Test, Measurement & Inspection Product of the Year
Product Name: PXI/PXIe Battery SImulator Modules 41-752A & 43-752A
Company: Pickering Interfaces
Pickering Interfaces designs and manufactures modular signal switching and simulation for use in electronic test and verification. Specified in test systems installed throughout the world, the company offers the largest range of switching and simulation products in the industry for PXI, LXI, and PCI applications.
Pickering’s 41-752A (PXI) and 43-752A (PXIe) modules are a family of multi-cell battery simulator modules which were launched in October 2021. Designed by Pickering to target EV, automotive, aerospace, energy storage and electric aircraft applications, they simplify voltage and current readback and improve accuracy for validating battery management systems. The electricity storage market is expanding all around the world and these battery systems need intelligent charging routines that require battery management systems for safely charging and discharging. With EVs ramping up for mass market adoption, a particular growth segment is EV battery stack emulation in battery management systems (BMS), as well as testing of battery stacks for other applications.
Effective testing and validation of the Battery Management System (BMS) represents one of the significant challenges in this area. Previously, test engineers have had to link simulation modules to a separate digital multimeter (DMM) to achieve voltage and current readback. Pickering’s 41-752A (PXI) and 43-752A (PXIe) modules eliminate this requirement, making them simpler to use and more accurate.
Occupying a single PXI slot, the 41-752A (PXI) and 43-752A (PXIe) multi-cell battery simulator modules enable direct voltage and current readback either programmatically or using Pickering’s soft panel control. Each cell simulator is highly accurate, specified at ±5 mV from 1 V to 7 V. They are available with two, four or six battery cell simulators per module that are fully isolated from ground and from each other facilitating series connection to simulate batteries in a stacked architecture. The 750 V isolation barrier allows the modules to be used to simulate lower power battery stacks that are commonly used for vehicle propulsion. Battery charging emulation is available up to 100 mA.
Each cell provides independent power and sense connections, allowing the simulator to sense a remote load and correct for wiring losses. The battery simulator is designed to respond to dynamic loads, minimizing the need 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 supplied with I/V readback, the driver can automatically adjust the module’s output voltage through a feedback system, allowing higher accuracy.
In addition, the 41-752A and 43-752A modules benefit from the modularity and scalability of Pickering’s established 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.
Pickering provides extensive software support for all its products. This support allows 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 their existing or new system seamless. Users can choose between all Microsoft-supported Windows versions, all popular varieties of Linux and other hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) operating systems such as VeriStand, LabVIEW RT and QNX.