Batteries may now only require one voltage sensor, according to engineers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, which could reduce overall weight and costs.

The system – still at the prototype stage – could be relevant to electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

“Just like the cells, the sensors are a considerable weight and cost driver,” researcher Philip Dost explains. “Some industrial enterprises have already expressed their interest in our innovation.”

EV batteries generally consist of lithium cells which are easily flammable. Consequently, the vehicles’ technical components must be continuously monitored. Composed of individual blocks of up to twelve cells, EV batteries required a voltage sensor to monitor each cell.

The innovation has reduced the number of necessary current and voltage sensors to one a battery, regardless of its number of cells.

In addition, both sensors assume the function of cell balancing which ensures an even energy redistribution in the cells.

The system is said to be scalable which means it is not only suitable for batteries in electric vehicles but also works well in other battery systems, including mobile devices, wireless electrical tools, uninterruptible medical power supply systems, and in solar systems.