The Battery Grinspector, affordable pack testing for ebike shops

It's high time to formally introduce our Battery Grinspector, a device that converts a Version 2 Cycle Analyst into a full computer controlled battery test station. Here is a nice video that Bruno made while we had a prototype to show at the Taipei Cycle Show earlier this year:

This is our first foray into products aimed at shops and businesses that have to maintain and service electric bicycles rather than to ebike end users. As more and more ebike shops open up, there's an increasing need for ebike specific diagnostic and repair tools. We hope it finds a small but growing audience!

A little background

Over the years we've built all kinds of custom battery discharge testing rigs for the troubleshooting, QC, and R&D needs of our operation. But each has been very much a one-off project, rather than something designed with the idea that we could manufacture it as a product. The one on the left is Justin's very first battery charge/discharge machine built for conditioning and testing salvaged NiMH batteries for his first ebike project at university, while on the right was a comprehensive labview controlled solution that would cycle test 8 packs at a time.

Early battery tester for cycle testing and conditioning salvaged NiMH packs Example of test plots showing cell reversals An early ~2006 battery tester we made for a local ebike shop Voltage EV A later revision that with an active programmable load for automatic cycle testing at different currents This 8 at a time labview DAQ controlled tester we made in 2007 and it served us nearly 10 years, performing 10's of thousands of battery discharges in the process  Closeup of our 8-pack custom made test station, retired at last earlier this year

Commercial equipment available on the market for testing batteries tends to be bulky and expensive, made for laboratory or industrial use and wholly out of place in a bike shop. As a result, we noticed many of our dealers have setup simple improvised rigs using a Cycle Analyst and load resistor to do a simple battery capacity test.

Battery Grinspector Basic Layout

The Grinspector station builds on this concept, allowing allowing shops to use their familiar Cycle Analyst while a computer is able to control the charging and discharging of the battery, with real time discharge graphs as well as a final printable QC report. Everytime someone purchases a battery from us, they get a printout of the battery discharge curve showing actual capacity and other test data. That's our own bank of Grinspectors at work, and we hope to empower other shops to do the same.