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March 24, 2020

Mahle opens English battery module tester

Mahle Powertrain has opened a new, dedicated facility in England for the extensive testing of battery modules.

By Olly Wehring

Mahle Powertrain has opened a new, dedicated facility in England for the extensive testing of battery modules.

The facility, based at the powertrain specialist’s Northampton technical centre, enables the strip down and disassembly of modules and compact vehicle batteries for post test assessment and provides a climate controlled environment to carry out real world simulated testing with the aim of streamlining the test and validation stages of emerging technology.

“With electrification seemingly the automotive industry’s preferred method for achieving stringent future emissions targets, there is a very time and cost-sensitive need to develop enabling technologies such as the battery module,” said Simon Reader, director of engineering services.

“The new facility has been carefully developed to provide an extensive capability that aids battery assessment, test and optimisation. In house development of such a facility would be time and cost prohibitive for OEMs and so it makes perfect sense to provide an end to end powertrain solution, to offer a broad range of expertise and capability that’s able to accelerate development time while reducing cost, in one place.”

As well as offering post assessment suitability analysis, the battery pack assembly and testing facility enables testing under simulated drive cycle conditions to evaluate the performance of battery systems in real use environments. Included within the testing remit is the ability to assess cells, modules and battery packs for steady state testing of open circuit voltage, storage capacity and thermal characteristics, including voltage response under high discharge, thermal behaviour and internal resistance.

Assembly of new prototype units is also possible at the new highly modular facility, which can conduct dynamic test cycles and steady state characterisation testing with or without battery management systems in situ. The facility can conduct tests within the temperature range of -40C to 100C with precise humidity control and protection from a EUCAR 5 fire detection and suppression system. The remote control chamber receives bi directional power supply suitable for module testing with cycling software and control of the environmental chamber.

“The significant investment into this facility reflects our commitment to providing our customers with services and solutions that are directly relevant to their requirements,” said Reader. “The needs of the automotive industry are evolving and by working with a trusted powertrain partner for testing or development work, OEMs are able to combat challenges while streamlining new vehicle development processes.”

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