Development of a Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulation System for Testing Cell Balancing Circuits

Wai Chung Lee*, David Drury

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the development of a hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation system that facilitates the experimental testing of cell balancing circuits by emulating energy storage components. The system is developed with four cell simulators, each of which can emulate the battery voltage with the capabilities of sourcing and sinking current for the cell balancing circuit being tested. The cell simulator can also operate in battery testing mode for characterizing the behavior of a battery. One Li-polymer cell has been characterized using the cell simulator and a battery model has been built by the extracted parameters from the measurements. An active cell balancing experiment was conducted with a real 4-cell Li-polymer module followed by the same experiment using the HIL simulation system to emulate the Li-polymer cells based upon the method described in this paper. With the real battery module having a 9.4% SOC deviation initially, the final SOC deviation is reduced to 1.0% and the balancing time is 51.4 min. The HIL simulation gives very close results where the final SOC deviation and the balancing time are 1.2% and 52.0 min, respectively. The results demonstrate that the system can provide representative results for testing cell-balancing circuits with minimum resources and time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5949-5959
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


  • Batteries
  • cell balancing
  • electric vehicle (EV)
  • hardware-in-the-loop


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