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How to keep up when measuring the Evolution of battery technology


As a professional in battery development, it is essential to perform cycling and stress testing before installing batteries in electric vehicles (EVs) or other products. Testing and monitoring help ensure functionality, reliability, safety, quality, cost, efficiency, and power quality.

In this blog post, we will provide easy-to-understand tips on effectively measuring the evolution of battery technology.


Perform Cycling and Stress Testing

Before batteries are installed in EVs or other products, it’s important to perform cycling and stress testing. Cycling tests involve repeatedly charging and discharging the battery to assess its performance, while stress testing checks the battery’s response under extreme conditions, such as high temperatures or heavy loads. These tests help ensure optimal battery performance and should be done throughout the value chain, from the individual components to the complete battery pack. Central data logging and control of your climatic chamber, loads, and even cameras help you detect fast when performance losses occur or component breakage up to thermal runaways happen.


Optimization of the Battery Management System (BMS)

Optimizing the BMS is essential for better performance and system lifetime. The BMS should accurately measure the full current range, from standby levels to hundreds of amps. A high-quality analog-to-digital data acquisition concept is crucial for quickly covering this wide measurement range. BMS data validation and hardware testing should be performed to ensure safety margins for high C charge/discharge rates are understood and maintained.


Full Data Access Across the System Lifetime

Full data access helps identify the root cause of battery pack degradation and detect any changes in temperature distribution. Access to raw data allows you to spot trends and quickly react to potential issues. Gantner supports all leading protocols and is compatible with top inverter suppliers, making remote monitoring and control seamless.


Maintain Your Own Independent Track Record

An independent data set is essential for tracking the BMS, battery behavior, and lifetime performance. Regularly maintaining and updating this data set ensures it accurately represents the battery’s performance over time. It gives insights on where to optimize algorithms and processes to maximize lifetime.


Further Risk Reduction and Insights with Impedance Spectroscopy

Impedance spectroscopy offers additional insights by non-destructively evaluating changes and drifts in the chemical process and series production. This technique can detect issues caused by material layers, charge transfer, diffusion effects, or electrolyte conductivity. It helps you find the equivalent circuit and understand process parameters through measurable quantities.


Why Choose Gantner Instruments for Battery Testing?

After understanding the importance of cycling and stress testing, upgrading infrastructure, and optimizing the Battery Management System (BMS), you might wonder which company can provide comprehensive battery testing solutions. Gantner Instruments offers cost-effective test and measurement solutions tailored for various industries, such as electric and hybrid vehicles, utility and renewable energy support, stationary power, portable electronics, medical tech, and telecommunications. Our commitment to assisting customers in transitioning to a sustainable future makes us an ideal choice for all your battery testing needs.

Comprehensive Battery Evaluation: Electrical, Thermal, and Mechanical Testing

With Gantner Instruments, you can access testing solutions that cover all development and qualification steps:

  • Charge/discharge cycle testing: Evaluate the battery’s lifespan by assessing its performance after repeated charging and discharging cycles.

  • Battery model development: Determine and predict State of Charge (SoC) and State of Health (SoH), conduct constant discharge testing, and analyze charge/discharge rates and efficiency.

  • Safety (Abuse) testing: Simulate various environmental conditions and battery failure scenarios to identify the limits of safe battery operation.

  • Performance testing: Our experts customize testing programs to suit specific customer requirements, such as testing battery efficiency under different climatic conditions.

  • Environmental and thermal testing: Assess the quality and reliability of your battery by conducting tests for vibration, shock, EMC, thermal cycling, corrosion, dust, salt, and humidity.

  • Transport testing: Ensure safe transportation of batteries, modules, and cells by conducting tests that comply with United Nations requirements (UN 38.3).

Learn More About Our EV and Battery Testing Solutions

Our high-voltage testing solutions, including the Q.series X DAQ system, ensure optimal performance and safety of electric vehicles and their components. Explore our range of services tailored for the rapid evolution of battery technology.


Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) for Battery R&D and Production

Gantner Instruments also offers impedance spectroscopy, which analyzes capacity, cycling lifetime, shelf life, current carrying capacity, low-temperature performance, and impedance of materials synchronously with other measurements, such as temperature and strain gauges.


Adherence to Industry Standards

Numerous standards exist in battery testing to ensure safety and protect the battery from misuse. Test fields can range from the cell level to the module and up to the complete battery system. Typical test requirements include mechanical handling, vibration, shock, and electrical tests like short circuits or overvoltage.Gantner Instruments is involved in numerous applications for ECE R38.3 (battery transport test), ECE R100 (tests for homologation for traction batteries), and ISO 12405 (performance tests on battery systems). Our flexible and highly accurate Q.series X system can measure and process voltages in the low-voltage range up to the high-voltage range ±1500V with our latest development, the A128 plus. Current can be measured with both shunts and current transducers (CT). To easily connect current transducers with secondary current output, we have designed our Q.raxx slimline A127-2CV.






Q.boost Power Analyzer is a top-of-the-line analog signal chain

Q.boost is the perfect tool to measure and analyze voltage and current signals in pulse-width modulated systems (e.g., electric drives). Boasting an impressive 4 MHz sampling rate per channel and 1.7 MHz bandwidth, the Q.boost Power Analyzer offers a noise floor below -140dB, 34dB better than the competition, and less than 3 ppm total harmonic distortion (100x better than any other device on the market). It includes four high-voltage input channels (up to +/-1500 VDC) and four inputs for current transducers (e.g., LEM IT, IN, LF series, or from Danisens). It has a built-in bipolar power supply system for current transducers (no other power supply system and wiring needed). Interfaces for current transducers with voltage output or for shunts are also available. The Q.boost power analyzer is available in two casing types: Portable and rugged solution with left and right handles called Q.brixx and a 19” Rack variant (4U).

With the Q.boost power analyzer, many values like power, power factor, total-harmonic distortion (THD), and many more can be calculated with GI.bench on your Windows Computer or computer-independent on the Linux-based controller, Q.core. With the Q.core, the calculated values can be transmitted via CAN Bus to an automation System (EtherCAT Interface coming soon). The raw voltage and current values are always available and can be accessed by our open API.

For easy connection of torque sensors with frequency outputs, the system provides 2 inputs for frequency measurement. Speed sensors (Tachometer) can be connected to the two counter inputs.

Gantner Instruments is your one-stop solution for all battery testing needs, including cyclic, climate, and abuse testing. We provide everything necessary to measure and test the complete EV drive train, offering the highest accuracy in voltage, current, temperature, and strain measurements without compromising safety. Our solutions also incorporate temperature measurement at high potentials, camera integration, and power analyzers. All measurement signals and video streams are synchronized, ensuring precise data for variables such as voltages, temperatures, currents, vibrations, and shocks. No matter the norms and standards your project demands, we offer dependable data acquisition solutions for single or multiple test chambers. Choose Gantner Instruments to guarantee top-quality testing and reliable results for your battery development projects.


Conclusion

Effectively measuring the evolution of battery technology requires performing cycling and stress testing, upgrading existing infrastructure, having the flexibility to measure new technology advancements, optimizing the BMS, maintaining full data access across the system lifetime, keeping an independent track record, and using impedance spectroscopy. By following these easy-to-understand tips, battery developers can ensure optimal battery performance and safety, helping to drive the growth of the electric vehicle industry and other battery-powered products.


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