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Electric Car Battery Packs: A New Power Source

Electric car battery pack

Electric vehicles meet many different needs. 

A mode of transportation first and foremost, they’re a green-friendly means to get from point A to point B. A major step that boasts zero emissions, they’re a win for the environment. They’re also a giant leap toward eliminating a global fleet dependent on fossil fuels. 

Unlike their predecessors with an internal combustion engine (ICE), EVs bring something new to the table that’s poised to be a bonus selling point: a major portable power supply. And no, we’re not talking about an EV acting as a source to charge a cellphone.  

With advances in battery technology and storage capacity, electric vehicles take energy stored within their batteries wherever they go. That energy, which is enough to power a house for a few days, can be used as a mobile power generation unit of sorts, bringing electricity along without the headache and noise of gasoline generators.

As a mobile power bank, electric car battery packs utilize sophisticated sensor control and energy management systems that allow them to draw power from the local power grid, and can also push energy back to the grid, as well as providing A/C plug power directly from its battery and inverter. Paired with the appropriate sensor technology, electric vehicles open new doors to remote and emergency power supply that’s efficient, safe, and long-lasting.

4 Applications Where Energy from EV Battery Packs Makes a Difference 

EV batteries do what combustion engine vehicle engines can’t: provide quiet, clean electricity at a moment’s notice wherever they are, and in many cases, without requiring special tools or training.

And like a generator, EV batteries bring electricity to places where a functional power source is absent. EV battery packs serve a host of applications, including: 

  1. Power outages: Depending on the vehicle, an average-sized (think: sedan), fully charged EV has 60-100 kilowatt-hours of power within its battery. During a power outage, the stored energy translates to 1-3 days of energy needs for the average household. 

  2. Emergency operations: From the site of a major catastrophe to a rescue operation in a remote area, an EV provides precious power to emergency responders. Just like powering a house when electricity is out, an EV’s energy helps keep operations up and running when and where it’s needed the most.

  3. Construction: You can’t have power tools without power. But what happens when there isn’t a power source nearby or one that’s immediately available? While EV cars and trucks provide another means to charge or run tools, larger electric utility vehicles include a power bank to supply heavy equipment with energy.

  4. Leisure: Getting off the grid doesn’t always mean going dark. An EV’s power can mean the difference between a long and comfortable foray away from society to one that’s a little too rustic. For large campers, EV battery power can support RV “boondocking” without the noise and smell of portable generators.

Optimizing EV Power Transfer With Sensor Technology 

Just as an EV needs monitoring when receiving power, it also needs monitoring when it’s providing power. 

Regardless of the direction of energy flow within an EV battery pack, responsive thermal management is the #1 issue. Electric vehicle sensors make it possible to maintain peak battery performance when an EV is serving as a power source, providing information on critical temperatures, voltage, and current in the system.

EV batteries, inverters, and transformers operate optimally within a temperature range of 15-45°C. Outside of that range, the battery can lose efficiency when too cold or hot.

Whether receiving power or providing it, overheating is the primary concern with electric vehicle battery thermal management. As with charging and propelling a vehicle, EV batteries and inverters give off heat when providing power -- especially when converting electricity from one form to another, such as D/C to A/C. If temperatures in the cell increase beyond 70°C, internal degradation can occur, releasing flammable gases and potentially starting thermal runaway. Once thermal runaway starts, it spreads and is extremely difficult to stop.  

Sensor technology actively keeps battery pack thermal management systems engaged during the entirety of the power transfer. 

Monitoring other elements of the pack’s cooling system for performance, sensors alert users to water intrusion, coolant or electrolyte leaks or other malfunctions in their early stages that could otherwise go unnoticed. More advanced sensors allow for enhanced real-time monitoring of thermal management systems, even to the extent of sending text messages to the vehicle owner should something start to go wrong. 

Preventing temperature spikes is only one part of thermal management for EV batteries used as a mobile power source. In colder environments, EV batteries need to be brought up to at least 15℃ to function properly. Just like turning on an EV battery pack’s cooling systems, electric vehicle sensors can activate internal heating elements to bring systems up to the minimum temperature for operation. 

EV Energy: Versatility in Motion 

Representing the marriage of technology and transportation, electric vehicles are breaking new ground in mobility, bringing with them features previously impossible with ICE cars and trucks. 

They’re more than just a means of moving people and things between destinations -- EVs take versatility to a new level. With sensor technology, the additional functionality of an EV and its battery packs, such as providing a mobile power solution, is dependable and safe.

Trying to Find the Perfect Sensors to Integrate Into Your EV’s Design? 

Our engineers can help! Schedule a consultation to discuss your EV sensor needs today.

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