Voltage Measurement for Electric Vehicle Industry

The rising popularity of electric vehicles is revolutionizing the automotive industry, and while the measuring methods and equipment used in the manufacturing of these vehicles are no different from those assembling vehicles with internal combustion engines, testing their powertrains is.

The powertrains in EVs are composed of various subsystems and components and work on different principles. This is particularly true of the high-voltage and power electronics which further underlines the importance of voltage measurements and their associated challenges.

Voltage Measurement During EV Charging Station Testing

The demand for charging stations has grown exponentially. Charging voltage and charging current can significantly affect the battery lifespan and performance, which further underscores the importance of voltage measurement.

Not only do the EV charging stations have to pass all the quality control checks, but they also need to have all the protective circuitry that would protect the EV battery in case of malfunction during charging. Precise voltage measurements play a crucial role in charging station testing processes, ensuring the end product meets all the safety requirements.

Data Logging for Electronic Vehicle System Testing

Voltage measurements in residential and industrial settings are typically conducted using handheld multimeters with very limited data-logging capabilities. However, the electric vehicle industry relies heavily on voltage measurement during testing and quality inspections during various stages of production, prioritizing precise measurement and data logging.

This demands the use of data loggers—devices that record the results of voltage measurements for defect detection and subsequent analysis. KEYENCE’s NR-X Series is the world’s most compact multi-input data logger compatible with a variety of measurement applications, including voltage measurements.

Voltage Measurement Data Loggers for Electric Vehicle Industry

To conduct measurements, the NR-X Series data logger has to be paired with a select measurement unit, and in case of voltage measurement and logging for the electric vehicle industry, the NR-HV04 measurement unit offers 4-channel ±1000 V inputs at 1 MHz sampling frequency, which matches the current industry requirements perfectly.

Thanks to its sampling frequency and 14-bit A/D resolution, this voltage measurement data logger can detect even the subtlest variations in voltage and store them as data for subsequent processing and analysis, which allows manufacturers to remove potential defects before the product reaches the final stages in the production process, minimizing the associated expenses.

Understanding EV High Voltage Component Testing

Measuring high-voltage components in EVs isn’t only about measuring voltage. It also involves measuring current within the system of each vehicle, as well as the electrical resistance and thermal performance of insulation and the overall electrics inside an EV.

Before the voltage and current are measured on the road—which diagnostic tools can do from within the EVs system—the electric powertrain and the entire high-voltage electrical system have to be tested in both simulations and test benches. This requires precise equipment capable of measuring voltages in the ±1000 V range.

Benefits of Voltage Measurement in Electric Vehicles

Voltage measurements in the electric vehicle industry aren’t a mere technical necessity; they’re a safety imperative that can prevent hazardous conditions from occurring. This includes overcharging, electrical shorts, over heating , and various protection circuitry integrated into the electrical system.

Precise voltage measurements from single-digit voltage levels to 800 V found in the current architecture play a crucial role in the systems’ performance. This includes enhanced battery performance, which subsequently affects the performance of the vehicle and its range per charge. In terms of quality control, however, these measurements ensure the EV meets the necessary reliability and safety standards.

Integrating Voltage Measurement into EV Testing Processes

KEYENCE offers automated voltage measurement system integrations for the electric vehicle industry that streamline and enhance many aspects of quality control and safety assurance.

If you’re interested in integrating KEYENCE’s data loggers or data acquisition systems into your voltage measurement testing, don’t hesitate to contact KEYENCE—the company’s professional staff is at your disposal should you have any concerns regarding integrations.