Capacity and Life Estimation of Flooded Lead Acid Batteries using Eddy Current Sensors
Lead acid batteries are widely used in domestic, industrial and automotive applications. Even after lot of advancements in battery technologies, lead acid cells are still in use because of their high capacity and low cost. To use any battery effectively, first we should be able to identify the available capacity or State of Charge (SoC). There are many techniques available to measure SoC of a lead acid battery. One such unique method is to measure the capacity using eddy current sensors. This method is unique because it is non-obtrusive and online. Eddy current sensors (ECS) are wire wound inductors which work on the principle of electromagnetic induction. Eddy currents are the currents generated on a conductive material when it is kept in a varying magnetic. Eddy current sensors generate varying magnetic eldest and will be able to identify the properties of conductive materials like thickness, conductivity, material composition etc. Also they can be used as proximity sensors. Lead acid batteries use lead metal as cathode. Upon usage(discharge) the lead metal converts to lead sulfate and revert back to lead after charging. These changes in lead electrode can be monitored using eddy current sensors. The impedance of an eddy current sensor will change when it is kept close to the lead electrode when the battery is charging or discharging. These impedance parameters can be monitored to determine the battery SoC. When lead is deposited on cathode, there will be more eddy current loss in the target and the total resistance of coil increases. On the other hand, when lead is deposited on the electrode because of increase in the magnitude of eddy currents which oppose the source magnetic, the total inductance of coil decreases. We can observe exactly opposite behaviour of coil resistance and inductance when the lead electrode is converted to less conductive lead sulfate. There is a lot of research on using ECS to measure SoC of lead acid batteries and there are still many challenges to be addressed. First we have explained about different circuit designs we have used to monitor the battery capacity using eddy current sensors. After that, we have explained about our complete experimental setup and the procedure to measure the sensor parameters using the setup. Then, we have discussed about different issues involved in the eddy current sensing based state of charge measurement. Eddy current sensors are affected by temperature variations. We have studied the coil resistance behaviour with temperature at different frequencies using simulations and experiments. We have obtained the conditions for linear variation of coil resistance with temperature. The measured temperature compensation scheme is applied and the results are discussed. We have also modified the measurement system design in order to minimize the lift o errors. We have used a metallic clamp structure to minimize the lift o errors. We have used finite element analysis based simulations to study different design parameters and their effect on the sensitivity of eddy current sensor. We have created 2D eddy current models and the sensitivity of coil resistance is computed by changing the coil dimensions and the core permeability. We have also performed error analysis and computed the error due to the tilt angle shift between coil and electrode. We have also computed the error due to the internal heating of battery. We have also studied the effect of acid strati cation on state of charge for both sealed and hooded batteries. We have proposed a multi coil method to minimize the errors in SoC measurement due to acid strati cation for Flooded type batteries. We have used finite element analysis based simulations to compute the error due to acid strati cation by increasing the number of coils. Finally we have derived the equation for electrode Q factor using the transformer model of eddy current sensor. The derived Q factor equation is then used to study the aging of lead acid batteries both by using experiments and simulations. Finally we have explained a detail procedure to measure the state of charge(SoC) and state of health(SoH) of a hooded lead acid battery using eddy current sensing method.
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