Li-ion 48V Mild Hybridization Solutions in Lead-Acid Battery Form Factor

June 06, 2019 by Scott McMahan

Hella has released the new products Dual Voltage Battery Management System and PowerPack 48V, battery module solutions for partially electric cars, known as mild hybrid vehicles. The company says that the new solutions enable savings of 5 grams to 6 grams of CO2 per kilometer and thus help to achieve CO2 targets in the short term.

Beginning in 2020, newly registered vehicles in the EU will not be allowed to exceed a limit of 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer.

"However, the internal combustion engine will not disappear overnight. In order to achieve the specified limit values, the vehicles must be electrified," said Björn Twiehaus, Head of Product Center Energy Management and member of the Executive Board of the Electronics business division at Hella.

Hella developed the Dual Voltage Battery Management System for the compact and mid-range class. The system allows internal combustion engine vehicles to be converted to a mild hybrids. It combines the traditionally separate core elements such as 48V battery, 12V battery and voltage transformer (dc-dc converter) within a single product in the form factor of a conventional lead-acid battery.

This form factor makes it easy to integrate the system into the existing vehicle architectures. An additional advantage is that the Dual Voltage Battery Management System eliminates the need for a lead-acid battery in the car. The innovative system consists of lithium-ion cells that are switched intelligently depending on the application. Therefore the capacity can be applied in 12V or 48V vehicle electrical systems.

Hella has designed the PowerPack 48V for vehicles in higher power rating classes. It brings together a 48V lithium-ion battery pack including battery management and dc-dc converter.

In addition to the 12V battery, the PowerPack 48 is also drawn into the vehicle. It enables hybrid functions including recuperation (ability to recover energy while braking) or active coasting (the internal combustion engine is switched off while driving). Other functions for luxury class vehicles include automatic climate control, ambient lighting, and active chassis control.

The new products primarily serve the growing market of 48V mild hybrids. According to studies by the London-based analysis company IHS Markit, the annual share of new registrations in this market segment will rise worldwide from 6 million in 2020 to 35 million in 2030. "Hybridization with 48 Volts is particularly promising because it requires only minor intervention in the vehicle architecture while also offering efficient energy recovery methods and improved energy efficiency," said Twiehaus. "With the new products, Hella is actively advancing the technology and enabling customers to enter the field of electric mobility."