Software-defined lab solution speeds battery validation

Software-defined lab solution speeds battery validation

New Products |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

NI (formerly National Instruments) is targeting traction battery validation labs with a new software-defined solution. Users in the vehicle value chain can deploy this solution across a broad range of applications throughout the battery lifecycle, from development through validation and production to recycling.

NI’s Software-Defined Battery Lab, as the industry’s first battery testing solution, according to the vendor, helps electric vehicle manufacturers and battery suppliers address the technical challenges of time-to-market, cost and battery performance through an open and flexible approach. Using software, the solution enables battery validation, data management and battery data analysis. At the same time, it is open and flexible so that it can scale for global validation testing and adapt to ever-evolving innovations in battery technology. 

The Software-Defined Battery Lab parallels the concept of Software-Defined Vehicles, which is revolutionizing the way engineering teams bring vehicles to market and continuously improve their performance. As battery technologies evolve and scale, companies can accelerate the development of test systems, maximize the reuse of battery test investments, and link battery data to improve performance through software changes. 

“We are in the early stages of the battery revolution,” said Drita Roggenbuck, senior vice president and general manager of the Transportation Business Unit at NI. “Companies are challenged to reduce battery costs, improve performance, continuously drive innovation and scale. At a time when new vehicle time-to-market is at an all-time low and battery validation and production must scale immediately and continuously through the end of the decade, the Software-Defined Battery Lab provides the necessary feature change to improve time-to-market and battery performance through test systems and test insights.”

Unlike fragmented or vendor-agnostic approaches to battery testing, NI’s solution enables battery manufacturers to develop and pursue their own test strategies to maximize reuse, enable test customization and establish vendor independence.

The Software-Defined Battery Lab builds on NI’s existing battery testing expertise to address the unique challenges of large-scale battery validation. Key components of the solution include a comprehensive set of software, instrumentation, and services needed to build robust test and data management capabilities, including:

  • Test request tracking and scheduling
  • Tester status, utilization, and health monitoring
  • Test software management and deployment
  • Battery data aggregation, visualization, and analytics

Battery Cycler Offering and Third Party Integration: NI’s battery cycler portfolio offers high-performance, easy-to-use, safe, and reliable solutions needed for any phase of battery development. The company’s newest cycler, HPS-17000, provides up to 150 kW power and is ideal for testing in a fast-paced lab environment that needs to be scaled and easily serviced. NI’s open software allows integration with third party cyclers to increase development efficiency and enable reuse.

Battery Measurement and Control System: The battery measurement and control hardware is built on NI’s software-connected, modular hardware platforms. These systems can be quickly reconfigured and customized to meet changing test requirements, including integration with third-party components. The real-time operating system provides deterministic operation, while built-in timing and synchronization allows to easily scale up channel and measurement capabilities.

Global Engineering Integration and Support: NI’s global presence of engineering services and extensive partner network ensures local support and solution delivery to meet a wide range of application requirements.

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