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CAR Opens New Battery Testing Labs

battery labTo accommodate an increase in electric vehicle research projects, the Ohio State Center for Automotive Research (CAR) will open a new battery testing labs to expand its research capabilities.

The previous CAR battery testing labs were created nearly 20 years ago, and they have helped automotive manufacturers, researchers, faculty and students make great strides in battery research. However, new battery technologies and an industry-wide push for electric vehicles meant it was time for CAR to upgrade.

Prashanth Ramesh, a researcher at CAR, said that although the labs served their purpose over the past two decades, the sheer number of research projects called for modernized facilities.

 “We outgrew what we had,” Ramesh said. “The new labs will not only support the researchers, but they will also support our student project teams as well as industry and federally funded projects.”

The new labs span 1000 square feet spread across three separate rooms: a main battery lab, a battery pack fabrication lab, a high voltage lab and a hardware-in-the-loop and battery management systems lab. Each lab offers industry-standard technology; their shared goal is to improve the batteries’ efficiency, durability, charging speed, safety and cost.

The main battery lab features new state-of-the art battery cyclers, environmental chambers and liquid chillers. These allow researchers to determine how a battery holds up to years of use and abuse. The main battery lab will support the testing of research of low voltage cell to mild 48V systems.

battery labThe new pack fabrication lab will be equipped with spot welders and high voltage tools required to safely operate on battery packs. The high voltage lab has battery cyclers capable of testing high voltage (900V) battery packs.

Researchers can also run simulations in the updated hardware-in-the-loop and battery management systems lab to test control strategies in conjunction with battery models and hardware.

Written by Jake Berg, CAR Writing Intern