Arbin works with electric vehicle industry leaders around the world, and provides a comprehensive battery test solution for cells, modules, and packs of all sizes.
We did side-by-side comparisons of Arbin and other tester technology. Armed with this data, we moved forward with confidence using Arbin for what is critical to our electrification [EV] future. — T. Miller, Ford Motors
See Arbin’s product innovations highlighted during the 2015 [ARPA-E] keynote address. (10:20 mark)
This high precision test equipment technology is only available from Arbin.
Read a [free report] from Arbin about how to evaluate and compare battery test equipment to see why electric vehicle industry leaders are choosing Arbin. Additionally, Arbin sales personnel are available to give a presentation showing high precision test results. [Request a quote], or [contact] Arbin today.
Battery testing for Electric Vehicles (EV's)
Drive Profile (Drive Cycle) Simulations
Compared to traditional battery cycling that may use constant current and constant voltage (CC-CV) charge/discharge profiles, EV testing applications require both cells and battery packs to be charged/discharged based on dynamic drive cycle profiles. Governments around the world have published drive profiles used to benchmark the batteries and electric vehicle performance. Many EV manufacturers also use their own proprietary drive profiles in battery research and development. See below on this page for more information about the standard drive cycle profiles.
Arbin makes performing these drive cycle simulations effortless by simply loading a text file of time-vs-power or time-vs-current data from xlsx, csv, txt, etc. without additional programming. Drive cycle profiles can have hundred’s of thousands of data points with intervals as fast as 10mS.
Arbin test systems use true bipolar circuitry so there is no switching between charge and discharge. This is critical when performing the dynamic drive cycle simulations for EV battery testing, and allows the Arbin tester to precisely replicate and measure the drive profile. Test equipment not using a true bipolar circuit will have undesired pulses and drops in current output when measured with an oscilloscope even though data reported by the system directly may not show this phenomenon.
Additionally, electric vehicle (EV) battery testing typically requires a temperature controlled test environment. By default US regulators state that all EV cell testing is performed at 30°C unless otherwise stipulated. Arbin has created an innovative new temperature chamber for testing EV cells known as the “MZTC” Multi-Chamber. This cell-isolating battery test chamber isolates each cell or pair of cells (depending on cell size and amperage) to create a safer test environment and maintain greater temperature stability. Each of the 8 mini-chambers offers a unique temperature setpoint and is thermally isolated from the others to prevent thermal run-away or cascading failure events. Arbin’s MZTC battery test chamber also makes connections and interfacing with cells easy.
Arbin also has the option to interface with a variety of third-party temperature chambers from other manufacturers. The software is compatible with most major chamber controller models around the world, so the Arbin tester can automatically turn the chamber on and off, and adjust temperature during the test. Check with your local Arbin sales rep to learn more. [Arbin Contacts]
Battery Management System (BMS)
Arbin battery test systems offer optional CANBus interface to communicate with the battery management system (BMS) of electric vehicle (EV) battery packs. Arbin’s interface allows both the sending and receiving of CAN messages between the tester and BMS. No 3rd party equipment, DLL packages, or licenses are needed. It is a complete CANBus solution that allows the user to enter or upload their CAN protocols, assign nicknames, and then control the test using these variables and record all data from the BMS to compare with Arbin’s own charge/discharge data. The Arbin tester can be controlled via CANBus including assigning a CAN message as a dynamic control value. (i.e. charge dynamically based on a CAN signal.)
EV Battery Pack Test Auxiliary Inputs
Testing battery packs and modules may require monitoring the individual cell voltages and/or temperatures. Thermocouples or thermistors may be used to monitor cell temperature with an external chamber. Auxiliary inputs will also measure cells within a larger battery pack and allow this data to be compared with data from the BMS (when CANBus interface is used). The auxiliary inputs are provided in a small external chassis that is networked with the main Arbin system to allow highly flexible configurations (built-in Ethernet network).
Digital and analog voltage signals may be used to send/receive with other hardware such as a digital relay signal to activate a BMS, or notify when a test is ready to proceed.
Other Test Functions
Arbin’s MITS Pro software provides the ability to control tests based on Current, Voltage, Power, Load, and C-Rate both with constant and dynamic control. Built-in functions are available for Internal Resistance (IR) measurement, Drive Cycle Simulations, Mathematical Functions, Current and Voltage Ramps, Looping, and much much more. There are over 90 pre-defined meta variables available to use and users may define and assign custom variables.
The ability to parallel test channels is sometimes needed to achieve the high c-rates required for EV battery testing. Individual Arbin test channels may be combined so they function as one with increase the current handling capability. This action is easy to perform in the latest Arbin MITS Pro software.
United States EV Battery Test Standards
The US Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) has published the standardized testing used to measure and benchmark EV battery performance. The Federal Urban Drive Schedule (FUDS), Hybrid Pulse Power Characterization (HPPC), Dynamic Stress Test (DST), and Peak Power Test are some of the most common electric vehicle battery tests performed globally.
The HPPC Test is intended to determine the dynamic power capability over the battery’s operating voltage range using a test profile that uses both charge (regeneration) and discharge pulses. HPPC allows derivation of Peak Power, Available Energy, Voltage Response Curve. Ohmic Cell Resistance and Cell Polarization Resistance as a function of capacity removed can be determined if the test equipment has sufficient resolution to reliably establish cell voltage response. Arbin cell-testers provide industry-leading 24-bit resolution even up to thousands of amps for a cranking amp test.
The Dynamic Stress Test Profile demonstrates the battery life in a charge depleting mode using charge/discharge steps with a goal of exceeding 1000 cycles. The test profile is scaled based on the battery’s peak power.
The US has a variety of standardized vehicle tests both at the national and state level. The US EPA regulates the standard drive cycle profiles required for all vehicles for emissions tests, which are also used to benchmark EV’s. The UDDS ( FTP EPA75), US06,, HWFET, NYCC, and LA92 are just a handful of the more common drive cycle profiles. These were created from real-world driving conditions.
The National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) has a Drive Cycle Analysis Tool that lists many of the US drive cycle profiles with data.
Other Global EV Battery Test Standards
The European Union, Japan, India, and other nations have agreed to follow the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) as published by the UN Economic Commission for Europe for standardized testing and benchmarking, but HPPC, DST, and drive cycle profiles similar to FUDS remain universally common as well. A paper published from Cranfield University in the UK compares the WLTP drive cycle and UDDS drive cycle.
Fotouhi, Abbas & Propp, Karsten & Auger, Daniel. (2015). Electric vehicle battery model identification and state of charge estimation in real world driving cycles. 10.1109/CEEC.2015.7332732.
WLTC is divided into three classes of vehicle based on the ratio of power to mass after reducing by 75kg, and has multiple sections of drive cycle based on this class and vehicle maximum velocity.
Class 1 vehicles have a power to mass ratio (minus of 75kg) ≤ 22 W/kg.
Class 2 vehicles have a power to mass ratio (minus of 75kg) 22 ≤ 34 W/kg.
Class 3 vehicles have a power to mass ratio (minus of 75kg) > 34 W/kg.
The Arbin battery testing system makes it easy to simulate these drive profiles and more on both cells and packs through our “Simulation” software feature as described earlier in this article. The user may simply upload a text file of time-vs-power, or time-vs-current data to simulate without any additional programming required.