Since opening 2 years ago, MGA’s Battery Test Lab in Holly, MI has undergone a number of improvements to test capabilities, the commissioning of new equipment, and the development of a highly technical team dedicated to helping the industry reach their goals in the transition to electric vehicles.
Highlights of these improvements include:
Multi-Axis Simulation Tables (MAST):
The lab currently features 3 fully integrated Multi-Axis Simulation Tables (MAST). These systems are typically used to provide an accelerated lifetime of vibration exposure to automotive vibrations with 6 DOF of motion. All of the MAST’s are fully integrated with MGA’s heavy duty containment chambers to ensure a safe environment in the lab. The containment chambers are a key characteristic of all MGA battery related laboratories. A 4th MAST is currently being commissioned and will be operational by the end of the year.
High Frequency Vibration:
To supplement the vibration capabilities of the MAST, MGA has added 2 large force Electro-Dynamic shaker systems. These systems offer force ratings up to 30,000 lbs. and enhanced frequency capabilities. The expanded frequency range of the shaker systems offers the ability to perform both vibration and shock testing to the UN 38.3 and ECE R136 standards.
High G Sled/Shock:
Two major factors driving EV battery design are vehicle range and power. Both require physical space within the overall battery pack as more cells are needed to create an increase in either of these characteristics. As a result of this, battery packs have been getting larger, and this is typically accomplished through an overall footprint increase. The added mass due to the growing size has resulted in challenges when testing for standardized mechanical shocks such as those found in ECE R100, or developmental shock testing to prove out a design. The Holly lab offers MGA’s full scale sled system, which is uniquely suited to produce high amplitude (100G+) shock events on large mass battery packs. This is accomplished safely as the sled is integrated with a system designed to provide remote movement of the carriage and battery into a containment chamber immediately after the test.
Battery Performance and Durability:
In order to evaluate performance/longevity related characteristic of batteries, major investments have also been made in charge/discharge cycling controllers. MGA’s Holly lab now has the following battery cycling equipment:
Accompanying these units are a number of walk-in and drive in Environmental Chambers that have been added for thermal shock, over-temperature, and other custom profiles needed for battery development. The Holly lab currently has 12 chambers of various sizes up to full vehicle (22’ x 16’) configurations. Overall environmental capability ranges from -40° - 100°C with humidity control.