Test & Measurement

EA Elektro-Automatik: battery test system with high power density

13th September 2023
Sheryl Miles

EA Elektro-Automatik, a specialist manufacturer of DC programmable power supplies, bidirectional power supplies, and regenerative electronic loads, has announced a compact, automated battery cycler and test system that will enable manufacturers to better test EV batteries as the industry evolves to higher power battery technologies.

The 10300 Series ATE system offers power density: 300kW in a single 42U-high rack that consumes only 6.5 square feet of production-floor space. Users may parallel racks for up to 3.84MW of testing capability. This advance is a significant advantage for the industry, where production floor space is at a premium or just unavailable.

The new series offers an unbeaten 2,000 VDC capacity for testing high-voltage battery packs, a level of test performance that is out of range for most competitive systems. In addition, each rack can supply and sink up to 2,400A per rack, and the system offers up to 30,720 A total capacity. This facilitates battery pulse testing, which may require exponentially higher current than the battery AH rating.

Until now, the only way to get this performance was to build and maintain an expensive custom system. In contrast, the off-the-shelf 10300 Series is a complete COTS turnkey solution. In addition to battery cycling, tests include drive cycle simulations, and insulation resistance. The test system can control an environmental chamber and communicate with a battery management system through the CAN bus interface.

Included drag-and-drop system software enables quick and easy test setup and execution. Many other suppliers charge extra for software, which may require coding to update tests.

Significantly, the new battery test system is priced about the same as competing systems that offer lower capacities and far less than the cost of integrating a custom test solution.

“As consumers demand EV batteries with higher storage capacities, producers need test systems with higher power capability. In addition, the new hydrogen fuel cells coming onto the market will require even more,” said Eric Turner, Americas Director of EA Elektro-Automatik. “Voltage levels as a result are increasing; in some cases, power grid batteries need to be tested now at 1,500 volts,” he added. “The introduction of the 10300 Series now means there is a production battery test system that is finally capable of meeting emerging voltage and power demands.”

Cool, efficient, fast operation

The 10300 Series ATE test system is based on EA Elektro-Automatik’s bidirectional power supply featuring SiC-based switching that provides cool, efficient, and fast operation.

The system returns absorbed power to the grid with up to 96.5% efficiency, which can save thousands of dollars per year in air conditioning costs compared to other systems.

System slew rates are at least twice as fast as other systems, enabling more precise testing.

Fast data acquisition rates up to 1.5kHz capture events that other test systems miss.

True autoranging smooths testing

In addition, the system’s bidirectional power supplies have true autoranging output for both sourcing and sinking. True autoranging allows a wider range of voltage and current, plus the ability to deliver and absorb full-rated power down to 1/3 of the maximum rated voltage. The 10300 Series system can perform a cycling test without requiring interruption to allow the system to change range as battery pack voltage ramps up or down.

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