Rechargeable Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery power for industrial motive applications, such as those used in material handling and ground support aviation equipment, require large battery arrays supported by a Battery Management System (BMS) that must communicate via a Controller Area Network (CAN) bus communication to optimize battery utilization. Dual CAN enables Green Cubes’ Lithium SAFEFlex batteries to communicate to both the industrial truck that is powered by the battery and the charger that charges the battery, Green Cubes explained.
While CAN messaging for a charger interface and a vehicle interface is possible with only a single transceiver on the BMS circuit board, it is not optimal or efficient for industrial trucks like forklifts, pallet jacks and reach trucks. Adding a second CAN transceiver to a BMS consumes a lot of overhead in terms of circuit board, software, firmware design, testing and integration, according to Green Cubes. In Green Cubes’ solution, the BMS comprises dual CAN transceivers; a first CAN transceiver for the lift truck, a second CAN transceiver for a charger, and a computer program operable to communicate with both that toggles back and forth between messaging states to improve battery operating efficiency. The use of two transceivers along with accompanying software provides the BMS with improved ability to determine baud rate settings automatically. This eliminates the need for a common baud rate between vehicle and charger
“As the only manufacturer of both Li-ion batteries and chargers for material handling equipment, it is imperative that we provide seamless integration with robust communication between the lift truck, the Li-ion battery and the industrial charger in order to optimize performance,” said Nicola Cinagrossi, Chief Technology Officer of Green Cubes, “the use of dual CAN transceivers represents a breakthrough in the approach to this complex problem.”