Independent, non-profit organization Southwest Research Institute announced on July 17 it had opened its Energy Storage Technology Center in a bid to bring its energy storage systems research, development and evaluation under one roof.
The Texas, US-based institute will evaluate and develop battery and energy storage systems for electric vehicles, grid storage, flywheels and stationary systems such as flow batteries for power grid applications.
The new facility includes 10 battery-testing chambers where cycling can be tested under extreme temperature conditions in environmentally controlled units.
The centre will also include a chamber to evaluate battery limits through abuse testing including penetration, crush, vibration, drop, accelerated aging, fire/flammability resistance, corrosion and overcharging.
Terry Alger, director of the institute’s Spark Ignited Engine R&D Department, said: “As manufacturers ramp up development of next-generation energy storage and vehicle electrification, this new facility gives us the flexibility to expand client services in battery performance and characterization, lifecycle assessment, and aging, temperature and abuse testing.
“We now have 10 times the laboratory space devoted to energy storage research and testing.”
Since 2010, the institute has tested more than 40,000 batteries — from cells to packs to grid storage systems — for automotive, military and energy clients.
The facility conducts battery benchmarking for the Energy Storage System Evaluation and Safety Consortium, whose members include original equipment manufacturers for passenger cars, trucks and locomotives.