The Importance of Safely, Effectively, and Efficiently Testing Battery Systems

February 8, 2023 - Author: Chris Arnold - Managing Director, ACS Michigan

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Shifting Automotive Testing Facilities Towards Testing Battery Systems

The automotive industry is undergoing a significant transformation, primarily propelled by the shift towards electrification. This transition is significant in testing facilities, where experts, having witnessed notable changes, now focus extensively on electrification-related activities compared to the traditional combustion engine testing of the past five years.

This move towards electrification encompasses various factors, including battery testing and the adaptation of conventional combustion automotive testing facilities into electrification-ready spaces. Beyond batteries, exploration into fuel cells and combustible hydrogen is underway, all aimed at achieving cleaner and more sustainable solutions.

In The Percussive Maintenance Podcast, Chris Arnold, Managing Director, ACS Michigan, highlights the challenge of updating aging automotive testing facilities, originally designed decades ago, to meet the demands of the 21st century. This process involves meticulous assessment and often requires redesigning infrastructure to accommodate new electric battery technology safely. Specifically, battery testing demands a heightened level of safety within testing facilities, with evolving standards that are relatively recent.

Electrification isn’t solely about battery testing; it entails a complete reimagining of testing ecosystems. Emphasizing the importance of customization, specifically related to automotive battery safety, solutions must be tailored to meet the unique needs of each customer. When doing this, it’s crucial to acknowledge the dynamic landscape of Electric Vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy.

In the realm of battery testing and automotive innovation, safety is paramount. Chris underscores the need for engineers to comprehend the unique hazards associated with testing battery systems, which can store immense energy in compact packages. Proper automotive battery safety protocols and early planning are essential to mitigate risks effectively.

Proactive planning in facility development is key to navigating this transition smoothly. Front end planning, focusing on testing goals and infrastructure needs, is vital for avoiding setbacks and optimizing resource utilization.

Chris offered this advice to test and facility engineers and managers, “For anyone listening that is planning a new facility of test system, start your planning early. It’s a complicated process – good documentation of requirements and a well laid out plan will lead to a successful project.”

The automotive industry’s transition towards electrification requires comprehensive changes in testing facilities. By prioritizing safety, embracing customization, and engaging in proactive planning, stakeholders can effectively transition into a new era of automotive innovation.

Listen to the full-length podcast here.