Brill Power, an Oxford University spin-out, launches ‘intelligent’ battery management system

Brill Power

Brill Power, the Oxford University spin-out, has launched the first of what it says is a new class of ‘intelligent’ battery management systems (BMS) which could revolutionise the performance of stationary energy storage systems to power the future of our homes and businesses.

Brill Power says that its “breakthrough technology” will increase battery life by up to 60 per cent, boosting storage capacity by up to 129 per cent, increasing systems uptime and drive down the lifetime operating costs for energy storage systems.

Energy storage solutions have to date relied upon either passive balancing or more costly active balancing options in order for batteries to operate safely and efficiently. Brill Power’s intelligent battery management system represents a shift forward for battery performance without reliance on advances in materials or cell chemistry.

Brill says it has solved the challenges of performance, lifetime and safety of series-connected battery cells that have previously been defined by the weakest cells in the pack, through a patented approach to optimised cell-level current control – and designed the hardware and software to implement it. Proprietary algorithms determine the state of health and power capability of every parallel-connected cell block in the battery and novel control circuitry regulates the electric current accordingly. Stronger cell blocks are exposed to higher currents and weaker ones to lower currents. This ensures that every joule of energy is extracted from each individual cell during every discharge cycle. As a result, no single cell limits the energy storage capacity, power capability or lifetime of the battery system.

Brill’s Batter ManageMent System also enhances  Firstly, levels of reliability and uptime are drastically enhanced since faulty battery cells and modules can be bypassed and replaced while the battery system remains fully operational. Secondly, with regulated battery output voltage, the battery can also be directly connected to other power sources or loads in the system, such as solar photovoltaic arrays or electric vehicle chargers without the need for a costly DC/DC converter or charge controller. And in addition to these multiple benefits, Brill Power’s BrillMS B62 Premium BMS enhances safety through cell-level protection that prevents currents exceeding safe limits and any cells approaching hazardous conditions can be isolated.

Brill Power’s Chief Technology Officer, Damien Frost said, “Our patented control concept ensures that every single Joule of energy is used during every single discharge cycle. This means maximal performance, lifetime and reliability.”

Christoph Birkl, Brill’s Chief Executive added, “Brill Power’s novel BMS technology brings step-change improvements to batteries, previously only thought to be achievable with innovations in materials or chemistry. The BrillMS enables battery system developers to create the safest, most reliable battery systems while ensuring the lowest possible cost of ownership for their customers.“

The BrillMS B62 Premium is the first in a series of novel BMS product launches from Brill Power intended to transform both the stationary energy storage market as well as the motive application of battery cells in electric vehicles.

The project is founded on over a decade of PhD research into battery degradation, battery modelling and power electronics by Brill Power’s engineering team while at the University of Oxford. Brill Power was formed to commercialise this know-how in 2016 and is backed by University of Oxford and supported by Oxford Science Enterprises, Oxford Investment Consultants, Skunkworks Investment Corporation, Innovate UK, the EIT Climate-KIC, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Advanced Propulsion Centre, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Carbon Limiting Technologies.