Electronic Loads – Made in Germany
For over 30 years Höcherl & Hackl has been developer and producer of electronic loads and testing devices for power supply, energy storage units and fuel cells.
What are electronic loads?
In contrast to a power source, electronic loads are a current sink. It is an intelligent device that is used to replace a conventional (ohmic) load resistor.
While when loading a voltage source with a fixed resistor, only a certain load current can be set by a certain resistance value, the special feature of the electronic load is that the load current can be set within a defined range. It is controlled electronically.
Electronic loads find use in a wide range of applications, especially for testing power supply and control units, batteries, fuel and solar cells, generators, transformers, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), on-board power systems and many more.
Furthermore, electronic H&H loads have a versatile range of functions, which promises a comfortable use with a high automation potential. With functions such as MPP-Tracking, Discharge function, Internal resistance measurement, etc. complex measuring and data acquisition processes are automatically carried out by H&H loads, thus increasing their range of applications.
Also essential for automated test stands are analog and digital interfaces, which H&H loads usually have in standard design.
What are electronic loads used for?
Depending on their type and range of functions, electronic loads are suitable for a wide variety of applications. Mostly they are used for testing different electronic components, but they are also used as flexible adjustable controllers of different manipulated variables (current, voltage, power, resistance).
DC loads are used for testing the following components:
- Power supplies, bench power supplies
Static or dynamic load in different operating modes, burn-in test. To determine the V/I characteristics of power supplies from open circuit voltage to short circuit, electronic loads are also needed that can regulate high load currents at input voltages close to 0 V. For this purpose there are special models of DC loads: PLI ZV series.
- Control units
When testing control units, simultaneous loading of several different units is often required by simulating different consumers, e.g. in a vehicle. We serve such applications with our modular multi-channel load series PMLA.
- Power distribution, wiring harnesses, fuse boxes
Here, too, many different consumers are simulated by several channels of a PMLA multi-channel load.
- Batteries and accumulators
Energy storage devices are discharged continuously or with defined load profiles to evaluate their quality. With the discharge function this is done professionally including protection functions and individual switch-off criteria. To cycle accumulators, devices for charging and discharging are necessary. For this purpose, either a power supply can be added to the system in addition to the electronic load, or a source-sink from H&H, which switches seamlessly between charging and discharging mode. It is available as a 2- or 4-quadrant power supply.
- Fuel cells
The PLI ZV zero-volt models are also used for testing fuel cells, since they deal with voltages far below 1 V at high currents. Impedance spectroscopy is used to analyze fuel cells, e.g. to determine the series resistance or the end of life (EOL).
- Photovoltaic panels
For PV panels, the maximum power point (MPP) plays a central role. Our DC loads offer the MPP tracking function either standard or optional, depending on the series. For applications with high demands on the accuracy of current control over wide ranges, we have models with several selectable current setting ranges in our portfolio: PLI MR series.
- Testing and simulation of electronic components
such as diodes, rectifiers, fuses …
Testing of the continuous, short-time or pulsed current capability of active and passive components. With the V/I-characteristic function of the PLA series, the characteristic curve of a component is mapped in the electronic load. Depending on the applied input voltage, the load sets the corresponding load current.
AC loads are used in these areas:
- AC power supplies testing
- Transformer testing
- Inverter testing
- Testing uninterruptible power supplies (UPS)
- Aircraft electrical systems testing
- Testing generators
- Burn-in test
- Smart grids, micro grids testing
- Testing chargers, charging columns, wallboxes
- Testing energy meters
- Testing according to standards, safety tests