Power Electronics Test Systems & Instruments - NH Research (NHR)

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles Test Equipment

Fuel Cell Test Solutions

NHR offers advanced, high-performing fuel cell test solutions including fuel cell life-cycle testing and fuel cell emulation for FCEV powertrain applications or electric propulsion. Key test equipment considerations for fuel cell testing include regeneration and fuel cell emulation capabilities described below.

Regeneration Capability

Regeneration is an important technical consideration for testing fuel cells and systems. Unlike batteries, fuel cells are dependent on hydrogen gas that gets delivered to the fuel cell and converted into electricity through an electrochemical process. In order to test fuel cell components or systems, companies typically use hydrogen fuel to produce electricity which gets burned off for the purposes of testing. This approach results in increased fuel costs, energy consumption and heat waste that magnifies when tests need to be repeated. Regenerative loads and sources recycle energy back to the facility or to the UUT for re-use. As a result, major benefits include increased energy efficiency, reduced testing time, improved worker productivity, and eliminates unnecessary operating costs.

Fuel Cell Emulation

There are many benefits to testing fuel cells by emulating, or simulating, fuel cell characteristics rather than using a real fuel cell stack. Fuel cell emulation dramatically reduces testing time, provides highly repeatable test results, and creates a safer test environment. Testing with a real fuel stack requires the hydrogen fuel to be delivered to the fuel stack, allowed to rest and finally tested. The significant fuel cell preparation time and costs can be avoided by using an emulated fuel cell stack. In many applications, fuel cell emulation will substantially speed up development time, reduce cost and increase energy efficiency. For example, a typical FCEV has hydrogen tank that stores hydrogen fuel which gets delivered to the fuel cell and converted into electricity. The fuel cell stack can be emulated for testing other system level components of the FCEV such as the powertrain. This capability to emulate a fuel stack removes a great deal of time and costs.

NHR Fuel Cell Test Solutions

NHR’s 9300/9200 Bi-directional Source is ideal for testing energy storage applications including all types of battery chemistries, fuel cells and supercapacitors. NHR’s 9300/9200 series is used for fuel cell testing, fuel cell emulation and as a regenerative DC load. The 9300 modular system can be scaled up to 2.4 MW in 100 kW building blocks, offering a wide operating envelope.

Alternatively, NHR’s 9200 Series has a multi-channel capability with the possibility to mix and match voltage and current levels at lower power ranges. NHR’s fuel cell testers provide over 90% energy efficiency, meaning that only about 10% of energy is absorbed while about 90% of energy gets recycled. With NHR’s fuel cell emulation mode, customers are able to simulate a wide range of fuel cell power levels without having to change test equipment.

Contact NHR for fuel cell testing consultation or product information. Our application experts can help you identify the right test solutions and set up.

Download “Regenerative Loads & Sources” App Note

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Fuel Cell Test Systems

Bi-directional Sources

9200 Battery Test System - NH Research, Inc.NHR’s battery test systems are regenerative, bi-directional DC sources. 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. The 9200 Series Battery Test System has voltages of 40, 120 or 600V, capable of charge/discharge and cycle testing of 10 – 250kW module and pack-level batteries.These highly flexible systems can be integrated into an existing software environment, run from a PC with NHR’s Enerchron® Test Software or locally through a touch-panel.