EV Batteries & Powertrains Increase in Power Levels
As the electric vehicle (EV) industry continues to accelerate, automotive engineers must address new testing challenges for designing higher performance batteries, electric powertrain systems, power electronic components and DC fast chargers. Power levels are increasing across e-mobility markets such as passenger electric vehicles, heavy duty electric trucks, and electric fleets. These market trends require test solutions that can test today’s technologies and tomorrow’s innovations.
Power and voltage levels are transitioning from a traditional 300/400VDC level toward 800/1000VDC. Higher voltages permit faster charging and increase power transfer while reducing vehicle weight. For example, in 2019 most available BEVs were similar to Tesla’s Model 3 and GM’s Chevy Bolt, with a nominal voltage of ~350VDC, whereas Porsche announced the Taycan architecture utilizing a higher 800VDC battery system. This higher voltage allows nearly three times (3x) the additional power to be transferred for the same wire size. Porsche demonstrated this with an IONITY system charging at 350kW, which is nearly 3x the 120kW available through other “fast” supercharging networks.
It is expected that both 800V and 350V vehicles will charge at an electric-only refueling station the same way gasoline and diesel cars do today. Engineers should keep this dual-voltage reality in mind when specifying the power requirements because many of the high-power test systems are only designed for a single range. Selecting a system that can provide both traditional and high-voltage levels ensures that the right equipment is available to meet current and future needs. It is equally important that a battery emulation system reacts with a quick voltage response to changes in current or power draw in order to accurately simulate the electrical storage system (battery).
Auto manufacturers have dramatically increased the relative capacity of the battery packs in their vehicles to reduce “range anxiety”. For example, the 2019 Nissan Leaf has a 50% larger battery compared to older 40kW models, and Tesla’s Model S offers a 100kW battery, that is 66% larger than the original standard-sized battery. Battery capacity and battery performance are always improving, suggesting that engineers must consider flexibility and programmability in selecting a battery test or battery emulation solution.
EV Testing Requires Modular, Scalable Test Solutions
NHR Provides Modular, High Voltage Bi-Directional Power up to 2.4 MW
NHR’s ev test equipment is designed for fully independent operation and can be paralleled, increasing the maximum power and current capability to the level required. This modular expansion through paralleling ensures that you can start testing to today’s application levels, knowing that additional power is available if needed in the future. Higher-power models provide dual ranges, allowing the equipment to test and emulate today’s batteries and provide the right tool that can scale to address increases in battery voltage and power.
The 9300 High Voltage Battery Test System has a dual power range that covers both lower (up to 600 V) and higher power (up to 1200 V) applications using a single product. This modular system can be scaled up to 2.4 MW in 100 kW building blocks, offering a wide operating envelope. With NHR’s battery emulation mode, customers are able to simulate a wide range of battery power levels without having to change test equipment. Alternatively, the 9200 Battery Test System has a multi-channel capability with the possibility to mix and match voltage and current levels at lower power ranges. This battery cycler and battery emulator is expandable in 12kW block sizes and has voltage options from 40V to 600VDC. This series uses the same drivers, touch panel controls, and software options, making NHR your ideal solution partner for both high-power and low-power EV architectures.
- App Note: Electric Powertrain Test Solutions
- On-Demand Webinar: Electric Powertrain Next Gen Test Solutions
- Webpage: Electric Vehicle Test Solutions