How do you take the world's largest and most technologically advanced automotive battery lab and make it even better? Double the size, of course. With an additional investment of $8 million, General Motors will expand the Global Battery Systems Lab at the GM Tech Center from 30,000 square feet to a whopping 63,000 sq. ft. How's that for super-sized?
Paving way for the new addition requires converting an area previously used for engine testing over to battery development. The work will get under way this month and carry on throughout the summer. The expansion will give the company additional capability in several areas, as highlighted by GM:
- Safety and Abuse Tolerance. Powertrain test cells previously used for engine altitude testing will be retrofitted for crush, penetration, water immersion, overcharge, discharge and short circuit tests
- Buildup and Teardown. Reuse storage areas to prepare batteries before tests and provide secured rooms for supplier evaluation
- Manufacturing Engineering. Reuse space previously occupied by engine dynamometers to improve manufacturing processes, such as laser welding and cell stacking
- Charger Development and Integration
- Thermal Development. Radiant heat, thermal stability and thermal shock testing
- Battery Storage