Battery Emulators

Testing with Battery Emulation

NH Research, Inc.’s (NHR) is an industry leader of battery test solutions. NHR’s battery emulators include the High-Voltage Battery Emulator (9300) Series and Medium Voltage Battery Emulator.

NHR’s battery emulators are used to emulate a battery rather than using a real battery which dramatically reduces testing time, provides highly repeatable test results, and creates a safer test environment. Battery emulation (or simulation) eliminates preparation time, operator errors, and result variations due to battery temperature or aging. It substantially reduces test time, energy consumption and operating costs.

Not all battery emulators, regenerative DC sources and DC common bus architectures are optimally designed to provide accurate and timely results. NHR’s unique battery emulation capabilities provide faster, scalable and more repeatable testing.

The 9300 and 9200 series is ideal for testing using battery emulation or simulation. The electronically programmable “Battery Emulation” mode, allows for a battery to be simulated at any state of charge. This unique battery emulation and battery simulation technology sets NHR’s battery test solutions apart from the competition.

Key Features:

  • Modular and Scalable Power
  • Regenerative Power > 90% Energy Efficiency
  • Wide Operating Envelope
  • Fast Response Times
  • High Performance Hardware
  • Advanced Built-in Measurements
  • Power of Choice: Enerchron Test Executive, Work with Your Favorite Integrator, or Write Your Own Software
  • Easy 3rd Party Integration (CAN, BMS, DAQ options)
  • Multiple Layers of Safety
Battery Emulators - NH Research (NHR)

Battery Emulation Test Applications

As electrification is evolving to higher power demands, the ability to emulate a battery or energy storage systems with speed and accuracy is critical. Using batteries as power sources for testing is an extremely time-consuming and costly challenge across industries including EV, aerospace, energy storage and renewable energy markets. Testing with batteries can delay projects, increase safety risks and hinder engineering productivity.

Applications include testing battery/fuel cell emulation, DC power emulation, EV powertrain, propulsion systems, DC Fast charger, Solar/PV and energy storage systems.

Battery Emulation: Key Considerations

Unlike other battery simulators or bidirectional power supplies, NHR’s next generation battery emulators are specifically designed to emulate a battery’s characteristics to provide real world performance.

NHR’s battery emulators provide the following:

  • Bidirectional approach that is isolated to handle back EMF for safety and protection
  • A series resistance model to simulate a battery accurately
  • Low output capacitance for dynamic and accurate simulation of output voltage changes
  • Modular and scalable power to address changing voltage needs
  • Fast response time in hardware and software to ensure high performance of real world conditions.
  • Easier integration and software control to test entire systems
  • Reduced complexity for test set up and testing

Get Accurate & Repeatable Test Results

A key feature of battery emulation is having a built-in programmable series resistance with low-capacitance.

Battery emulators with low output capacitance provide accurate simulation of series resistance effects, allowing the output voltage to adjust proportionally to changes in current. By comparison, many regenerative power supplies have high output capacitance to reduce noise output. This high output capacitance disrupts the series resistance models and actually negates the functionality of a programmable series resistance. As a result, high output capacitance can lead to inaccurate battery simulation.

Real World Results

Real World Testing a 48v Battery - NH Research (NHR)
Testing with a 48 V Battery
Real World Testing with NHR's 48 V Battery Emulator - NH Research (NHR)
Testing with NHR's 48 V Battery Emulator

Customer results show a 70% reduction in total test time by replacing real batteries using battery emulation.

Performance Demonstration of Series Resistance Effect (RINT Model)

As in a real battery, NHR’s battery emulators adjust the output voltage depending on the direction and amplitude of current flow. Current is shown as red in Figure 4, starting with current being drawn from the simulated battery (50A), increasing to a higher current (100A), and finally dropping to zero. The output was set to simulate 5mΩ of resistance, and the output voltage (shown in blue) shows the output tracking these current changes and providing the appropriate terminal voltage drop. This automatic adjustment Voltage (V) Current (A)of output voltage better simulates real-world battery pack characteristics especially when compared with common DC-bus and source/load simulation systems.

Programmable Series Resistance

NHR’s battery emulators (or simulators) have a programmable series resistance is built into the hardware vs. only the software. This ensures accurate testing of real world conditions. As in a real battery, NHR’s battery emulators adjust the output voltage depending on the direction and amplitude of current flow.

The RINT Model - NH Research (NHR)
Diagram: RINT Model vs. Other Models - NH Research (NHR)
The RINT Model vs. Other Models

NHR's Battery Emulators Reduce Test Time by More than 70%

Customer results show a 70% reduction in total test time by replacing real batteries using battery emulation.

Testing with Real Batteries vs. Emulation - NH Research (NHR)
Testing with Real Battery Versus Using Emulation

Easy Integration: Software Control Options & Integration Partners

All NHR battery emulators can be easily integrated into existing test platforms or as the power stage for new test platforms. To achieve this, NHR provides fully documented drivers using either IVI or SCPI languages along with examples, applications, and integration support. NHR also has a number of integration partners who are familiar with our hardware and can deliver a full turn-key test system. These integrators develop fully custom systems utilizing your specified hardware sensors and fixturing components.

Testing with Real Batteries vs. Emulation - NH Research (NHR)

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