In recent months, the EV industry has come under the scanner for spate of fire incidents in two-wheelers and prompted the authorities & industry thought leaders to stress upon the needs for stronger safety checks. As many as 7000 electric two-wheelers have been recalled by the companies who have promised to fix any issues related to the batteries. Initial investigation conducted by Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) suggests lack of basic safety systems and no venting mechanism for overheated battery cells. This has piqued the interest of the industry for exploring more options and arrangements of electronic components used in the battery charging ecosystem of the vehicle.
The EV battery pack which comprises of multiple battery cells and a Battery Management System (BMS) is the heart of Electric Vehicles. The BMS manages rechargeable batteries and ensures that they operate efficiently and safely. The circuit board of a BMS, that includes several electronic components, adds specific values to the system contributing towards ambient temperatures of battery pack. This entire mechanism works in a confined space, hence heat management becomes very important for vehicle safety.
Taking the recent fire incidents into consideration, common sense says that there is an immediate need to address the heat management issue inside the battery pack and install proper cooling mechanisms. One way of doing this is to use superior electronic components that emit less heat and thus require a smaller number of accessories (which itself consume heat) to cool the system.
DC Power Relays are used in electric and hybrid four-wheelers and it’s about time that the two-wheeler industry takes more notice of their benefits. One would say that the battery space designated for four-wheelers is much bigger than two-wheelers however, DC power relays can also adjust to smaller spaces. If we specifically talk about OMRON’s Automotive DC Power Relays, they offer many advantages that make them the right fit for the two-wheeler industry. To share a few:
- Compact: 70% lesser volume than other power relays
- Ambient Temperature: Can handle temperature of up to 85 degree C
- Power Saving: 30% Less Power consumption
- Gas cooled arc : High pressure inert gas filling in the hermetically sealed chamber helps to quench the arc faster and conduct the heat more efficiently due to the high thermal conductivity of the gases.
- Magnetic arc control: By using permanent magnets, arc can be pushed away from the contact due to electromagnetic force based on Fleming’s left-hand rule.
Utilizing DC Power Relays for EV Charging Applications
Household electricity storage systems & bidirectional EV charging stations can also be equipped with DC Power Relays to store and encourage safe exchange of electricity from home to vehicle and vehicle to home but that is a topic for another day.
To sum up, the adoption of EVs is being encouraged by the government to safeguard environment. However, this should not come at the cost of endangering human lives. The need of the hour is to realize which technologies can contribute towards safe commute and with their many benefits, DC Power Relays are indeed a valuable investment to consider.
Mr Vinod Raphael
Country Business Head, OMRON Device & Module Solutions Business Division, India