With over fifty years of experience, Pickering Interfaces is a leader in modular signal switching and simulation for use in electronic test & verification. Pickering are continually expanding their range of PXI, PCI, LXI & USB switch & simulation products, and were looking to create a system to effectively demonstrate their latest range of battery simulator modules. Based on Austin Consultants’ extensive experience in developing automated test systems for EV and battery applications, Pickering invited us to develop a demonstration PXI Battery Management System (BMS) Tester to show how their feature-rich battery simulation, fault insertion and RTD simulation modules can seamlessly function together in a flexible and scalable test platform
The BMS test system was based on a Pickering 42-925-001 PXIe Hybrid chassis and a Daly BMS with CAN interface, mounted in a Schroff 19” enclosure, which provided a compact and robust portable rig suitable for transporting between trade shows.
The enclosure featured a rear panel with a power IEC input, HDMI and 2x USB ports via a standard XLR punched panel, to allow a monitor, keyboard and mouse to be connected.
The PXIe Chassis was configured with the following modules:
- A Resistor card for NTC (Negative Temperature Coefficient) thermistor simulation (42-297A-150)
- A 74 Ch. 2A Fault Insertion Switch card (40-190B-002)
- Two 6 Ch. Battery Simulator cards with V/I readback, (41-752A-011)
- A 0-48 VDC, 40 W PSU card (41-743-001)
- A 1-470 Ω, 10 W Resistive Load card (40-253-014)
- An NI CAN communications card
Austin Consultants recommended that the PXIe chassis included an embedded Windows PXIe controller that ran a battery test application. This allowed the system to be self-contained and provided faster set-up times without having to connect a laptop. The display output via HDMI cable allowed a monitor of any size to be connected, depending on the available space or layout at the trade show.
To demonstrate the capabilities of the Pickering Battery Simulator modules, Austin Consultants developed a BMS Test Simulation that allowed an operator to simulate a simple battery model and test scenarios via an intuitive user interface.
The interface allows an operator to select various simulation scenarios, including charging, discharging, over-voltage and unbalanced cells.
The system parameters are editable to allow the operator to demonstrate the hardware’s flexibility over a range of applications and voltages.
The operator is able to configure the individual cells within the battery simulator, as well as temperature and fault insertion modules. Additionally, ambient battery temperature was emulated by connecting a Pickering Resistor card to the NTC terminals of the BMS – allowing an exponential decrease in change of resistance to correspond with BMS-read temperature.
The Flexible PXI-Based BMS Test System demonstrates the value and industrial application of Pickering Interfaces’ suite of PXI equipment:
- The ability to link simulated cells in series allows for the simulation of battery stacks in electric vehicles, with as many as 108 cells in a single PXI chassis
- Granular fault insertion can be configured with ease, allowing for rapid hardware failure testing
- Pickering’s PSU and resistive loads provide precise control over DUT charging and discharging
Austin Consultants’ expertise in system engineering provided:
- A reliable, scalable and high-performance software architecture – able to adapt to the needs of the client.
- An intuitive and insightful interface.
- Easily modifiable demonstration parameters.
- A compact and resilient form-factor, which provided the portability Pickering required.
Austin Consultants are great partners to work with in the BMS Test application space. Based on their extensive experience deploying automated test systems and understanding of the application they were able to very quickly configure and develop a flexible BMS Test System that demonstrates the value and industrial application of Pickering Interfaces’ suite of PXI equipment. We look forward to working with them to deliver further customer test systems.