Energy Storage Testing Solutions

Modular Solutions for Testing Energy Products

NH Research, Inc. (NHR) is a worldwide supplier of industry leading energy storage testing solutions. We provide instruments and systems for the testing of batteries, fuel-cells, super capacitors, and similar energy storage devices as well as the electronic systems which use these accumulators including chargers, electric-vehicle (EV) power, battery management systems (BMS), critical power systems (UPS), Energy Storage Systems (ESS), grid-tied inverters, and more. Customers look to NHR for superior performance, ease of use, faster slew rates to match today’s technology, reduced testing time, improved safety, and energy savings. Our instruments and test systems use a modular approach to meet today’s energy storage testing requirements while being flexible and expandable for the future.

Fully integrated test platforms are implemented using our Enerchron® Test Management Software. Enerchron® can dramatically reduce time spent developing test programs and post processing. This powerful yet intuitive software tool controls and synchronizes any combination of testing devices including: NHR’s hardware devices, communication (CAN, Modbus, LAN, Serial), other commonly required equipment (data acquisition, relay controls, chambers/chillers), and more. NHR best-in-class instruments are available and are supplied with fully documented drivers allowing for easy in-field upgrades or for use of our hardware devices in existing test systems.

Energy Storage Testing Solutions - NH Research, Inc. (NHR)

NHR Products     3rd Party Instruments     Sample UUTs

NHR’s energy storage testing solutions deliver the power, precision & flexibility needed to meet and exceed your testing needs.

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Energy Storage Battery Testing Products

Battery Module & Battery Pack Cycling Solutions

Battery cycling solutions from NHR are constructed using modular approach as shown in the figure below. The solution typically includes Enerchron® test management software along with one or more NHR’s cyclers. These systems are customized by adding communication controllers (CAN, Modbus, Serial, etc.), data acquisition (voltage, temperature, pressure, etc.), chambers/chillers, external IO (relays, digital, PWM), DC Sources, and DC Loads. This modular approach provides the equipment needed to meet today’s energy storage testing requirements while allowing the system to be easily expanded or modified to meet future testing needs.

Enerchron® provides an intuitive control interface for managing all the devices; logging measurements which are time-stamped and synchronized; and use any measurement as a control point within the test sequence. It has never been easier to report CAN/BMS data or use this data to control the test itself.

Energy Storage Testing for Battery Module/Pack Cycling - NH Research, Inc. (NHR)

Figure 1: NHR’s modular approach allows customization to your testing needs

NHR supplies a wide range of cyclers which may be used as the main power stage. These devices are designed with high precision and fast rates of change making them ideal for drive-cycle (FUDS, US06, NEDC), grid-cycle (time-shift & frequency regulation), cycle-life, and similar battery testing.

Battery Draw-Down & Fuel Cell Loading Solutions

Loading solutions such as battery draw-down or loading of a fuel cell (Fig. 2) may use one of the NHR’s cyclers or any of NHR’s DC Electronic Loads as the main power stage. Like the battery cycling solutions described above, these solutions may be customized by including supporting devices such as relays, loads, and measurement.

Battery Draw Down Fuel Cell Loading Testing - NH Research, Inc. (NHR)

Figure 2: Loading Solutions: Battery draw-down or loading of a fuel cell

NHR has supplied customized solutions for automated testing. Enerchron® with a DC Load, DAQ, and relay controls providing an easy-to-use system for automating the example draw-down sequence:

  • Step 1: (Relay) Connect a standard charger to the battery
  • Step 2: Automatically Record the chargers profile
  • Step 3: (Relay) Disconnect the charger (at charge complete)
  • Step 4: Draw-down the battery with a simulated usage profile

Replacing Batteries in Test (Battery Emulation)

Replacing actual batteries with a simulated battery significantly reduces testing time, improves safety, and provides more repeatable test results. In fact, NHR pioneered the use of a programmable series-resistance along with a true 2-quadrant voltage source for replacing batteries in test. Common applications include testing EV onboard chargers (OBC), Industrial chargers, automotive generators, DC motor systems, grid-tied inverters, as well as the simulation of an aerospace DC-bus.

Battery Emulation Test Solutions - NH Research, Inc. (NHR)

Figure 3: Battery = RINT + VSOURCE

See NHR’s Testing Without Batteries application note for more information.

DC/DC Power Conversion Testing

DC/DC Power Conversion is quite common in today’s electric products. For example in electric vehicles (EV), an Accessory Power Module (APM) is a DC/DC converter that adjusts the high voltage battery to a usable voltage for other vehicle systems. Many DC/DC converters are bi-directional allowing a high-voltage battery to charge or receive power from a low-voltage bus.

Regenerative DC DC Testing - NH Research, Inc. (NHR)

Figure 4: Energy recycling (regenerative)

NHR’s battery emulation devices are configurable through software to act as a power supply, load, or emulate a battery/DC-bus thereby allowing the engineer’s time to be focused on testing the product and not the test equipment.

Charger Testing (AC to DC)

Testing a charger often requires both an AC power source and a DC load (Fig. 5). Simulating facility power with an AC source allows the engineer to adjust the input frequency, voltage, and simulate power line disturbances. For Bi-Directional chargers the configuration is very similar to grid-tied inverter testing. Please see the grid-tied section below for additional information.

NHR manufactures DC loads and Battery Emulators (described above) allowing the energy to be drawn from the charger.

Regenerative AC DC Testing - NH Research, Inc. (NHR)

Figure 5: Charger testing using an AC power source and a DC load.

When a regenerative load or battery emulator is used, the power being supplied to the battery from the charger is captured, converted back to usable AC, and returned to the facility. In this way, the total facility power required to conduct the test is reduced.

Grid-Tied Inverter Testing (AC to DC)

Grid-tied inverters come in many forms. A partial list of these devices include: Critical-power systems (UPS), Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) found in electric vehicles (EV), solar inverters (PV), and energy storage systems (ESS). NH Research, Inc. provides energy storage testing equipment for grid-tied inverter testing that can simulate both the utility connection and the energy storage device.

Grid Tied Inverter Testing - NH Research, Inc. (NHR)

Figure 6: Simulating utility power draw & utility power regeneration

Using a grid-simulator allows the engineer to adjust the input frequency, input voltage, simulate power line disturbances, and allow power to flow in either direction.

Simulating the DC side with a battery simulator (described above) allows simulation of any battery state of charge (SOC)/state of health (SOH) allowing the inverter to be fully tested.

In summary, the 9410 Grid-Simulator is used to simulate the utility connection while a 9200 or 9300 Series Test System may be used to emulate any energy storage system. This combination provides customers with a complete solution to verify product performance and ensure compliance with IEEE 1547, UL 1741, and similar grid-tied standards around the globe.