May 1, 2018 - Axiom Test Equipment -- Electric vehicles
(EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are gaining in popularity; seemingly as they
gain in the range of each battery charge. Both EVs and HEVs rely on high-voltage batteries
and an electric motor; in addition, an HEV is aided by a gasoline engine with its own
fuel supply. Both types of vehicles still employ lower-voltage batteries and electrical
systems for lights, radios, electric windows, and other voltage-driven functions. Of
course, among the key functions in an EV or HEV is charging the high-voltage battery,
whether at home or at a remote charging station, and maintaining the efficiency of that
battery-charging process. For that reason, test equipment that is capable of emulating
the different types of high-voltage batteries used in EVs and HEVs and the charging/discharging
cycles of those batteries can be invaluable tools for maintaining the basic performance
of an EV or HEV.
Owners of motor vehicles with internal combustion engines learn to almost automatically
glance at the gasoline gauge each morning to have an idea of the approximate range of
their vehicle before stopping for more fuel. With an EV or an HEV, the fuel is electricity
and it is the vehicle’s high-voltage battery and charging system that requires the attention
each morning and throughout the day, for a working knowledge of the vehicle’s approximate
driving range based on its amount of charge. Of course, an EV or HEV relies on many of
the same mechanical parts as a vehicle with an internal combustion engine, such as brakes
and front-end steering components. But it is the high-voltage battery and charging system
that is arguably the most important part of an EV or HEV and the part of the vehicle
that must be steadfastly maintained through regular testing, either by a trusted mechanic
or through regular at-home testing.
Electrical tests on an EV or HEV are performed for different reasons, such as to confirm
the performance, safety, and environmental soundness of the vehicle, even the electromagnetic
compatibility (EMC) of the electronic components and subsystems within the vehicle or
the performance of wireless sensors, such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices, within
the vehicle. Measurements typically comply with standards established by a number of
international organizations, such as the International Organization for Standardization
(ISO), le Comite International Special des Perturbations Radioelectriques (CISPR), the
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to name a few.
Obviously, the number of different electronic subsystems within an EV or HEV makes
complete testing an almost continuous process, especially since electrical performance
can change as functions of different variables, such as time and temperature. But access
to multiple-function test instruments with measurement ranges that support the evaluation
of the high-voltage battery and charging system in an EV or HEV, for example, can provide
the type of diagnostic preventive medicine needed to keep an EV or HEV on the road, in
the same way as testing the standard automotive (12-V) battery and starter in a conventional
vehicle with internal combustion engine using a battery-powered digital multimeter (DMM).
Yokogawa DL350 ScopeCorder is one such measurement tool that can
perform a number of different tests on different electrical systems within an EV or HEV,
including the high-voltage battery and charging system. While fully portable, it is somewhat
more complex (but also more capable) than a DMM and is perhaps best thought of as a portable
oscilloscope or waveform recorder with memory. It works with plug-in modules which define
its measurement capabilities, with 18 modules to choose from. The instrument can perform
measurements on as many as 32 different channels, useful capability given the many different
electrical subsystems within an EV or HEV.
The Yokogawa DL350EV is a special version for EV and HEV testing, with 8 available
slots for plug-in function modules; it can perform simultaneous voltage and current measurements.
It can be configured for as many as 128 channels (depending upon choice of plug-in modules)
to tackle the large number of electrical subsystems within an EV or HEV. The different
versions of ScopeCorders essentially bring laboratory-grade measurement capabilities
to the field, with the capability of performing long-term measurements and storing test
results over time to plug-in SD memory cards. Results are shown on a 10.4-in. TFT color
NHR 9200 Series Battery Module/Pack Test Systems from NH Research
are among the more flexible test instruments for evaluating the health of an EV or HEV
high-voltage battery and charging system. The programmable testers can perform automated
characterization, power cycling, and life-cycle testing of high-voltage battery modules
and packs, with the flexibility of built-in digital measurements and oscilloscope displays.
These test systems provide the measurement ranges and capabilities to evaluate all high-voltage
battery chemistries, including lead-acid (Pb-acid), nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd), and lithium-ion
(Li-ion) batteries and their charging systems.
These environmentally sound testers allows a great deal of energy typically lost from
an EV or HEV battery during discharge testing to be recycled through a test facility’s
AC power grid. As an example of a particular model’s capabilities, the model
NHR 9200-4960 has a charging range of 0 to 600 V with power-handling
capability of 8 kW and current capacity of 40 A. Its discharging capabilities include
10 to 600 V, 12 kW power, and 40 A current. This instrument can be programmed for automatic
measurements with high accuracy, such as 0.1% for voltage, 0.2% for current, and 0.4%
for power. The tester can even set resistance from 0 to 500 ? as needed for emulating
resistor components, with 2% accuracy.
Precision AC testers such as the
Chroma 61511 and
61512 programmable AC power sources provide the means to simulate
a wide range of AC line conditions during EV and HEV testing, with power ratings of 12
and 18 kVA, respectively, and high-voltage tuning ranges of 0 to 300 V with 0.2% accuracy.
The single-phase test sources offer maximum RMS currents of 96 and 144 A, respectively,
with peak current capabilities of 384 and 576 A, respectively.
California Instrument’s MX45-3PI is an AC/DC power supply system
well suited for frequency conversion testing as well as automatic-test-equipment (ATE)
applications such as EV and HEV charge/discharge testing. Capable of as much as 135 kVA
power with as much as 400 V voltage, this is a highly programmable tester, with a diversity
of computer interfaces: Ethernet, GPIB, RS-232, and Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports.
This flexible tester can operate in single- and three-phase modes and even contains an
arbitrary waveform generator for producing test waveforms as needed.
This is a small sample of the number of different electrical measurement instruments
available for EV and HEV testing on the Axiom Test Equipment website. As the driving
range of EVs and HEVs and their high-voltage batteries and charging systems is constantly
increasing, so, too, is the popularity of these environmentally sound vehicles. At the
same time, the need to measure and maintain the batteries and electrical systems within
these vehicles is also growing. Fortunately, measurement solutions are available for
rent or sale by visiting Axiom’s website at www.axiomtest.com, contacting Axiom Test Equipment’s sales department
at email@example.com, or by calling an Axiom
sales representative at 760-806-6600.
At Axiom Test
Equipment we provide high-quality services and affordable solutions such as test
equipment rental, test equipment sales, and test equipment repair. These examples of
test equipment specials are a very small sample of our extensive stock available for
rental or for purchase. Axiom Test Equipment can also perform repair and calibration
of your gear. Contact us today with your needs.
Why Rent Equipment from Axiom?
Get equipment without a capital budget
Tax benefits - the expense of a rental can be deducted immediately
Protects you against product obsolescence
Save time and money with quick delivery
Try equipment out before committing a lot of money to a purchase
Save time and money on maintenance costs (which are the responsibility of the rental
About Axiom Test Equipment
What You Need. Rent - Buy - Repair - Trade-In
Established in 2005, Axiom Test Equipment strives to continually improve itself and
offer the best value for its customers. We offer our customers several practical, efficient
and cost effective solutions for their business or projects' test equipment needs. Whether
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buy test equipment,
repair test equipment, sell or trade equipment, we are committed to providing superior
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At Axiom Test Equipment we provide several services. We
test and measurement equipment. We also sell test equipment. If you have a piece
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seeking a way to offload their surplus or obsolete equipment, we offer a trade-in program
or we can buy the equipment from you.
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Axiom Test Equipment 2610 Commerce Way Vista, CA 92081 Phone:
(760) 806-6600 Web: www.axiomtest.com