Prof. Torsten Wik is the head of Automatic Control at Chalmers University of Technology, and in his research he has been focused on energy and environmental applications. He is currently leading a growing group specialized on battery management research, with many projects in close cooperation with the vehicle industry.
The management of batteries for electric propulsion plays an important role for the vehicle performance and cost, and thus also for the rate of a transition towards a vehicle fleet free from fossil fuels. The most important task of the battery management system (BMS) is of course to guarantee safety, but within those bounds it should also perform calculations and instructions maximizing the batteries capacity in terms of energy and power, while minimizing the wear and degradation of the cells. This is indeed a highly challenging research task because the limits are set by cell interior dynamic conditions that cannot be measured and, therefore, need to be estimated from the limited information available in externally measured current, voltage and temperature. Consequently, the BMS must make use of mathematical models of the battery cells. The problem then is that no two cells are identical, they behave differently at different operating conditions and their behaviour also changes significantly with age. To cope with these difficulties we have successfully based our methods on adaptivity, which in this presentation will be illustrated with a couple of illustrative examples.