In a major step forward for Lithium Boost Technologies Inc., the company was recently granted patent number 9,213,066 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for components in its golf cart battery charger and lithium Battery Management System (BMS). The patent was necessary to protect Lithium Boost’s innovative method of determining voltage in lithium cells and individual chargers meant for use in golf carts, low-speed electric vehicles (LSVs) and neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs).
Multiple Cell Voltage Measurement
Lithium Boost Technologies is one of the top developers and manufacturers of lithium-ion batteries for golf carts, LSVs, and NEVs, and on January 27, the company was granted a U.S. patent titled Multiple Cell Voltage Measurement, which is a unique system for measuring voltage in lithium-ion cell chargers. The Chargers, however, are only one component of the company’s proprietary BMS technology that allows both new and old applications to make use of highly efficient lithium-ion batteries rather than bulky, inefficient lead-acid batteries.
The innovation of Lithium Boost’s patent is that it is a system that has the capability to monitor the voltage of individual cells in a lithium battery pack as opposed to the battery pack as a whole. The system is comprised of special components set inside individual cell chargers for the specific purpose of measuring voltage while maintaining a simplified wiring scheme. The voltage measurements are monitored by the BMS so that it can take the necessary actions to prevent cells from over-discharging while in use. This is essential for the system to use the maximum amount of stored energy without compromising the overall lifecycle of each lithium cell.
Patent Overcomes Several Challenges
The primary objective of the development of the now-patented BMS technology, which the company calls “optimized balancing lithium-charge technology,” was to discover and implement the tools necessary for detecting when individual cell voltage hits a preset limit. Perhaps the greatest obstacle to achieving this was measuring each cell’s voltage as the common-mode voltage is high or in fluctuation. Another challenge that had to be faced was the different charging rates that each cell has because of differences in chemical characteristics and manufacturing processes.
One of the solutions to the above problems was to use the existing wires in the golf cart battery charger for sending and receiving information concerning voltage levels. To do this, the developers had to build special circuits into the chargers that permit them to connect to any cell, thus eliminating the risk of errors from the measurement wiring. This method allows users to install easily the Chargers, troubleshoot problems and replace the BMS as needed.
“We’re excited to have the patent issued as our lithium-powering solution based on this innovation has been successfully installed in hundreds of low-speed electric vehicles such as golf carts, utility fleets, neighborhood transportation and hunting vehicles from various brands, including E-Z-GO, Bad Boy Buggy, Polaris, GEM, Club Car, Yamaha and Columbia Parcar,” said John Wade, chief engineer at Lithium Boost. “We are constantly striving to improve further our products with additional innovative techniques that can enhance the performance of low-speed electric vehicles and other emerging lithium-ion applications.”
About Lithium Boost
Lithium Boost Technologies is an innovative developer of integrated lithium-ion battery systems for golf carts, LSVs, NEVs and other emerging applications using LiFePO4 cells. The company is based in San Diego, California, and was founded in 2011 by a team of veterans in the golf cart industry. The performance-optimized system created by Lithium Boost includes both the smart BMS and individual chargers that effectively and efficiently monitor lithium batteries to harness maximum power from the prismatic LiFePo4 cells.
The complete system is known as LithiumBoost Plus, and it is available in three configurations: a 36-volt system using 11 cells at 60ah, a 48-volt system with 15 cells at 40ah and a 48-volt system utilizing 15 cells at 60ah.