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The Battery Control Module – the heart of the Battery Management system

Experience perfect control and reliability with Volvo Penta’s new comprehensive Battery Management system

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Battery Control Module

Experience perfect control and reliability with Volvo Penta’s new comprehensive Battery Management system – a safe and easy-to-use control system for the boat’s batteries. With the Battery Control Module (BCM) acting as a hub the boat’s entire electrical system will be both more reliable and easier to monitor. You’ll need one for each engine. The BCM contains a number of inputs, outputs and built-in electrical components that handle the power supply to the engine and accessory consumers on-board. Basically the system consists of one or more BCM-units to which batteries and power consuming devices are connected. Batteries may be start- or consumer batteries. power consumers may be start motors, instruments, bow thrusters and different accessories. The battery supply switches for the consumers can be operated locally on the BCM, via the Battery Management Display or via an external button panel.

Each driveline’s start battery/engine shall have at least one BCM connected to ensure redundancy and maximum availability.

Technical outputs
Weight 4.3 kg
Dimensions (W x D x H) 360 x 98 x 255 mm
Battery inputs 2
Continuous Rating 300A (600A when both channels used in parallel)
Intermittent Rating 500A in 5 min at 70°C(1000A when both channels used in parallel)
Supply Voltage 4-32V
Power Consumption – Awake < 6W
Current Consumption – Asleep < 1mA
Operating Temp -30°C ≤ T ≤ 85°C
Ignition protected ISO8846/ SAE J1171 MARINE

The BCM is the heart of the system

The BCM contains two battery channels with main switches (300A continuous, 600A peak). One Cross-Over switch, enabling one battery to borrow energy from the other. All three switches are of solid-state technology ensuring optimal durability and reliability with minimal voltage drop without relays or moving parts. The BCM also contains a main fuse holder. Battery charge distribution, the engine alternator is connected to the unit that automatically distributes the energy to both battery groups. Battery Isolation, ensures that the battery channels are isolated to prevent drainage. There are two constant outputs, 20A. To provide easy installation of constant loads such at bilge pumps that need access to power even when all main switches are off.

Technical documentation
pdficonInstallation and Operation – Battery Management System English
pdficonInstallation instructions – Battery Control Module English

BCM switching functions

Battery 1 +In: Switch for battery 1 (usually between the start battery and the starter motor). Connection to EVC systems (if installed).

Battery 2 +In: Switch for battery 2 (usually switch between accessory battery and accessory devices i.e. fridge, lights and other electrical equipment)

Cross Over: Cross over function, connects switch 1 to switch 2 i.e. when in need of emergency start support. Connect both “Battery 1 +In” and “Battery 2+In” for full functionality.

NOTICE! Battery 2 switch may not be used for the engine’s start battery.

Frequently asked questions

Can I mix Battery Management with other types of main switches?

Yes and No. Battery Management requires one BCM per engine as minimum. Each BCM provides two battery channels. If these channels are not enough additional BCM units can be added. If you do not want to add an additional BCM unit or if the number of channels are still not enough you can choose to use another type of main switch. In some installations it might be beneficial to use BCM units for the engine/engines and aux group but another main switch for the bow thruster. Note that this “other” main switch will not be accessible from the Battery Management system but has to be controlled by other means.

Can I use one BCM unit to operate the two starter switches in my twin engine installation?

No. For safety and redundancy reasons you need one BCM unit per engine. It’s not allowed to connect two different start motors on the same BCM

Can I connect my bow thruster to two available channels in different BCM units?

No. For reliability reasons it’s not allowed to connect any load/consumer to more than one BCM. If your bow thruster requires more than 300 Amps continuously during use, it need an own BCM where both channels are configured to control the same load/consumer. If your bow thruster requires less than 300 Amps continuously, one BCM channel is sufficient.

Can I mix Battery Management with my old “traditional” main switches?

Yes and No. Battery Management requires one BCM per engine as minimum. Each BCM provides two battery channels. If these channels are not enough additional BCM units can be added. If you do not want to add an additional BCM unit or if the number of channels are still not enough you can choose to use “traditional” main switches.  Note that the “traditional” main switch will not be accessible from the Battery Management system but has to be controlled manually.

Can I mix different battery types in the system?

It’s not recommended to mix different battery types (e.g. lead-acid, Gel, AGM) on the same BCM since they normally requires different charging voltage.

Can I mix 12V and 24V in the system?

It’s not allowed to have different system voltage on the BCM channels, i.e. 12V and 24V. If you need a system with mixed voltage levels, make sure to get them separated and isolated from each other, so that you do not cross-over between the two groups for example.

Note: the Battery Management products are the same for 12 and 24 Volt, i.e. the same BCM will work for both 12V and 24V batteries but they are not to be mixed on the channels.

Can I use the BCM to switch on negative (-) battery side?

No. It’s not possible to use the BCM main switches on negative (-) battery side. The BCM unit need a battery minus reference to it’s BATT- input and battery plus connection to its BATT+ input in order to be powered.

How many keys can I have to my boat?

You can have up to 4 keys (e-Keys and/or e-Key Remotes) in one boat system

Can I mix e-Key and e-Key Remote in the same boat?

Yes. You can have up to 4 e-Keys of your choice. I.e. feel free to mix between ordinary e-Key and the e-Key remote. They all contain a unique ID that is paired with your EVC system, your Volvo Penta EVC boat will normally be delivered with 2 e-Keys (key tags without buttons). And if you order Battery Management with remote control you will get 1 e-Key Remote in the kit (if you don’t order extra keys). Now you have 3 keys and are welcome to add another one or replace any existing e-Key with e-Key Remote.

What happens if I lose a key?

If you lose an e-Key you shall remove it from the list of valid e-Keys so that the key no longer have authorization to your boat (to ensure continued theift protection). Buy a new e-Key and add it to the list. As long as you still have one valid e-Key you can easily remove and add other e-Keys to the Battery Management system. If you lose all your e-Keys you need to contact a Volvo Penta Dealer in order to “reset” your system.

Does Battery management only work together with Volvo Penta engines?

The Battery Management system can be installed in any boat, no matter engine make. Battery Management can be installed as a stand-alone system. However, if the boat is equipped with Volvo Penta engines and Electronic Vessel Control of model year 2016 or later (EVC-E3 or later) it can be connected to the AUX network and work as an integrated part of the vessel control system. This is required in order to have the e-Key Remote connected to the ignition system and also to enable monitoring in the ordinary user displays at the dashboard.

If you do not find answer on your Battery Management product related question in the list above, or if you have other feed-back on the product, please provide us your input in the text form below.

Build your own system

Experience perfect control and reliability with Volvo Penta’s new comprehensive Battery Management system – a safe and easy-to-use control system for the boat’s batteries. Try our web-based configurator by following the button below to build your own Battery Management system customized to your own boats specifications. When you are done, you will get a flowchart of your installation that you can print, download and save or e-mail.

Build your own system