New Industry Products

Keysight Introduces SiC-Based 1500V Battery Pack Test Systems

August 25, 2021 by Gary Elinoff

The new test systems offer power options of up to 270 KW, with capabilities of up to 1.5 MW upon parallelization.

Keysight’s Scienlab SL1700A Series exploits SiC technology to reduce losses as power is transferred back and forth between the test system and the battery as the test proceeds. The higher efficiency afforded by SiC semiconductors serves to increase energy recovery capability and increase power efficiency, thus reducing the amount of electricity previously necessitated by last generation testing systems.

The SL1700A Series Scienlab Battery Test System. Image courtesy of Keysight

Testing Battery Packs

High voltage battery packs, such as those used in electric vehicles (EV), consist of hundreds of individual battery cells connected in series and in parallel. Each cell not only has to be tested individually, but also balanced with respect to its peers, and to achieve this, a battery pack includes a battery management system (BMS). It also incorporates other electrical and mechanical components, in addition to a cooling system. Because the bits and pieces of a battery pack must work as a system, it must be tested as a system.

The SL1700A Scienlab Battery Test System – Pack Level Series enables engineers to subject the battery pack being evaluated to the electrical challenges it will encounter in real-world applications. The new series of testers operate at up to 1500V with model options available for between 90 and 270kW. The testing process involves the transfer of vast amounts of power back and forth between battery pack and tester. SiC technology does this with a minimum of wasted power that would otherwise generate heat, thus minimizing the need for cooling and making possible a small tester footprint.

As described by Michael Schugt, managing technology director of Keysight's Automotive & Energy Solutions group, "Our next generation battery pack test systems based on high voltage SiC technology, provide more power and higher voltages in less space, when compared to similar systems". He goes on to state that "When combined with the solutions energy efficiency, it allows our customers to design new batteries in their lab with greater flexibility."


Characteristics of the SL1700A Series

Thanks to its SiC technology, the series features 95% efficiency. The modularly designed devices can easily be expanded if a higher power ceiling later turns out to be required. The various models within the series feature surprisingly small footprints. All feature a current measurement accuracy of ±0.03% of the measured value, ±150 mA.

The system recreates the conditions that the battery pack will encounter in real-life settings in a controlled environment, allowing for improvements in safety and function. Armed with energy storage discover (ESD) test and control software, the system enables engineers to ascertain key measurements of the battery system’s intra-communication, functionality, heating, and interaction with its own BMS.


The Series Members

All members are available with voltage options starting from 50V and ranging up to 100V, 1200V or 1500V.

  • SL1710A:  90 kW at 300A
  • SL1720A:  90 kW at 300A
  • SL1730A:  180 kW at either 300A or 600A
  • SL1740A:  270kW at either 300A, 600A or 900A

Options include capabilities to more precisely measure small currents and voltages. More complete information can be found on the datasheet.


Physical Considerations


  • SL1710A: 1100 kg
  • SL1720A: 1350 kg
  • SL1730A: 1600kg
  • SL1740A: 1850 kg



  • SL1710A: 2400 x 1600 x 615mm
  • SL1720A: 2400 x 2400 x 615mm
  • SL1730A: 2400 x 2400 x 615mm 
  • SL1740A: 2400 x 2400 x 615mm