. I was able to connect to the unit via WiFi and set the unit to 70 amp circuit hardwired. I also then connected it to my house WiFi for internet access. This allowed me to do a update on the unit for software. Here ChargePoint has on the left side of the unit indicators for WiFi connection. Green is good and as you can see in the picture above, I have WiFi connection and the alert is showing green so no issues with the charger. Upon using the regular ChargePoint software app on my smartphone I was able to complete setting up an account and final configuration of my charger as a home charger unit. The unit is green when not in use but ready to be used. During Charging the unit is a pulsing blue. At this point, I had a functional Level 2 240V 50amp hardwired home EV charger with CCS connector. What did this cost me, simple a total of $1,032.23 Level 2 ChargePoint+ Home Flex hardwired charger: $549.99 plus $54.99 sales tax before $200.00 rebate. Total Cost of Materials: $391.77 which was from Home Depot & Lowe's. Tools bought for the job: $110.48 which comprised of a 6 AWG wire striper and a Torque Screwdriver set from Harbor Freight. Electrical Permit: $125 from the city. Best part of this is the cheap charging we get at home at .10 cents per kW. The ChargePoint app allows me to track and monitor in real time our costs and amount used, so it will make it easy to subtract it from the electrical bill to see the house use versus the EV. The app shows that I am constantly at the 11kW controller capabilities of home charging from Kia. This brings me back to why I titled this the Good, Bad and the Ugly. New Service request is the ugly as the costs of the new service from my power supplier has costs that have never been talked about before to me and I still have to pay for the electrical use which makes this the ugly when you are looking at a five figure cost. The bad is clearly adding the new service panel and the associated costs to an electrical company to do the work, pretty much double what the auto industry has stated having a Level 2 home charger installed would actually cost. Good is for those of you who are willing to learn and do the work, a DIY install is in my humble opinion a very cheap way to go even though it did take a chunk of my time, I have no regrets about learning the process to install and dealing with my city on installation. End result is a quality home charger that will serve me well for many years. Please post any questions or comments, happy to respond on this personal journey into home charging of my EV. View full article
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