Battery-protection IC reduces costs in hybrid and electric vehicles

The newly released MAX11080 is a high voltage, 12-channel battery-protection IC for high-cell-count lithium-ion battery stacks. As a stackable fault monitor, this device provides redundant cell monitoring to prevent Li+ batteries from exploding due to thermal runaway. Up to 31 MAX11080s can be daisy-chained together to monitor as many as 372 cells. This capability prevents cascading electrical failures and eliminates the expensive isolation components required by discrete solutions. In a typical hybrid car, this solution reduces the cost of the battery-management system (BMS) by up to 80%, according to company officials.

Offering high accuracy, ultra-low power consumption, built-in safety, self-diagnostic features, and plenty of configurability, the MAX11080 solves the problems associated with safely monitoring large battery stacks. It is suited for a spectrum of battery applications including automotive, industrial, power line, and battery backup, and consumes 75% less space than discrete designs.

The MAX11080 has 16 selectable overvoltage thresholds, as well as eight selectable undervoltage thresholds. The undervoltage-detection feature can be disabled if desired. The device includes a programmable detection-delay feature that allows the user to filter out transient events in the battery pack to eliminate false overvoltage or undervoltage alarms. The alarm line operates using a 4 kHz heartbeat signal, the absence of which indicates a valid overvoltage or undervoltage event. These features are critical for discriminating between legitimate and false alarms, preventing the application from shutting down unnecessarily.

For more information, visit Maxim Integrated Products.

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