Functionality test rig puts heating and cooling units for E-Mobility to the test

Poppe + Potthoff Maschinenbau tests power consumption and performance under changing temperature conditions to optimize energy management

Nordhausen (Germany), November 28, 2017 - Heating and cooling costs a lot of range on the way to electromobility, because the required electricity must be diverted from the battery power. In order to increase energy efficiency, temperature control units must be tested under realistic condi-tions. The functionality test bench from Poppe + Potthoff Maschinenbau (PPM) enables comprehensive long-term tests to be carried out quickly and on-site at changing temperatures. The power supply via the on-board or traction battery is simulated with low respectively high voltage.

Development cycles are becoming shorter and shorter – especially in the automotive industry, which is increasingly focusing on the production of electric vehicles. To quickly adapt to new requirements, suppliers need not only promising ideas for products but also systems that enable rapid validation. Test benches from Poppe + Potthoff Maschinenbau are designed to test prototypes or serial parts in a near-realistic, fast and economical way to detect and correct weak points. The functional test bench puts the power consumption and heating and cooling performance of climate control units to the test at varying temperatures.

Performance test at changing temperatures

The unit is inserted into the test chamber and connected to the test medium circuit. To simulate battery operation in an electric vehicle, a power supply with low voltage (0 to 20VDC / 5A) or high voltage (0 to 600VDC / 150A) is available. The test medium (water-glycol mixture or pure glycol, e. g. Glysantin G40, G44, G48) circulates with a freely programmable temperature of -35 to +100 degrees Celsius and a flow rate of 3 to 30 l/min. Optionally, the test can also be carried out in a climatic chamber at -40 to +140 degrees Celsius to simulate changing ambient temperatures.

A valid long-term test usually takes 20 days. Around the clock, the temperature and volume flow of the test medium vary depending on the programmed test cycles, as well as the ambient temperature if the test is carried out in the climatic chamber. Continuously the temperature of the test medium is measured at the inlet and outlet of the test object as well as the ambient temperature. The flow rate, pressure and pressure drop as well as current and voltage in the high and low voltage range are also documented. The focus is on the thermal and electrical performance of the heating/cooling unit under varying environmental conditions.

Safe and easy to use

The system meets the highest safety standards and is very easy to operate. As with all PPM systems, measurement data acquisition and visualization are carried out with LabVIEW applications from National Instruments. All test sequences and data are automatically stored on the system and can be exported to the network for evaluation. The open software structure allows additional sensors and data to be integrated into the test. Numerous customer-specific relevant parameters can thus be mapped. Fast service via remote maintenance and on-site technicians are also part of the service package.

Fig. 1: The compact functionality test bench from Poppe + Potthoff Maschinenbau measures the energy consumption and performance data of heating and cooling units under changing temperature conditions to optimize their efficiency. Source: Poppe + Potthoff

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Poppe + Potthoff Maschinenbau GmbH designs and manufactures test stands for measuring the strength and durability of components in automotive engineering and shipbuilding as well as other industries. The precise and high-performant special machines by the specialist for high-pressure and test technology are used in research, development and production. This includes test stands for measuring bursting pressure and tightness, impulse testing, autofrettage as well as automated testing. In addition, comprehensive component tests are offered as a service. The company based in Nordhausen (Germany) is a member of the Poppe + Potthoff Group.

Poppe + Potthoff stands for precision. The group develops and manufactures customer-specific steel tubes, common rail subsystems, high pressure tubes, precision components, line shafts, couplings as well as specialized test stands and other machines. Poppe + Potthoff enables highly sophisticated solutions in automotive engineering and shipbuilding, machine tool building and mechanical engineering as well as other industries. The family-owned enterprise with its headquarters and technology center in Werther (Germany) was founded in 1928 and has more than 1,500 employees. Poppe + Potthoff is active in more than 50 countries with its subsidiaries and long-term partners – always in close contact with its customers.