With the increasing number of electric vehicles, the requirements for battery transport and storage are also growing both for manufacturers and suppliers. Hence, precautions must be taken to maintain the quality of the batteries for as long as possible and to transport them safely to their destinations. For example, for optimum service life, batteries should be regularly recharged to defined state-of-charge (SOC) levels if they are stored for an extended period. Otherwise, they must not be offered to the end consumer as new. Particular charging conditions must also be guaranteed for the transport of batteries depending on type and transport route.
NovaCarts Charger supports the charging/discharging system for both tasks: depending on requirements, the batteries can be recharged to the defined state-of-charge (SOC) levels or discharged for a safe transport.
How the NC Charger Works
To make this possible, the NC Charger simulates the environment of the particular traction battery: the test system supplies the battery control unit both with voltage and with the necessary CAN messages. This is done by means of residual bus simulation, which must match the very traction battery.
All simulations and the CAN-bus communication run under the NovaCarts operating software on a Linux real-time computer. A component with a mains connection featuring a protective insulated input circuit is available to connect transportable units. It protects employees during operation as well as the system components from excessive contact voltage and overvoltage.
Compact Design and Easy Operation
The NovaCarts Charger charging/discharging system is a compact unit in rack format that can be used flexibly thanks to its wheels. The test bench is operated on three-phase industrial mains supply and uses that energy to charge the batteries as well. Discharged power is fed back into the grid during the discharging process.
The NC Charger is controlled via a computer built directly into the rack on which the NovaCarts Real-Time Suite is installed. It includes operation during testing as well as the database for controlling the test bench. Alternatively, the system can be operated via a touch screen attached to the NC Charger on a swiveling bracket. The charging/discharging device was designed in such a way that it can be used easily and safely by technical staff without requiring any special training.
Minimizing Transport Risks
In addition to the aspect of quality assurance, lithium batteries frequently used for energy storage in mobile devices and vehicles also present a transport risk: they are quite susceptible to deep discharge and overcharging, mechanical damage, and external temperature effects. For these reasons, lithium-based energy storage systems are classified as dangerous goods according to international transport law and are therefore subject to special transport regulations.
In order to comply with these specifications and minimize transport risks, vehicle batteries can be discharged to a required state-of-charge level (SOC) using the NC Charger prior to transport, e.g. max. 30 percent for air freight; the charge status of the battery is documented in a protocol in PDF format, which is also automatically sent to a connected printer. It contains all data and information necessary for air freight transport.