Samsung SDI Co., Ltd. (Yongin-si, KR)

A controller controls a battery module including many battery cells within the form of a housing. The controller has an control module that executes at least one function in relation to the plurality battery cells. It also has an access detection circuit with a light sensitive element within the housing. The circuit that detects access is to output an access detection signal when the intensity of light in the housing is greater than a predetermined threshold. When the access detection signal the controller can alter the status of the control module.

1. Field

Examples of embodiments include a control module for the system or module for batteries or battery module, or both.

2. Description of the Related Art

Rechargeable or secondary batteries may be recharged and discharged repeatedly using a reversible chemical to electricity conversion. Batteries that are rechargeable and have a low capacity are able to provide power to small electronic devices like cellular phones and notebook computers as well as camcorders and camcorders. Batteries with high capacity can be utilized as power sources for hybrid vehicles or other similar applications.

In general, rechargeable batteries could comprise an electrode assembly that includes a positive electrode as well as a negative electrode and a separator that is interposed between the negative and positive electrodes, a case for accommodating the electrode assembly,and an electrode terminal that is electrically connected to the electrode assembly. To allow charging and discharging of the battery the electrolyte solution may be in the container. This allows for the electrochemical reaction that occurs between the positive electrode and the negative electrode. The shape of the case, e.g., cylindrical or rectangular, could be changed according to the battery’s intended purpose. Lithium-ion (or lithium polymer) batteries, well-known for their use in laptops and consumer electronics can be used extensively in electric vehicles.

A battery module can comprise a variety of rechargeable batteries that are connected in series or parallel in order to generate an energy density that is high. This is advantageous in driving hybrid vehicles and motoring. The battery module can be constructed by connecting the electrodes of the plurality cell units in line with a specific power level and to create rechargeable batteries that are high-power such as those for electric vehicles. A number of such battery modules can be electrically and mechanically integrated. They may also include a thermal management system or a BMS as well as a battery management software (BMS). These systems are linked to one or more electric consumers to form an entire battery system.

To meet the power requirements of many electrical consumers, a constant exchange of data between the battery system and the controllers of electrical consumer may be necessary. This information may include the current state of charge (SoC) as well as the potential electrical performance, charging capabilities, internal resistance, current, or predicted excess power or power requirements. This information is processed by a battery management (BMS), battery manager (BSM) or a battery management unit (BMU). The BMS/BSM/BMU could communicate with the controllers of various electrical consumers using a communication bus, e.g., a SPI or CAN interface. The BMS/BSM/BMU could also communicate witheach of the submodules for batteries, e.g. by using the cell supervisor circuit (CSC) of each submodule of the battery. Thus, the CSC can be connected to a cell connector and a sensing unit (CCU) that connects the cells in the battery of the battery submodule. Forexample, the BMS/BSM/BMU may be provided for managing the battery pack, e.g., by protecting the battery from operating outside its safe operating area, monitoring its state, calculating secondary data, reporting that data, controlling its environment,authenticating it and/or balancing it.

A battery housing is an enclosure that seals the battery system against environmental impacts. It shields the battery from damaging substances, fire, and electric arcing. In the event of a battery failure. The battery systems may be assembled as a whole within their surroundings. the cells, electricinterconnectors, and the electronics, may be situated inside the battery housing. Therefore, replacement or analysis of the system components, such as for example, a battery cell or electronics, might require removal of the housing.

Reverse engineering is an approach to study the technology used in battery systems. In addition, the hardware or the software that runs the battery system could be manipulated in order to alter the operational state of thebattery system, e.g. or in order to increase the performance and/or to circumvent security safeguards of the battery system. For example, manipulation may decrease the lifetime of the battery system, and the battery might be unable to sustain energy and power more quickly comparedto normal use. It could be difficult to identify modifications when the previous version is restored back to.

Embodiments are directed at an electronic controller that controls batteries that comprise a plurality of battery cells within a housing. The controller can include an control module that can perform at least one control function for at least one of battery cells as well as an access detection circuit including an element that detects light inside the housing. A circuit for access detection could be utilized to create an access detection signal whenever the intensity of the light in the housing exceeds a predetermined threshold. The controller can change the state of the control module in response to this signal of access detection.

The controller can further alter at least one of a hardware state and an operating state of the control module in response alert for access.

The controller can store the access detection signal within its memory.

When an access detection signal is received, at the very least, one of the functions of the control module can be deactivated.

The control function of the control module can be enabled by an original equipment manufacturer.

The light sensitive element may be to output the light signal in response to a light incident the light sensitive element inside the housing.

The controller can also incorporate an element that detects the light signal, in order to determine whether the light intensity inside the housing is more than the predetermined threshold based on the light signal and then send the access detection signal when the light intensity within the housing is greater than the threshold set.

The controller could also include an element to set the state of the system to take in the access detection signal and to change the state of the control module according to the access detection signal received.

The controller may further include a power input to receive an operating voltage of the controller and to provide the operating voltage to the control module. The state setting element is comprised of a switching element that is connected to both the power input and to the control module. Its purpose is to make the switching element non-conductive once an access detection signal triggers it.

An access detection circuit might include at most one fuse. This fuse is non-conductive in the event that the amount of light that is reflected from the housing exceeds a predetermined threshold.

The sensitive part of the circuit for access detection could be used to provide power to set at most one fuse as non-conductive when the intensity of light in the housing is higher than the threshold that is set.

The light-sensitive element can consist of at minimum one of a light dependent resistor and a photo diode and a photovoltaic device.

Embodiments are directed towards a battery system. The battery system may include an element of a battery that comprises several battery cells housed in a container; and a controller that controls the battery module. The controller could comprise an control module that is able to perform at least one control function with respect to at least one of the battery cells; and an access detection circuit that incorporates a light sensitive element within the housing. The access detection circuit may be utilized to create an access detection signal whenever the intensity of the light inside the housing exceeds a certain threshold.

The controller might modify the state of the control module in response to the signal for access detection.

The embodiments are related to the operation of the battery module, which includes the controller as well as multiple battery cells in the housing. The method can consist of: performing at a minimum one control function in relation to at least one of theplurality of battery cells through the controller, detecting a certain light intensity in the housing by an access detection circuit in the controller; generating an access detection signal from the circuit for access detection whenever the intensity of the light in the housing is greater than a predetermined threshold; and changing the state of the controller in response to an access detection signal.

This could also comprise the following steps: Deleting at most one controller control feature when an access detection signal is detected, and enabling at least one controller control feature via an original equipment maker.

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