Cell testing and matching, also called “balancing,” is a process of checking individual cell strings in a battery pack for any cells that are functioning lower than others. Isolating the cells and balancing them helps keep hybrid battery packs working properly, lessening the need for a new battery before it’s actually necessary.
Quality of cells within your hybrid battery pack may vary, resulting in them aging at unequal intervals. Cell testing and matching is the best way to discover and correct the dependency before irreparable damage is done to your hybrid’s battery pack.
How Does Cell Testing and Matching Work?
When good quality lithium ion cells are new, they experience a lower self-discharge and a similar capacity. As these cells age, cell balancing becomes essential to ensure optimum performance. Determining when to have your hybrid battery pack tested starts by getting a state of health check from an experienced mechanic.
Although some experts have recommended cell balancing for battery packs over 24V, it is best to leave it up to your certified hybrid mechanic. They will perform the cell testing to isolate individual cells which have become damaged, compromising the performance of your battery pack. Think of it like this: if you have a single light that goes bad in your string of holiday lights, it ruins the entire string. Unless you fix the individual light, the string will not perform the same as before. Simply put, cell testing and balancing is similar to this concept.
Over time, and with extended use, it is normal for battery cells to be mismatched. Individual cells with a high self-discharge cause an imbalance and eventually failure of the whole battery pack. Mechanics can check for imbalances, equalize the voltage between cells as well as balancing and cell matching. The process is lengthy and best done by a professional to ensure it is done right.
Do You Really Need Cell Testing and Matching?
If you want to ensure the life of your hybrid battery, the short answer is yes. The benefits of cell testing and matching are innumerable but in the end, it all comes down to money. To save money in the long run and avoid buying a new hybrid battery before you need to, regular state of health checks is recommended.
During our free state of health check, we diagnose any possible issues with the cells, provide balancing and also check the computer for any troublesome codes. In the event our mechanics find any issues with your cells, we will recommend a full cell testing and balancing service. Again, this will save you time and money in the long run by avoiding a battery pack failure.
As previously mentioned, the experts on all things lithium-ion batteries have noted that only battery packs over 24V need cell testing and balancing done, it is best to leave that up to your mechanic after receiving a state of health check. They can offer the best advice on how to move forward and give an in-depth assessment of your hybrid battery pack’s health.