Safe Measurements at Dangerously High Voltage Potential Safe Measurements at Dangerously High Voltage Potential | HBM

Consistent and certified safety when measuring the electrical chain of action of vehicles

With the QuantumX data acquisition system, HBM offers two isolated measurement modules with VDE certification – for proven reliability when measuring at dangerously high voltage potential.

Legislators are calling for further reductions in CO2 and pollutant emissions, which is why in the medium and long term we must achieve independence from using fossil fuels to power vehicles. The electrification of drivetrains is therefore playing an increasingly important role. There are various possible solutions - hybridization of conventional drivetrains, battery-powered electric vehicles, fuel cells, and the electrification of ancillary units with the associated changes to vehicle components. Similarly, the establishment and expansion of appropriate charging infrastructure for filling with hydrogen or electric charge is being pushed ahead. Mobile dynamic electric drives are gaining ground steadily!

However, the electrification of the drivetrain and auxiliary units as well as the integration of energy storage devices with high/dangerous electrical voltages in vehicles places high demands on safety when handling dangerous voltages in test bench ad field tests and beyond. QuantumX from HBM offers two measuring modules with VDE certification – for independently certified safety in the development and testing of electrified systems and in their installation.

The growth of electromobility

The importance of electromobility is growing worldwide - not only in the private sector but also for businesses. Increasingly, electric drives are being used in the logistics, aviation, shipping, sports and leisure sectors. Compared to combustion engines, electric drives have an advantage: They are more efficient, agile and environmentally friendly if the entire electrical chain of action is sustainable.

However, the technology places high demands on safety, because the high electrical voltages are life-threatening to people. This applies to the product life cycle from development, through operation to the end of the product's life and beyond.

Safe measurement and testing in a high-voltage environment

"Depending on the model, voltages of up to 800 volts occur in electrical components such as the energy storage system of electric vehicles. In healthy adults, exceeding a voltage above 50 V AC or 120 V DC is considered a life-threatening situation," says Christof Salcher, Product Manager at HBM. "That's why in our QuantumX family with the Voltage module MX403B and the Thermocouple module MX809B we offer two precise, isolated measuring modules, which were developed for metrological analyses of electrical components.

With these modules we offer an integrated safety concept across the entire measurement chain, which is still unique in the market today. The VDE has accompanied us right from the start in development, production, and service and has awarded us the VDE certificate. This was new and created a certain amount of catching up for the industry and prompted our customers to think about it."

An integrated safety concept across the entire measurement chain

With the MX403B voltage module and the MX809B thermocouple module, HBM offers two precise, isolated measuring modules, which were developed for metrological analyses of electrical components.

Protecting employees from hazards when handling dangerous electrical voltages

With the VDE certificate, the Testing and Certification Institute of the German Association of Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies (VDE) confirms that both QuantumX modules comply with the applicable standards and thus reduce user hazards to an acceptable level. This is based, among other things, on the IEC 61010 measuring instrument standard and its specifications for test and measurement circuits in measuring instruments as well as the entire measurement chain—from transducers to measurement electronics. QuantumX MX403B and MX809B meet these requirements with an integrated insulation concept: double insulated and rugged measuring leads, safe measuring leads, contact-protected connectors, and IEC61010-compliant design of the devices while maintaining the necessary minimum distances, insulations, and necessary tests.

But of course, this does not eliminate all the dangers. All persons handling dangerous electrical potential must be appropriately trained e.g., qualified electricians for HV systems in motor vehicles. Within the framework of these courses, the necessary handling and measures related to safety are learned and practiced together with experts on an electric vehicle. This makes it possible to select and handle safe electrical equipment. For example, if employees injure themselves while working with unsafe measuring devices, the company and the responsible manager can be held personally liable. With proven safety standards, companies can more easily fulfill and document their duty of care in the field of occupational safety.

Collecting and processing measurement data for the preparation of energy balances

The two modules complement each other perfectly with the measured quantities of voltage and current for QuantumX MX403B and voltage and temperature for QuantumX MX809B. They are suitable for demanding measurement tasks in many fields of application:

  • The QuantumX MX403B voltage measurement module measures voltages up to 1000 volts and currents via shunt or clip-on load. It is therefore ideal for dynamic measurement tasks in the laboratory, on the test bench or in mobile applications, and offers a sample rate of up to 100 kS/s per channel, with a measurement bandwidth of up to 40 kHz.
  • The QuantumX MX809B amplifier provides eight channels for measuring temperatures, using thermocouples and high potential electrical voltages. This makes the module ideal for tests and analyses of electric motors, generators, rectifiers or inverters, charging stations, and energy storage devices such as high-voltage batteries and fuel cells. In the energy storage test, the amplifier can be used to precisely measure cell voltages and temperatures at a potential of up to 1000 volts.

"Thanks to full integration into the QuantumX family, this allows the construction of variable complete systems with CAN bus or EtherCAT connection. In addition to electrical and thermal factors, the focus is also on mechanical quantities. Remember that a modern energy storage system, as a large part of the system, must be integrated into the entire vehicle and must meet all environmental conditions," says Christof Salcher. "This enables the creation of comprehensive test setups for testing performance, function, operational stability, reliability, and safety. The development of energy and temperature balances, for example in the testing of battery systems, charging stations or auxiliary units, raises one of the decisive questions: ‘What range does my vehicle have?’ The measurement data can be analyzed at runtime and simultaneously integrated into fully automated test sequences in real time."

Regular tests for verifiably high safety

With QuantumX, HBM offers a complete system that meets the long-term safety requirements of growing electrification. "Only products that are continuously evaluated may carry the VDE certificate," says Christof Salcher. After regular product tests and factory inspections, the VDE safety experts are convinced of HBM's high quality and production standards. All employees involved in the production and service of the modules are qualified electricians. "Thanks to the internationally accredited VDE certificate, the QuantumX MX403B and MX809B meet the highest globally established safety requirements," adds Christof Salcher, "for demanding and safe measuring tasks in the high-voltage range."

QuantumX - the DAQ system for reliable measurement of high voltages

The MX403B and MX809B QuantumX data acquisition system modules measure current, voltage, and temperature reliably and precisely for demanding measuring tasks in the high-voltage range:

  • Safety at high voltages over the entire measuring chain with safe measuring leads, patented connectors protected against contact, insulated inputs, and IEC61010-compliant design of the devices.
  • Meets the highest international safety requirements for measurements up to 1000 volts—verifiable with VDE certification.
  • Universally applicable for research and development of electrical systems, for example, in the automotive, aerospace, shipping, and machine building industries.
  • Thanks to standardized synchronization, the QuantumX MX403B and MX809B work as a unit and are ideal for creating complex energy balances, for example, for energy storage systems.