Instruments

Battery cycliser

The main task of a battery cycliser is the cyclisation, i.e., the cyclic charging and discharging, of batteries, mostly battery cells. Cyclisers are used especially in research and development, but also in quality assurance of battery production or for the evaluation of so-called end-of-life cells, i.e., battery cells that have reached their cyclic or calendar life.

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What happens during cyclisation?

The process of cyclisation does not initially require any particularly complex measurement technology. All that is needed is a constant current source for charging and a constant current load for discharging. However, for the quality of the measurements and measurement results, it is essential to deliver the constant current with high accuracy and to accurately determine the voltage of the cell. To achieve this precision, the cyclisers sometimes differ significantly in their circuit design and specifications.

Classic cyclisers are a form of bidirectional switched-mode power supply with integrated voltage measurement. With this relatively simple design, high accuracies can be achieved, provided that the measurement conditions match the specifications of the cycliser. Typically, the applicable currents are therefore in a restricted range, which is sufficient for standardised cells that all require a similar current rate. When measuring voltage, usually only the positive voltage range is considered anyway and special cases like 0V or well above 5V are exceptions. Cyclisers for battery modules or even battery packs are of course adapted to the higher voltages.

Cyclisers by Neware

EKT Battery cycliser

Very robust and cost-effective cyclisers are the devices of the Chinese manufacturer Neware. The range includes different power ranges for small cells (milliamp range), to medium sized cells (low amp range), to large cells (100A range). Common methods such as CC, CV, CCCV, CP, and CR are supported throughout and DCIR is also standard. The associated software is designed for standardised measurement protocols including barcode scanning, but is also suitable for more flexible measurement scenarios. Through serial cascading of the cyclisers and Ethernet communication, large measurement fields can be easily set up.

Cyclisation with multi-channel potentiostats

EKT Multi-channel potentiostats

Compared to the classical cyclisers, which can show their strengths especially in industrial environments, multi-channel potentiostats for battery cyclisation are also suitable.

Due to the higher flexibility, such a solution is particularly in demand in the research environment. The fact that potentiostats generally have several current ranges and can therefore be used to cycle cells of different dimensions with one system is an advantage. In addition, multi-channel potentiostats can be used for more complex measurement protocols and methods, such as cyclic voltammetry or impedance spectroscopy. Multi-channel potentiostats optimised for use as battery cyclisers are the OctoStat and IviCycle by Ivium.

Besides the favourable price/performance ratio, both device series convince with flat housings in 19-inch rack format. In terms of power, the milliampere range (30 or 200mA) and ampere range (1 or 3A - IviCycle; 5A - OctoStat) are covered. With the multi-channel booster OcotBoost16000, the OctoStat even allows up to 16A on all 8 measuring channels or up to 128A on one measuring channel.