Importance of Using a Battery Test Chamber
Battery-powered and hybrid cars are becoming mainstream across the United States. Companies like Faraday and Future, Tesla, GM, Ford, Nissan, Mitsubishi, and others are making owning a battery-powered car more attainable than ever.
A desire to own an electric car can come from a personal goal to limit a carbon footprint, reduce dependency on fossil fuels, or save money on gasoline. And sometimes there’s an incentive and initiatives of all three from your state’s legislature with the ultimate goal to reduce carbon emissions.
Ten US states—California, Oregon, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, and Massachusetts—have such initiatives. California is the leader of the pack with the most ambitious emission-cutting goal, and, for the most part, they are succeeding. Their year-round, temperate weather is ideal for battery-powered vehicles.
All the eastern states with emission-cutting mandates are having a difficult time achieving these goals because of their varying weather patterns and severe cold winter weather. According to Bloomberg News, performance of a battery-powered vehicle reduces by 60% at 20°F compared to 75°F, making it difficult, inconvenient, and not time or cost effective for residents of cold weather states like many Northeastern states to purchase such a vehicle. Since they would need to charge their battery more often and the mileage range would decrease.
Temperature is just one factor that affects a battery’s performance. Other performance issues can be detected with environmental testing including, but not limited to, humidity, vibration, altitude, sand and dust, salt spray, and fog. Therefore, testing how batteries will perform in cold and hot temperatures is vital to the success and implementation of these carbon emission mandates and the widespread adoption of battery-powered and hybrid cars.
Assuredly, battery manufacturers are using battery test in order to help them develop batteries that can perform better in diverse and adverse conditions.
Testing batteries can be time consuming, expensive, and dangerous. But, as you can see from the article, it is necessary to do so to see how the battery will perform in a variety of conditions. It is not uncommon for batteries to explode or combust; therefore, extra precautions must be taken when performing environmental tests on batteries. These precautions are a worthwhile task.
A Thermotron environmental chamber can be equipped with multiple safety features to protect the user and the thermal chamber when testing batteries. Safety features include a blow off port to release pressure, hand wheel door latch for added strength, exterior and explosion proof interior lights, gas detector/monitor, intrinsic safety isolation barrier, non-sparking fan blade, sheath heater, and nitrogen purge to reduce oxygen content inside the battery test chamber. Read about Battery Test Chamber safety features here.
Each industry and testing application for batteries is different, so battery test chambers can be custom-designed to fit a specific need.