Electric Vehicle Leak Testing

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Electric Vehicle Leak Testing 2020-10-12T18:46:16+00:00

ATEQ is Available to Provide Consulting, Leak Testers For Electric Fuel Cell Vehicle Leak Testing Applications.

Electric fuel cell vehicles have become a mainstream product of automotive manufacturing. Many of the components in a fuel cell vehicle require leak testing to ensure the vehicle can operate safely and efficiently.  Leak testing applications in fuel cell vehicles include the: motor, power control unit, fuel cell, battery, sensors and the hydrogen tank and gas line.

The electric drive motor, sensors and power control unit in a vehicle need to be leak tested in order to ensure that water will not be able to enter the components and that liquid isn’t lost from the motor’s cooling jacket. Leak testing is required for the fuel cell not only to prevent the ingress of water, but also to prevent crossover leakage and hydrogen from leaking out of the cell.  A fuel cell vehicle battery that is not properly leak tested risks water getting into the battery and losing cooling liquid or electrolytes from the battery.  Leak testing the hydrogen tank is also essential in order to make sure hydrogen does not leak out of the tank.

Hydrogen leakage from fuel cells can be a big safety risk.  It can cause a flammable gas concentation to escape into the vehicle and if the hydrogen gets into the cooling channel it can cause pump corrosion, fuel cell overheating and gas bubbles in the coolant causing pump damage. When there is a crossover leak, the hydrogen and oxygen can mix which further widens the leak defect area.  Coolant leakage from the fuel cell can cause overheating, electric shortages and can block gas paths that supply the fuel cell.

There are several stages of leak testing throughout the production of a fuel cell. The first is the leak testing of gas cavities and cooling paths in the bipolar plates.  Next, the cooling loop and air channels within the stack are leak tested. Finally, the stack is leak tested at the end-of-line to check the fuel cell housing for leaks and for cross over leakage.

The battery in a fuel cell vehicle also has many components that need to be leak tested to make sure water does not ingress and that battery coolant is not lost including the: battery cells, case, pack, cell cooler, cold plate, radiator, chiller and cooling pipeline.

The most common ways to leak test the hydrogen tank are to put the gas-filled tank into a chamber.  The accumulation method detects for an increase in tracer gas in the chamber while the vacuum method evacuates the chamber and detects the gas that escapes the chamber. After assembly, a tracer gas sniffer can be used to check that no hydrogen is escaping from the tank’s fill port, valve or pressure sensor.

ATEQ has developed solutions for leak testing fuel cells and electric vehicle components for well known automotive companies over the last 40 years.  Whether you are leak testing a component from a battery pouch, housing, fuel cell, valve, sensor, tank or a whole assembly, ATEQ can work with you to verify testing specifications and provide efficient leak testers and flow meters for electric vehicle systems and develop integrated EV leak testing solutions.

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