WILLOWBROOK, Ill. Midtronics Inc. has announced the completion of initial field-testing for the GRX-5100 Hybrid/EV Battery Station. According to Midtronics, this is the first high-voltage Hybrid/EV vehicle battery service and de-power tool for various hybrid and electric vehicles. The GRX-5100 safely de-powers high-voltage batteries and also enables service for the battery system at the module level, reducing manufacturer warranty costs and repair time and expense for customers, the company says.
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," said Midtronics Chief Technology Officer Kevin Bertness. "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."
The GRX-5100 features a versatile electrical harness between vehicle batteries and communication systems via unique adapters for each vehicle model. Simple menu prompts guide verification that the battery and communication systems are properly connected and balancing or de-powering operations can safely begin. The station also utilizes USB-based memory, which will support system updates for future vehicle battery systems without a hardware upgrade.
"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," said Pablo Valencia, GM senior manager of global battery lifecycle management.
The GRX-5100 is the latest in Midtronics range of products developed 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.