QMT Features: September 2010
Temperature and climate test systems check out Lithium-Ion batteries
Developers and engineers at Weiss Umwelttechnik and experts from the automobile industry have developed a simulated-reality environmental test systems for batteries used in hybrid cars

The developers and engineers at Weiss Umwelttechnik GmbH, the specialist for environmental simulation systems, put their heads together with key experts from the automobile industry to come up with simulated-reality environmental test systems for batteries used in hybrid cars (conventional drive + battery).

The entire programme encompasses systems for temperature, simulated exposure to weather, temperature shock and corrosion tests. Lithium-ion batteries are absolutely indispensable for future development and automotive advancements. This is why Weiss Umwelttechnik features extensive additional components for standard climate test cabinets to boost safety in testing this type of battery.

Batteries used for electrical vehicles also have to function under extreme conditions without problems, and must not fail when put to extreme stress such as high or low temperatures, fast temperature changes, moisture, mechanical strain or corrosion factors. This is the reason why exhaustive temperature and climate tests have to be performed on these batteries. And safety equipment on the test systems minimise the risks of testing consciously go beyond the limits of normal usage.

Lithium-ion batteries have long since become the standard with mobile phones and notebooks. They are clearly superior to other battery systems with their thermal stability and constant level of voltage over the discharging period, and another advantage is the fact that they do not show any memory effect. All in all, lithium-ion batteries are gaining more and more acceptance in mobile applications due to their high level of output and energy density. That means that in the future they will also be used increasingly in environmental vehicles with hybrid drive. This generation of cars will also be clamouring for customer and environmental safety.

Mandatory safety standards have been in place for lithium-ion batteries since 2003. This is the reason there are various additional components available for testing Li-ion batteries  on the test systems produced by Weiss Umwelttechnik  as required. Weiss Umwelttechnik has a number of safety options available that can be incorporated as required, these include: an STB safety temperature limiter prevents uncontrolled temperature rises in the test cabinet if equipment malfunctions.

A potential-free contact is used with a test stand guard to trigger ducted cooling to +20° C for the system. Compressed air purging equipment allows purging at 10 x the ventilation rate of the test space atmosphere. Monitoring equipment for detecting a rise in CO2 and H2 in the test space is used for identifying overloaded cells. CO2 flooding equipment purges the test space with inert gas at high CO concentrations (at your choice it can also be purged with nitrogen as the inert gas with or without measuring O2). Finally, the mechanical safety of the test space for pressure relief is ensured by using a tested rupture membrane, added door interlocks and an electromagnetic door lock.
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Rob Tremain Photographer
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