This latest upgrade to the UK automotive testing facilities is an important one. The lithium batteries found in new energy vehicles (EV, HV/PHEV and FCEV) must be tested to ensure their performance. More critically though, they must be tested to safeguard against failures during shipping, accidents and general operations.
Some of these tests can be performed at module level, but others, like vibration and shock, must also be done at complete battery pack level. This requires huge, specialist test benches with ad-hoc security measures, which can be found in this new lab.
A UK first
Indeed, the most notable of all of the new lab’s equipment is an extensive shaker that couples with a large climatic chamber. There are no other systems in the UK that can test battery packs as large as this one can, and there are only a few in the whole of Europe.
The climatic chamber can support battery packs up to 2 x 1.6 m in size, at temperatures between -70 ºC and +180 ºC. The shaker has the capacity for 200 kN vibration (random and sine) and 400 kN shock and the system is compliant with the most stringent safety requirements to safeguard against battery failures.
The lab is also equipped with additional shakers and climatic chambers, including equipment for testing corrosion, altitude and thermal shock, as well as battery cyclers.
An investment drive in vehicle electrification testing
This is all part of a much wider investment plan, which was kick-started by an extensive new EMC chamber for full-vehicle testing of trucks, heavy duties, and all kinds of EVs.
Another notable addition has been a mobile dyno for testing EMC on EV motors with mechanical load. This test bench was designed and manufactured by the Applus+ Laboratories Engineering department and allows 360-degree testing.