Electrical & Computer Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



2012 Twenty-Seventh Annual IEEE Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition (APEC); doi: 10.1109/APEC.2012.6165857


Many electronic systems such as robotics, battery powered electric vehicles, and mobile computing devices are powered by multi-cell battery with limited energy capacity. Therefore, maximizing the battery performance such as operating time, available capacity, and lifetime is one of the major battery design challenges. Traditional approaches such as dynamic power management to maximize the battery discharge performance have treated multi-cell battery as a pure passive component with a fixed configuration. Thus, the multi-cell battery performance is determined by the weakest battery cell, leading to a low utilization of battery energy. In this paper, we propose a novel multi-cell battery design to dynamically reconfigure the cell topology of a multi-cell battery, which also interacts with the power management module of a battery-powered system to maximize the battery discharge performance. Then, the dynamic reconfiguration problem of the multi-cell battery is formulated as a Lagrangian Relaxation problem and solved by dynamic programming. Both simulation and experimental results show that the proposed design can significantly enhance the multicell battery operating time and useable capacity. Moreover, the proposed design can automatically exclude the failure or malfunction cells through reconfiguration, which can greatly improve the multi-cell battery safety.