A Lithium-Ion Battery Current Estimation Technique Using an Unknown Input Observer

Daniel C. Cambron, Aaron M. Cramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Current consumption measurements are useful in a wide variety of applications, including power monitoring and fault detection within a lithium-ion battery management system (BMS). This measurement is typically taken using either a shunt resistor or a Hall-effect current sensor. Although both methods have achieved accurate current measurements, shunt resistors have inherent power loss and require isolation circuitry, and Hall-effect sensors are generally expensive. This paper explores a novel alternative to sensing battery current by measuring terminal voltages and cell temperatures and using an unknown input observer to estimate the battery current. An accurate model of a LiFePO4 cell is created, validated, and then used to characterize a model of the proposed current estimation technique. Finally, the current estimation technique is implemented in hardware and tested in an online BMS environment. Results show that the current estimation technique is sufficiently accurate for a variety of applications, including fault detection and power profiling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7831448
Pages (from-to)6707-6714
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 IEEE.


  • Battery
  • Hall-effect
  • LiFePO
  • battery management system (BMS)
  • current estimation
  • lithium-ion
  • parameter estimation
  • shunt
  • state of charge
  • unknown input observer (UIO)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Automotive Engineering


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