Resolving Controller Space Community communications issues for power storage

Battery storage is essential to the transition away from fossil fuels to extra sustainable, renewable energy-based power techniques, and in some ways communication networking is the important thing to higher battery storage. Right here, the workforce from HMS Networks discusses the way it solved points related to Controller Space Community (CAN) communications for a buyer within the power cupboard space.

A battery power storage system (BESS), often based mostly on electrochemistry, is designed to retailer electrical cost by utilizing specifically developed batteries, in order that the saved power will be utilised later. Battery advances have now formed BESS right into a business actuality.

Whereas prices are nonetheless excessive in comparison with grid electrical energy, the price of power storage has been plummeting. There was a 50% lower in the price of power storage during the last two years. Many governments and utility regulators are actively encouraging the event of battery storage techniques with monetary incentives, which is prone to result in additional development.

A BESS integrates a wide range of disparate gadgets or subsystems inside a single software – from batteries used within the automotive sector to air con, air flow and hearth alarm techniques from the constructing sector and controls from the commercial setting. These subsystems are networked collectively utilizing a large number of various protocols.

Whereas these elements and subsystems are sometimes a great match for the meant software, speaking with them will be difficult when the interface choices are restricted interface or non-existent. Nevertheless, a majority of techniques will provide not less than a serial or CAN-based RS232/485 interface.

Due to their roots within the automotive phase, the battery packs utilised in BESS will usually present a CAN communication interface. CAN (Controller Space Community) is a bus-based system through which all nodes are related in parallel to a bus consisting of two wires, terminated at each ends with a resistor.

CAN-based communications points

Throughout the early-stage commissioning of 1 such multi-megawatt BESS undertaking, web site technicians recognized CAN-based communications points on the battery rack stage. This specific system networked a number of rack-level BMUs with a centralised “grasp” BMU utilising CAN with a purpose to facilitate a cheap large-scale deployment.

In a CAN community, particular design and set up necessities have to be met to keep up reliability and general communication stability. These embody the community size and topology, in addition to the cabling itself and the terminations. As a result of it’s essential that an equal sign stage is current in any respect nodes inside an outlined bit time, the full community size is restricted.

The corporate contacted HMS Industrial Networks to request help to troubleshoot and resolve the difficulty and obtain communications stability. Below its Ixxat model, HMS presents communication experience for a variety of customers, together with these within the power and automotive industries. HMS was in a position to successfully analyse and troubleshoot the prevailing system remotely and suggest a number of approaches in the direction of a decision.

HMS’ expertise in these conditions mixed with an in depth toolbox of diagnostic instruments and topology elements led to a profitable decision for the client and a profitable deployment of one other large-scale BESS.

Ixxat gives a spread of each standardised and customised software program and {hardware} allow secure and dependable communications based mostly on CAN, CAN FD and Industrial Ethernet, inside industrial automation gadgets, together with battery storage techniques, vehicles and medical gear. The vary contains gateways for sensible grid power techniques.

HMS’ ixxat merchandise for CAN-based networking and machine safety. Picture: HMS Networks.

On this software, HMS used digital instruments to allow distant troubleshooting assist to a web site midway across the globe. Particular CAN bus evaluation instruments included CANcheck and USB-to-CAN V2, mixed with the CanAnalyzer software program interface.

For error evaluation, the distant buyer carried out sign measurements on the bus and checked the wiring. Working collectively, systemic physical-layer issues have been recognized early. By analysing the CAN waveforms, it was proven that the community instability was because of extreme capacitive load mixed with sign reflections.

Widespread contributors to such signs are

  • use of non-conformant cabling
  • cabling size being exceeded
  • lack of adequate shielding/grounding.

The whole bodily cabling size of this method was roughly 115m. Whereas a 500 kbit CAN community usually can obtain lengths of 100-110m, the underlying points on this method restricted the size much more, earlier than energetic error frames appeared.

As well as, system rewiring and cable substitute was not potential because of undertaking necessities and bodily limitations. The intuitive alternative – implementing CAN repeaters to “prolong” the community – was additionally inapplicable for this method: though CAN repeaters do present bit-wise refreshing of sign ranges, their sign propagation delay time successfully solely provides size to a line topology community.

So, a unique method was wanted!

Clever CAN bus segmentation

The HMS workforce proposed segmenting (sub-dividing) the general community, utilizing CAN topology elements to enhance the sign high quality.

The bigger CAN community was intelligently divided into a number of, shorter segments utilising two-channel CAN bridges, which supply extra exact segmentation of the community, with two repeaters for sign refreshing. This allowed every sub-segment to keep up the meant baud charge together with the remainder of the general bigger community. As well as, electrical disturbances are additionally not transmitted throughout the CAN bridge, additional enhancing the general sign high quality on all segments.

“It simply took a number of weeks to finish the job from begin to end,” stated Thomas Conz, Product Line Director at HMS Networks, based mostly in Ravensburg, Germany.

“We utilized our downside fixing capabilities and took the client step-by-step with us to resolve the issue remotely. So it took us roughly two weeks to do the investigation part with the client, per week to ship the machine over and one other week to examine that the answer was working correctly. Thereafter, the answer may very well be mass deployed and our buyer was in a position to make the ultimate buy-off of the system.”

Thomas Conz sees quite a lot of potential for BESS prospects to enhance their effectivity in creating, commissioning and deploying their BESS techniques onsite. Safe connectivity between batteries and the cloud can assist to develop new income streams for BESS, together with fast-response communication with sources of renewable power, akin to wind generators.

HMS’ Thomas Conz says the workforce was in a position to rapidly resolve the client’s points. Picture: HMS Networks.

Why it’s best to select HMS Networks because the dependable industrial connectivity answer supplier in your BESS:

  • Identification of system weaknesses on bodily layer with direct strategies for enhancing communication reliability
  • Price-optimisation of system design for future deployments
  • Complete community well being evaluation by the HMS assist workforce and subsequent software of the suitable topology options enabled sturdy and dependable CAN BMS communication for the client of their grid-scale BESS deployments
  • Clear understanding of when and learn how to apply varied CAN bus topology options (repeaters, bridges, gateways)
  • Single companion for international assist companies, in addition to intensive product portfolio


Deploying and commissioning dependable, large-scale CAN-based BMS networks

On-demand webinar: Fixing clever networking and information communication challenges for Battery Power Storage Programs

Community topologies and properties in addition to networking methods in BESS functions
Inner Ixxat doc –

Measures to scale back EM interference and safety in opposition to overvoltage for CAN community elements
Inner Ixxat doc –

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