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Battery Simulator Disconnect Panel for High Voltage DC Equipment

POSTED 02/27/2024

The Challenge

A global automotive manufacturer faced a recurring challenge in keeping pace with the escalating voltage requirements needed by their Electric Vehicle (EV) testing initiatives. Their test cells began with equipment rated for 600 volts and 600 amps. Yet, they’ve had to upgrade several times to meet their current demand of 1500 volts and 1200 amps.

To mitigate frequent and costly upgrades, the company sought a novel disconnect panel capable of managing high voltage DC power at 1500 volts and 2000 amps while upholding the stringent safety certification of Performance Level D, Category 3 (PLD Cat 3).

This panel would receive the DC power supplied by a battery simulator and distribute it to the Unit Under Test (UUT).

Its design necessitated a complete custom solution. One of the initial challenges was the absence of fully documented standards and specifications for high voltage DC equipment, a gap that required ACS expertise.

The Solution

Our expert team engineered and constructed a custom Battery Simulator Disconnect Panel (BSDP) to facilitate High Voltage DC (HVDC) distribution, prioritizing safety and scalability.

This panel attained a Performance Level D, Category 3 (PLD Cat 3) safety certification.

Competitor products require manual operation near high voltage equipment. In contrast, the ACS-built solution has a motor-operated disconnect, eliminating the need for personnel to physically interact with the high voltage components and markedly enhancing their safety.

The panel contains a range of engineering and administrative safety controls, including door switches and the absence of voltage testers, creating a highly secure operating environment and substantially mitigating risk.

Further enhancing the future-proof quality of the panel, it can be adapted to supply additional power to one battery simulator and distribute it to multiple others. This versatile feature enables the automotive manufacturer to reallocate power resources as their needs evolve.

The Outcome

Our custom HVDC battery simulator disconnect panel surpasses the objectives set by the auto manufacturer, establishing a new benchmark in the industry. The company has already purchased seven additional panels for use across different test facilities.

The incorporation of a motor-operated disconnect system represents a substantial leap in safety over existing HVDC panels. It ensures that personnel are no longer in close proximity to high voltage equipment, effectively eliminating a significant safety hazard. Moreover, a range of control mechanisms within the panel prevents it from being opened under load, further enhancing its safety features.

The panel's future-proofing capacity addresses a key industry challenge: the changing power needs as battery technology advances. This adaptability optimizes testing processes and saves the company valuable time and resources it would otherwise spend on frequent upgrades.

The ACS-designed BSDP met the project’s critical objective by achieving Performance Level D, Category 3 safety certification.

While this HVDC battery simulator disconnect panel was custom-designed for the global auto manufacturer, it tackles a universal challenge faced by all companies engaged in EV testing: effectively handling and distributing higher voltage to test stands in the face of evolving power requirements.

Our HVDC battery simulator disconnect panel stands as a cost-effective solution to this shared challenge, necessitating minimal customization for installation in any test facility dedicated to EV battery testing.

Key Features

  • Handles high voltage DC power at 1500 volts and 2000 amps
  • Safety certification: Performance Level D, Category 3 (PLD Cat 3)
  • Custom-machined copper bus bars for efficient electrical connections
  • Safety mechanisms, including door switches and the absence of voltage testers
  • A versatile solution with universal application in the EV testing industry

ACS Services

  • Engineered and constructed a custom BSDP to facilitate HVDC distribution
  • Performed Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) and Site Acceptance Testing (SAT)