Battery Testing Made Easy


The best way to test any kind of rechargeable battery is to start with the upgraded KickStart Battery Simulator App from Tektronix / Keithley, which provides battery testing, battery emulation, battery simulation and battery modeling.

With a growing number of battery-powered devices in our homes and factories, on our desks and roads, and in our pockets, it is imperative that the batteries we use continue to be safe and reliable.

Battery-powered laptops became common in the 1990s. Handsets have been powered by batteries from the beginning of cellular telephony (which really took off with the introduction of smartphones in the 2000s). The automotive industry is now in the process of transitioning to hybrid and fully electric vehicles (HEVs and EVs).  

The internet of things (IoT) is adding a wide range of battery-powered devices: security systems, thermostats, doorbells, lighting, and more.

Battery Safety Starts With Testing

Battery safety and reliability starts with design, manufacturing, and testing. Keithley has already made battery testing reliable with its KickStart Software, but knowing we are all going to be relying more and more on batteries, Keithley engineers just made it faster and easier too.

Test engineers have long been able to use KickStart for applications such as battery simulation and discharge model generation. The previous solution required using a 2380 Series Electronic Load and a 2281S Battery Simulator, however.

The latest version of Tektronix KickStart Software makes it all simpler, easier, and more accurate.

Battery Testing With Less Equipment

The enhanced Battery Simulator App released in KickStart Software version 2.11.0 gets test engineers down to a one-box solution. Test engineers can use any one of a variety of our source measure units (SMUs), including our 2400 Graphical Touchscreen Series SMUs or our 2600B Series SMUs.

While the new approach certainly clears space on a test bench, having a one-box solution is so much more versatile than that – it makes the solution portable. It is now significantly easier, for example, to develop and test battery cell materials in the lab for use in EV battery packs.

Battery Emulation With Less Effort

The Keithley KickStart Battery Simulator App provides users the ability to easily generate battery models, simulate batteries, and perform battery cycle tests using the app. And as always with KickStart, no programming is required.

The solution comes with 12 battery emulator models ready to be used, and it is also easy to import and export models to and from KickStart software. Test engineers can immediately begin testing consumer wireless devices, automotive, and industrial applications without having to write a SMU custom script.

Of course, for those who wish to do so, the application makes it possible to generate, edit, and simulate custom battery models.

Battery Simulation Settings on KickStart Battery Simulator App

Better Battery Testing Results

The KickStart Battery Simulator App boasts the capacity for a maximum of eight total instruments; you can have eight Battery Simulators open, each with its own instrument. This makes it easy to conduct battery testing through multiple charge and discharge cycles with access to a wide variety of test cutoff conditions.

Alternatively, up to eight KickStart apps can be run independently (and some apps support multiple connected instruments).

Either way, millions of test points can be collected for subsequent test runs. The user interface is highly responsive, allowing changes to the simulated state of charge in real time.

The application yields real-time table and graph views that have been created for instant data visualization and collection, showcasing dynamic and static battery models of battery VOC, Vt, SOC, ESR, current, and capacity. Multiple tests can be viewed in a single window, and data from multiple test runs can be presented in a single plot for comparison.

A Better Battery Test Solution

Altogether, the enhanced KickStart battery test solution will save test engineers money, time, and coding effort, all while providing more flexibility, extensive visualization, and greater accuracy.

The one-box, no code approach we’ve taken with the Keithley KickStart Software Battery Simulator Application makes it possible for Tektronix customers to effortlessly generate battery models, simulate, and cycle test batteries from the convenience of a PC-based software.

TestEquity are an approved UK partner for Tektronix
Blog: Battery Testing Made Easy
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