UK’s first large electric vehicle battery ‘shaker’ unveiled

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The UK’s first large battery ‘shaker’ with electrical and thermal cycling has been developed to help keep up with demand from the automotive industry for advanced battery safety testing.

Horiba Mira, which specializes in developing batteries for niche applications, invested £1.5m to create a new Large Climatic Vibration Laboratory and Battery Abuse Facility. Set to open in October, the ‘shaker’ as it’s known in the industry also offers electrical and thermal cycling. It enables battery charging and discharging whilst in use, along with climatic capability, to carry out tests in ambient conditions ranging from -40°C to 100°C.

The new twin vibration facility can operate in three axes and has the capacity to vibrate up to one tonne of mass, making it ideal for testing the biggest EV batteries on the market to regulatory standards such as UN38.3 and ECEReg100.

The unique ‘shaker’ is the second part of a recent £1.5m investment by Horiba Mira into battery safety related testing, which includes its new Battery Abuse Test Facility (BAT) that opened in July. The BAT facility provides abuse and safety testing at cell, module and pack level, in all-weather conditions, supported by high speed cameras, thermal imaging and gas detection.

This investment helps to enhance the company’s battery development capability, enabling end-to-end engineering and test solutions for cell, modules and complete battery packs.

The two new facilities answer demand from the UK automotive industry for advanced battery safety testing capabilities, many of which were not previously available in the UK or did not meet the latest industry needs.

One distinct advantage of the new ‘shaker’ is that it can electrically and thermally cycle a battery during vibration testing and is fully programmable to reflect actual vehicle duty cycles – a unique function in the UK that will help provide test results that are representative of real-world conditions.

Another major benefit of using the Large Climatic Vibration Laboratory is that tests that have traditionally been performed individually can now be done simultaneously. This reduces the overall test duration and the number of test samples required, providing the added bonus of lower product development costs.

Eamonn Martin, Solution Manager for Electrification and Environmental Validation at Horiba Mira, said: “The environmental and societal drive towards zero emissions transport has increased the need for more advanced battery engineering and the testing capability to support that. We’ve been developing batteries and testing them for our customers for almost 20 years, this latest investment complements our existing EV battery development portfolio with additional capability to validate the latest battery technologies.

“Our new Large Climatic Vibration Laboratory, or ‘shaker’ as it’s known, along with the Battery Abuse Facility opened earlier this year, will enable our customers to access a comprehensive range of battery test capabilities – regardless of size, weight and complexity – with the option of a fully managed test service.”

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