The Battery Testing Lab of EnergyVille has recently been extended with a state-of-the-art Battery Tester from the manufacturer PEC, the SBT15060. It is only the second Tester of this type to be put into use worldwide. The SBT is a 16-Channel Battery Tester, ideal for testing and evaluating batteries for electric vehicles (xEV) as well as industrial battery modules and packs up to 150 Volt. The Tester is designed for both laboratory and production scale applications, proving that it can work 24/7 in our laboratory.
“As the request for battery performance tests by the industry around us is continuously growing, more test channels are highly needed. This test machine is to support the industry in electrifying applications with the help of battery based energy storage. By means of the machine, we can evaluate the battery performance and make the right battery choice for the manufacturer”, battery researcher Grietus Mulder (EnergyVille/VITO) explains.
“Until now the Battery Testing Lab was limited to 80 V for most of the battery module test channels. Higher voltages are needed nowadays since more cells are placed together in one module. This allows using less modules in the final application for the same amount of energy. That is why PEC just enlarged its range with this tester. These tests continuously discharge and recharge modules with different electric profiles and dissimilar depths of discharge. The decrease in capacity and increase in resistance, but also heat release are followed up. This Battery Tester will enable us to find the optimal balance between lifespan of the battery and its performance. Not only do we perform tests tailor-made for the client, but due to our involvement in battery standardisation committees we know the latest test prescriptions for many application fields. This information is also made accessible to the industry by our website ‘BatteryStandards.info’.”
To test the battery modules, control of the ambient temperature is prerequisite as well. Batteries can age much faster at elevated temperatures, already from 40°C onwards. This sensitivity is battery manufacturer dependent and is not found on the datasheets. Tests are therefore needed before a battery-equipped product goes into production. For outdoor applications cool temperatures must be applied as well. Since we mostly test several modules in parallel there is a need for a multi-compartment temperature chamber.
Grietus Mulder: “We listed the battery modules on the market and derived the needed compartment size. However, this did not match the size of battery packs placed in passenger cars that are 2m long, 1m wide and only 20 cm high. Therefore, we wrote out a tender prescribing that the compartments should also be able to be connected to one large room giving space to these mentioned EV packs. The tender was won by Van den Berg Klimaattechniek and they built a custom-made temperature chamber for us. The needed advanced control for this chamber is directly developed by control equipment manufacturer JUMO since it is beyond classic temperature control.”
The Battery Tester and the temperature chamber are a welcome addition to the advanced equipment already in place in the lab, which enables EnergyVille’s experienced researchers to perform performance and lifetime tests according to any customer specified profile. Rather than starting from standard testing capabilities, we focus on the needs of our clients in order to equip our labs with the most advanced material to suit their needs. With the acquisition of these two testing instruments we can position ourselves as the leading battery lab in Belgium and one of the top battery testing facilities in Europe. Our researchers have elaborate experience with battery testing and further growth in versatility is envisaged.
Are you interested in making use of the battery testing capabilities of EnergyVille? Our staff of highly skilled engineers and technicians help you to translate evaluation results into advice for a specific product or business. Reach out now to find out more!