Energi og miljø

Testing of components in electrical and thermal systems

The Bi-directional Power Unit (BPU) in the Power system laboratory at IFE can be used to test batteries, electrolysers, fuel cells, regenerative fuel cells, supercondensators and converters

Ulleberg, Øystein

Principal Scientist


IFE can offer testing and analyses on component/subsystem/system level by highly skilled personnel with experience from both electrical and thermal systems.

The Bi-directional Power Unit (BPU) in the power system laboratory at IFE can be used both as a power supply and an electronic load for testing and characterisation of individual components or as part of a system with the other components in the laboratory. The laboratory is equipped with infrastructure for testing and characterisation of hydrogen technologies (fuel cells, energy storages, and electrolysers), and it takes real inputs from small-scale renewable energy sources (wind and solar) in addition to batteries, supercondensators, and power converters.

Bi-directional Power Unit (BPU)

Areas of use

The BPU is flexible and produces reliable test results as it is fully programmable with its own software and controls, combined with very high capacity calibrated by certified personnel. Besides from emulating wind and solar energy sources, the BPU is very suitable for testing batteries, especially for electrical vehicles as different drive cycles can be programmed and emulated.

The BPU and the power system facilities at IFE can be used to test these components individually or in system configurations:

  • Batteries
  • Electrolysers
  • Fuel cells
  • Regenerative fuel cells
  • Supercondensators (in a system configuration)
  • Converters (in a system configuration)

BPU specifications


  • Up to 400 Vdc
  • Up to 300 Adc
  • Switching time between supply/load mode: 200 ms

Software / Control Interface

  • Control parameters: Current, voltage, power and resistance, ramp function
  • Switching parameters during charge/discharge: Time, voltage, current, Ah, Wh, temperature (optional), δ-values, gradients
  • Functions: Charge, discharge, pause, cycles, cycle in cycle
  • Program length: up to 3000 steps, jump function, repeat
  • Measurement channels: 2 physical channels for current and voltage
    48 channels, 24 for voltage and 24 for temperature, through data logger interface