Midtronics completes initial field testing of new high-voltage Hybrid/EV vehicle battery service and de-power tool
|The GRX-5100. Click to enlarge.|
Battery testing and management company Midtronics, Inc. has completed initial field testing for the GRX-5100 Hybrid/EV Battery Station, the first high-voltage Hybrid/EV vehicle battery service and de-power tool for various hybrid and electric vehicles.
The GRX-5100 is designed to de-power safely high-voltage battery packs and also to enable service for the battery system at the module level, reducing manufacturer warranty costs and repair time and expense for customers. Currently completing field testing at General Motors, the GRX-5100 was developed to perform full battery pack service, including balancing, charging in no-start situations, and full de-powering.
The de-power capability enables packs in vehicles that have been involved in severe collisions to be de-powered to a safe level for storage, recycling or shipment. Beyond service providers, the GRX-5100 is also targeted for reclamation yards where it can be used to perform critical safety checks and de-powering with the battery pack either in or out of the vehicle.
We have been working in tandem with various vehicle manufacturers to develop this new solution to improve the serviceability of electric and hybrid vehicle battery systems, whether that be routine repair or complete de-power after a severe collision. Field testing in cooperation with General Motors has been very successful and we plan to begin full-scale production and shipping of the GRX-5100 before the end of 2012.—Midtronics Chief Technology Officer Kevin Bertness
The GRX-5100 uses an electrical harness to connect between vehicle batteries and communication systems via unique adapters for each vehicle model. Simple menu prompts verify that the battery and communication systems are properly connected and balancing or de-powering operations can safely begin. The station also can be upgraded to handle future vehicle battery systems by downloading software updates from a USB stick.
The ability of the GRX-5100 to be updated to communicate with future vehicle battery systems ensures that our dealers and other OEMS will be able to perform service, de-power and balance functions as new makes/models are introduced.—Pablo Valencia, GM senior manager of global battery lifecycle management
The GRX-5100 is the latest Midtronic product for the hybrid/electric vehicle market. Previous product releases have included the HYB-1000 Hybrid Battery System Analyzer, designed for the aftermarket; and the GRX-5000 EV Battery Module Diagnostic Station which performs both battery module balancing and diagnostics and was initially created in support of the Nissan LEAF program. Midtronics presently supplies many OEM service facilities with conductance-based 12V battery testing equipment, as well as 12V charging stations.