A couple of weeks ago Nuvation’s product management team asked me to start preparing some marketing materials for our new “gen 4” battery management system (BMS). Finally, it’s time to start talking about it! It’s been a while since we released a new “ready-to-ship” product, and we already have interested clients asking for more information. This is a true COTS battery management system – and it’s chemistry-agnostic, scalable, and configurable.
The new BMS is designed with a modular architecture (there are different physical BMS modules you can put together in a custom configuration for your target system) that makes it scalable for uses ranging from large electricity grid energy storage systems, large datacom/telecom systems like cell towers, and industrial transportation platforms such as tow motors, naval vessels, and mobile robots. We addressed safety by creating a fault tolerant fail-safe design with built in redundancy, and choosing processors with strong noise immunity.
But for me, the coolest part of this battery management system is it includes a Wi-Fi module, and we made an iPad app for it, so you can monitor the battery’s state of charge and other data remotely, on your iPad!
That’s all I can say for now (oops, did I accidentally leak a new impending product launch? Companies never do that, except by accident!). Stay tuned for more updates as we ramp up for a product demonstration at The Battery Show in Novi, Michigan this September.
Nuvation recently developed a product for a client that was a high-quality audio recording device with an integrated microphone. Our client needed their device to have a high dynamic range and low noise, but also a low production cost. During the design phase we used engineering best practices to maximize the dynamic range and minimize the noise, and we selected the most cost-effective components that would meet the client’s product requirements.
We could get a ballpark estimate of a the system’s performance using datasheet specifications and engineering analysis, but to accurately assess whether the design met dynamic range and noise specifications required complete system testing. This type of testing can be performed in an anechoic chamber, but for this situation renting and transporting all the equipment was cost prohibitive and too time-consuming. Read More
SoC FPGAs enable engineers to take advantage of the flexibility of FPGAs while leveraging 3rd party IP cores, reducing component power consumption, and simplifying engineering requirements. The design flow of an SoC FPGA can reduce engineering efforts by as much as 30% calendar time and 35% engineering cost compared to standalone FPGA and FPGA/MCU configurations.
Allan Dubeau, Principal Design Engineer at Nuvation will be delivering a webinar with experts from Altera and ARM, comparing the design flow of an SoC FPGA to that of a traditional FPGA.
Join us on Thursday May 8 at 11am Pacific Time / 2pm Eastern Time for this inside look into how SoC FPGA architecture can reduce both design and product costs.
Last week we attended EE Live with our design partner Atmel, as part of the Atmel Tech on Tour series. Nuvation CEO Michael worry gave presentations on autonomous vehicle technology advancements, as well as the importance of battery management systems. EDN wrote a great article about Nuvation and Michael’s talks here.
If you missed it, you’ll be able to catch another live demo of the Nuvation battery management system at The Battery Show in September. Check out our News page for more details.
Looking for FPGA companies? Our articles about FPGA project development have been some of the most popular on the blog. Here is a recap of our top 3 FPGA design posts. Is there another topic you’re interested in? Leave us a comment!
Verifying a video design in an FPGA can involve writing tedious video test inputs and expected outputs. Our FPGA engineers developed a simulation tool in C++ called the Computational Model. See if this approach will work for your next FPGA design!
Are you using a virtual machine for your FPGA development? Here are 4 ways VMs can improve security and FPGA design efficiency.
Any electronic product design that uses 4K video will need to solve unique memory and video interfacing challenges. FPGAs are a perfect solution! Find out how the processing power and architecture flexibility of the latest SoC FPGAs can be applied.
Nuvation CEO Michael Worry will be speaking at EE Live! 2014 in San Jose, as part of the Atmel Tech on Tour series. Michael will taking part in the Tech Talks by the experts, discussing battery management system designs and the latest advancements in autonomous vehicles.
Nuvation supports development of Ambri’s custom battery management system (BMS) to move their Liquid Metal Battery one step closer to commercialization.
March 25, 2014, Sunnyvale, California. Nuvation Engineering has helped develop a battery management system (BMS) that will enable Ambri to demonstrate a large-scale prototype Liquid Metal Battery grid-scale energy storage system. Ambri’s revolutionary new battery chemistry consists of earth-abundant materials and is designed to provide a low cost solution to the challenge of intermittent power availability in regions with wind and solar resources.
“The Liquid Metal Battery is an innovative solution that is unlike any other storage technology commercially available or in development today,” said Dr. Donald Sadoway, Ambri’s Chief Scientific Advisor. “It can be used in a multitude of applications on the electric power system to integrate renewable resources, reduce costs and improve reliability. Dr. Sadoway pioneered Liquid Metal Battery technology at MIT with David Bradwell, a Ph.D student at the time and now CTO and SVP of Commercialization at Ambri.
“We approached Nuvation when our product development had advanced to the point where it was time to build and operate larger systems – this required a BMS that more closely resembled what would be deployed in the field,” said Dr. Bradwell. “We were looking for an engineering firm that possessed both electronic design and BMS expertise. Nuvation’s structured approach and relevant experience was essential to developing a custom BMS that met all our needs; it immediately became an invaluable tool in this very exciting phase of our product development.”
“Since Ambri’s Liquid Metal Battery is still in development, they needed a BMS that could combine the standard monitoring and diagnostics functions of an off-the-shelf BMS with the flexibility to test a variety of configurations and cell interactions.” said Michael Hermann, Vice-President of Engineering at Nuvation. “Nuvation is delighted to have played a part in the development of this innovative energy storage solution.”
About Nuvation Engineering
Nuvation Engineering is a North American electronic product development company that performs all aspects of device development, from initial design to volume production, across all market verticals. They are partnered with leading component manufacturers and have been delivering high quality solutions to leading product manufacturers for 17 years.
Ambri (formerly Liquid Metal Battery Corporation) is developing an electricity storage solution that will change the way electric grids are operated worldwide. Ambri will enable the more widespread use of renewable generation like wind and solar, reduce power prices and increase system reliability. Ambri’s technology — the Liquid Metal Battery — was invented in the lab of Dr. Donald Sadoway, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Joseph Xavier, Marketing Manager
Little-known fact: St. Patrick is the patron saint of engineers! It’s unclear exactly why, but engineering schools all over the world observe the day with great revelry. What are you doing to celebrate today?
Nuvation has completed a number of 4K video projects for industries ranging from consumer electronics to defense and aerospace. Although the design requirements vary greatly, an FPGA can be a great architecture choice whether you’re capturing, streaming, processing, or transcoding your video. Here are three common design challenges that can be solved using an FPGA.
4K Video Challenge #1: Frame Buffering
Frame buffering is required for any 4K video application where a frame delay is required in the processing pipeline. Some typical situations include H.264 encoding, frame rate conversion, and video warping. External memory is required to store and retrieve these frames.
As video frames get larger, the bandwidth required to transfer frames to external memory increases. The diagram below shows a typical 3D video example where both left and right video inputs need to be buffered to support side-by-side, top-bottom, quad-frame, and frame interleaved video formats.