Battery Design and Test Facilities

Battery Design and Test Facilities

Rail Battery Design and Testing Need Not Leave You Drained


Our multi-sector approach allows our rail clients access to dedicated and experienced battery design and test facilities

Ricardo has extensive engineering design,  development and testing experience in the field of hybrid and electric vehicle battery packs. With experience of applying new chemistries and formats, to designing & building prototype packs and supporting our clients through integration and production programs. Our battery teams utilise the latest tools and techniques to ensure robust design and development and are integrated with our rolling stock engineering teams to ensure optimal mechanical, structural and thermal design, optimising key factors, be it for a power or energy dense applications.

The use of in-house design, testing and integration teams means Ricardo can rapidly design, validate and test batteries to ensure they meet the required project criteria providing safe, high performance and long lasting battery systems for rail traction use.

Battery design, simulation and development 

  • Requirement Analysis & Vehicle Simulation
  • Chemistry & Cell Format Selection
  • Cell Characterisation & Life Cycle Modelling
  • CFD Modelling, Thermal Modelling & Thermal System Design
  • Mechanical Design & Integration
  • Electrical Design - Electronics (BMS), Contactors, Fusing and Creepage and Clearances
  • Functional Safety
  • Crash Simulation
  • FMEA & Design Validation planning
  • Testing in house or working with partners Ricardo are familiar with global test and development requirements for validating global battery pack

Battery management system

The 3rd generation of Ricardo’s Universal BMS has been developed to allow rapid prototyping of new automotive battery packs with focus on systems requiring certification to ISO 26262. Without hardware changes it can be software configured for different cell chemistries, cell, and module configurations. Key features include:

  • Supports 12V-1000V & compatible with 12V & 24V systems
  • Supports four CAN interfaces including CAN-FD
  • Adaptable battery SoC estimation strategies
  • High charge/discharge rate capable (15C/30C)
  • High performance 32-bit processing cores allowing execution of advanced algorithms
  • Robust, Reliable Automotive grade hardware suitable for serial production projects
  • Adaptable to wide range of chemistry, pack design and storage medium
  • -40°C to +85°C operating range

Our Connected Battery Management System platform helps our customers to manage the health of the batteries in their in-service fleet, allowing them to monitor battery health, identify faults before they lead to an in service issue and to develop, simulate and cascade updates across fleets. 


Battery Testing Facilities

Primarily working for our automotive sector clients, our battery test cell facilities allow us to develop any propulsion system configuration spanning both hybrid and fully electric vehicles in a wide range of sizes and formats. 

  • Capabilities in both the UK and USA.
  • Battery simulators covering a wide range of hybrid vehicle development needs
  • 3 Li-Ion, NiMH capable development chambers 
    • Thermal controls from –29 deg C to 60C. 
    • Large format battery pack capable (3.6m x 3.6m / 12' x 12')
  • Bitrode 25 – 750V DC sink or source emulator:
    • 0 – 500A current, 250 kW power rating
    • CAN bus communication
    • User programmable battery modules
    • Transportable – can be linked up to any Ricardo test rig
  • High bandwidth 0-60V DC, 16kW, 380A source/sink unit
    • Ideally suited for 48V battery, BMS and vehicle power systems development
    • Supports sub-system testing and development to VDA LV148 standard
    • Programmable battery emulation
    • Integrated data logging
    • Highly Portable (19in flight case) for use at client test facilities
  • 2650 square foot facility at Ricardo Detroit Technology Campus, USA.
  • Turnkey engineering and development of complete high voltage battery pack systems
  • V900 battery cycler and ABC150 battery cycler
    • 250kW, 1000A, 8 to 900V
  • Hardware-in-the-Loop system
    • Enables advanced controls development and engineering development
  • High voltage instrumentation for independent measurements

If you are considering a battery or hybrid refit or re-traction package then get in touch with our team via the form to see how we can help.