Multi-cell battery simulator modules simplify voltage and current readback

Pickering Interfaces has released a new family of battery simulator modules, ideal for EV battery stack emulation in BMS test applications. The 41-752A (PXI) and 43-752A (PXIe) modules allow direct voltage and current readback programmatically or using its soft panel control. Each cell simulator is extremely accurate, specified at ±5mV from 1V to 7V.

Aimed at EV, aerospace, automotive, energy storage and electric aircraft applications, the new battery simulator modules occupy a single PXI slot. They are offered with two, four or six battery cell simulators per module that are entirely isolated from the ground and each other facilitating series connection to simulate batteries in a stacked architecture. The 750V isolation barrier enables the modules to be employed to simulate lower power battery stacks that are generally employed for vehicle propulsion. Battery charging emulation is available up to 100mA.

Each cell offers independent power and sense connections, enabling the simulator to sense a remote load and correct for wiring losses. The battery simulator is created to respond to dynamic loads, reducing the necessity for local decoupling Capacitors at the load. The module can also independently read the voltage at the load (via sense lines) and output current for each cell. When provided with I/V readback, the driver can automatically modify the module’s output voltage through a feedback system, enabling higher accuracy.

Comments Pickering’s simulation product manager, Paul Bovingdon: “With the increasing adoption of EVs as well as battery stacks for other applications, one of the significant challenges to be tackled is the effective testing and validation of the Battery Management Systems (BMS). Previously, test engineers have had to link simulation modules to a separate DMM to achieve voltage and current readback. Our new modules eliminate this requirement, making them simpler to use and more accurate. The 41-752A and 43-752A modules benefit from the modularity and scalability of the PXI/PXIe platform. These modules can be combined with Pickering’s other PXI switch and simulation modules, including high voltage switching, fault insertion, thermocouple simulation, RTD simulation and more. They can also be combined with other vendors’ PXI modules, such as a CANbus interface, to create a fully flexible BMS test system.”

The company provides extensive software support for all its products. This support enables users to design their applications with the operating system and programming languages (C/C++, .NET, Python, LabVIEW/LabWindows, MATLAB etc.) of their choice, making integration to existing or new systems seamless. Users can select between all Microsoft-supported Windows versions, all popular varieties of Linux and other HIL operating systems such as VeriStand, LabVIEW RT and QNX.

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