CControls Blog

University motorsport association uses Hioki power analyzer for efficiency measurements and portable PicoScope

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As a technology partner, Computer Controls supports the Akademischer Motorsportverein Zürich (AMZ) with professional knowledge and high-precision instrumentation. The AMZ was founded in 2006 by students at ETH Zurich, who develop a prototype vehicle for the various “Formula Student” races in Europe each year. The association gives students an opportunity to put their theoretical engineering knowledge into practice in a very complex product.

The power dissipation of an inverter can be determined with the aid of a power analyzer. On their motor test stand the AMZ Racing Team uses a Hioki PW6001 Power Analyzer to carry out validation tests for power circuitry and motors. The power dissipation of the components can be determined quickly and easily with the measurement setup described here. The power analyzer computes the Fourier components of the measured signals and directly outputs the derived effective, apparent and reactive power values. Based on the measured torque and motor speed, it can also indicate the motor efficiency by calculating the difference between the input power and the effective mechanical output.


Figure 1: Test setup for making measurements with the power analyzer on the AMZ test stand

Topics: News Instruments AMZ Racing Green Energy Power Hioki

Testing Lithium-Ion Batteries

In a previous blog, I wrote about how the AC method can be applied to measure lead acid batteries and how the principle of this measurement works. I also mentioned at the end of that blog post, that for Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) batteries the measurement gets a bit more tricky. The reason for this is an additional impedance element in Li-Ion batteries, called the Warburg impedance. On the one hand, the size of the Warburg impedance, caused by the difusion of lithium in the electrode material, is a parameter of interest to characterize a Li-Ion battery. On the other hand, the presence of the Warburg impedance requires a slightly different measurement approach.

In this blog post, I will describe what the Warburg impedance is, how it affects the Cole-Cole plots and finally the different measurement approach.

Topics: Instruments IoT Power Hioki

Testing Lead Acid Batteries

Testing lead acid batteries is a relevant topic for uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). Even though most uf us do not take notice of all the installed UPS systems in our environment, they can be encountered in a variety of facilities: Hospitals, banks, data centers, broadcasting systems, base stations or emergency communication systems to just name a few. And in many cases they are mission critical. Just think of a hospital where actual loss of life is eminent during a power outage, or a bank where a power outage could result in the loss of millions of dollars.


The core of many UPS systems is a bank of large lead acid batteries, which bridge the time between the failure of the power grid and the turn on of the diesel engine, which powers a local generator. An important task in maintaining a UPS system is to regularly check the capacity of the battery bank.

Topics: Instruments AppNote IoT Power Hioki