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Developing the next generation Li-ion battery packs for automated guided vehicles

Leclanché uses a Speedgoat real-time target machine to accelerate the development of Li-ion battery packs and battery management systems (BMS).

As a world-leading provider of high-quality energy storage solutions, Leclanché is committed to accelerating progress towards a cleaner energy future.

"Speedgoat together with MathWorks products offer us a very efficient workflow to design, test and validate algorithms for our battery management systems: from model design and computer simulations, to code generation and integration, and eventually to actual hardware testing."

Marc Lucea, Senior Application SW Engineer, Leclanché SA

Success Story

There is an increasing demand for autonomous electric vehicles, such as automated guided vehicles (AGVs), in factories and warehouses for task automation. They have to be as efficient as possible in terms of energy. To fulfill this challenge, Leclanché has developed the Eiger battery management system (BMS), a platform that focuses on lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery packs ranging from 14V to 100V.

Before having a Speedgoat hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing platform for BMS, engineers at Leclanché were looking for a way to perform closed-loop tests with battery models for new algorithms, application software, or battery state estimation models.

Leclanché SA Corporate Story

Leclanché SA Corporate Story

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Without a HIL bench, one alternative to performing closed-loop tests is to run them at the software level only (SIL) and to assess algorithm performance on actual battery systems. However, this process has limited coverage, is time-consuming, prone to errors, and does not reduce the complexities of developing, testing, and upgrading state-of-the-art algorithms for BMS. Another drawback is a lack of preliminary testing possibilities, which means bugs can often only be found in later development stages.

Speedgoat HIL simulators enable full-scale testing of algorithmic performance and robustness before testing with actual Li-ion cells, resulting in a much more efficient and cost-saving process than testing each BMS configuration with actual Li-ion cells.

HIL Testing of BMS Using Speedgoat Products

Implementing the seamless workflow from MathWorks and Speedgoat has enabled Leclanché’s engineers to conduct safety feature tests and evaluate the performance and robustness of battery state estimation models like state-of-charge (SoC) or state-of-health (SoH).

The Speedgoat HIL testing platform, together with Simulink Test™, enables a wide range of automated testing options. This includes testing application-specific charge/discharge patterns on each cell using the IO991 battery cell emulator, temperature emulation using analog outputs, and current emulation with a CAN-based simulated current sensor. Simulink Test automatically checks pass/fail criteria based on expected BMS accuracy or delay requirements. 

The HIL testing platform fulfills another important task by enabling Leclanché to assess the robustness of the battery state estimation and BMS algorithms in both nominal and extreme cases by applying various perturbations such as voltage, current, or temperature disturbances.

Increasing Test Coverage via HIL Testing

Leveraging automated HIL testing, engineers at Leclanché added a battery model comprised of an equivalent Li-ion cell circuit and supervisor model for covering all actual sensors (voltage, temperature, and current) to mitigate design bugs. The Li-ion cell’s plant model includes changing each cell’s internal resistance up to 150% over the nominal value.

Other parametric robustness test cases were defined in Test Manager for desktop simulation referring to the same harness, such as cell’s capacity changes, current sensor offset, and voltage measurement noise.


Speedgoat as Standard HIL Testing Solution

With this setup, engineers at Leclanché reduced testing time by 50% while increasing the test coverage for BMS safety features by 40%.
Furthermore, bugs could be detected early on in the development. With this established workflow, engineers at Leclanché will continue to rely on Speedgoat.  

Speedgoat real-time solutions are part of the HIL test platform for BMS solutions. It will become Leclanché’s standard platform for a variety of end products, including all AGV applications.

Leclanché SA

Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland

Images: Leclanché

Story written in collaboration with: Marc Lucea, Senior Application SW Engineer at Leclanché SA

MathWorks products used

  • Simulink®
  • MATLAB Coder™
  • Simulink Coder™
  • Simulink Real-Time™
  • Simulink Test™



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