The Emitech laboratory in Chassieu, near Lyon, has EMC, radio, EMF and electrical safety testing capabilities, mainly dedicated to electrical and electronic equipment. In response to developments in the new electric mobility market, it has announced the installation of a test bench dedicated to electrically-assisted bicycles (EABs). This makes it one of the only laboratories in Europe capable of carrying out EMC, radio and safety tests, with support for regulatory aspects and standardization, for motor/battery safety, electrical wiring and connections, power management, maximum assistance speed, starting assistance, EMC, etc.
As part of the presumption of conformity with the essential requirements of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC, standard EN 15194:2017 is in force for assessing electrically-assisted bicycles. It defines the main criteria for the components of a bicycle equipped with an auxiliary electric motor, powered by a rechargeable battery that will assist the user when pedaling. According to this standard, an EAB is defined by a maximum assistance speed of 25 km/h, a maximum motor power rating not exceeding 0.25 kW, and the motor must switch off as soon as the cyclist stops pedaling.
Emitech delivers the test results relating to the requirements of this standard, which, if compliant, enable the manufacturer to build up his CE marking file with a view to marketing in Europe.
A test bench reflecting advanced technical expertise
The Emitech laboratory test bench, instrumented to measure speed, power and torque on various axes, can simulate a wide variety of human pedaling patterns, enabling the servo-control of the VAE at several standardized operating points. Emitech is thus able to evaluate any type of VAE construction.
There are a number of different electrically-assisted bicycle technologies on the market. The parameters that affect the operation of the dyno include, for example, the location of the motor, either on the front or rear hub, or in the crankset, as well as the method of triggering pedaling assistance, which can be triggered by simple detection of crank rotation or detection of crankset torque, or a combination of both.
For Thomas Chrétiennot, EMC engineer at Emitech, : "The increasing sophistication of the on-board controllers and instrumentation that drive the operation of EABs is such that, today, a rotating machine that operates only at constant speed and torque may be insufficient to trigger the pedaling assistance of an EAB. Our test bench therefore incorporates an additional degree of complexity to imitate human pedaling as closely as possible, for example by dynamically adjusting pedaling torque.
For the time being, the standard is restricted and excludes mountain bikes and self-service bicycles. Given the explosion of interest in electric assistance for bicycles, in light of the evolution of mobility and ecological issues, Emitech anticipates an extension of the current standard under the same conditions. Manufacturers themselves can prepare for this development, to better understand the design consequences and acquire the know-how required to verify these different requirements.
The standard also includes mechanical aspects, resistance to environmental stress, assessment of hazardous phenomena in accordance with EN ISO 12100, and operational safety in accordance with EN ISO 13849, all of which are carried out in partnership with expert laboratories, with the aim of supporting manufacturers in a comprehensive assessment of EN 15194:2017.
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