Endurance passes type approval EMC Testing as Sunswap hits the home straight on the road to production

On a crisp, bright morning earlier this year, the familiar sight of a heavy goods vehicle greeted the Sunswap team through the haze of the low winter sun. Except this time it wasn’t the Sunswap trailer departing for a trial, but an Endurance production unit suspended in mid-air, hanging from a crane. The latest pre-production […]

On a crisp, bright morning earlier this year, the familiar sight of a heavy goods vehicle greeted the Sunswap team through the haze of the low winter sun. Except this time it wasn’t the Sunswap trailer departing for a trial, but an Endurance production unit suspended in mid-air, hanging from a crane. The latest pre-production version of Sunswap’s battery and solar-powered transport refrigeration unit (TRU) was being carefully transferred onto a trailer, ready to travel across the country for testing at Element Materials Technology in Malvern.

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing measures are a key rite of passage for electric machines of this size, to ensure that they don’t emit rogue electromagnetic waves that can disrupt other equipment. Given the multi-faceted, sophisticated technology within, Sunswap is no exception: The battery pack is connected to an onboard computer and battery management system, all linked to the integrated solar array which includes a small computer for each panel (this ensures that the solar panels are “paralleled”, so they maintain performance despite passing under shadows). With so many parts to check and test, it’s no surprise that the process takes at least a week.

With the depth of prototypes and improvements made during the four years since Sunswap was founded, the EMC testing process is a well-trodden path for Sunswap’s engineering team. The latest round was significant because the certification will apply to all Endurance units that will roll off the production line at Prodrive this spring.

The rubber-stamp of passing such safety checks is key for the conformity of production, and further confirms the viability of this ground-breaking technology. In terms of performance, Endurance has been tested even more rigorously by customer trials and Sunswap’s engineering team, but scanning for the invisible and inadvertent emission of electromagnetic waves is a task that demands specialist equipment.

The working patterns of fulfilling a round of EMC testing also show the varied nature of working for Sunswap. Colleagues rotate in and out of the testing centre, with overnight stays balanced out by time-off-in-lieu. Whilst the facility itself is a purely functional space, the location provides a change of scenery, with the chance to explore the surrounding hills between shifts.


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