Battery Emulator Testing vs. Real Battery Testing
There are 3 key benefits to testing battery characteristics by battery emulator or battery simulator testing, rather than using a real battery. Emulating a battery dramatically reduces testing time, provides highly repeatable test results, and creates a safer test environment. This results in preparation time, operator errors, and result variations due to battery temperature or aging, being eliminated.
Battery Emulation Reduces Testing Time
Testing a real battery often requires operator preparation for each step. Batteries must first be charged, or discharged, then allowed to rest, and finally tested. The significant battery preparation time can be avoided by using an emulated battery. Emulation can reduce total test times by more than 70%.
Battery Emulation Provides Repeatable Test Results
Over time, batteries provide inconsistent test results, wear out, and need to be replaced. Battery age, internal temperature, and cycling are all contributing factors to the limited battery life-span. Manual battery operation, including rest time facilitation, can also cause inaccurate test results. Battery emulation provides consistent and repeatable test results, unlike those from real battery testing, during which battery changes and operator errors cause variations in test results.
Battery Emulation Improves Safety
Although batteries are generally safe when operated within normal operating ranges, they are high energy devices that may pose serious risks upon battery or unit under test (UUT) failure. Such risks include exposure to dangerous gases, fires, explosions, or corrosive chemicals. These concerns have led to safety policies stating that tests must be conducted and monitored during working hours. Furthermore, testing extreme cases of over-discharged or over-charged batteries can pose unpredictable risks and safety hazards.
Battery emulation creates a safe testing environment without any of the concerns that arise when real batteries are used. Also, emulation safely verifies UUT behavior when a battery is outside a normal operating condition.
While testing with real batteries is possible, it can seem quite impractical. Using battery emulator or battery simulator testing produces test results faster, provides a consistent test, and can safely test power electronic devices that typically require a real battery. Contact NH Research, Inc. to further discuss how removing real batteries from existing test fixtures will improve both safety and repeatability in testing.