Energy Storage
Technology Center® (ESTC) Capabilities

The ESTC will support industry and government clients in the research, development and evaluation of energy storage systems.

The Energy Storage Technology Center® (ESTC) program is a collaborative effort of a broad range of technology experts from diverse scientific fields to support industry and government clients in the research, development and evaluation of energy storage systems.

SwRI has the in-depth expertise, broad experience and extensive facilities and equipment required to address technology challenges in the development of energy storage systems (ESS), including:

  • Battery systems for electric and hybrid electric vehicles
  • Battery systems for grid storage
  • Flywheels
  • Stationary systems such as flow batteries tied to the electric power grid
  • Thermal storage systems
  • Ultra capacitors
battery evaluation systems

SwRI uses a wide variety of battery evaluation systems to determine performance and reliability under carefully controlled conditions.

vibration and shock electrodynamic shakers

Equipment is exposed to simulated vibration and shock on electrodynamic shakers for evaluation of performance during transport and operation.

vanadium redox flow battery diagram

ESTC engineers have conducted research and development of electrolyte formulations, proton exchange membrane technology, mechanical fluid systems and electronic control systems for a grid-scale vanadium redox flow battery.

image: ESTC Flyer

ESTC Flyer


Services offered include:

  • Abuse testing
  • Battery management system development and testing
  • Chemistry-related services
  • Large system development for grid-scale storage
  • Listing and labeling
  • Manufacturing system development
  • Materials development
  • Qualification testing
  • Test protocol development
  • System integration

Test and Evaluation

In the field of electrochemical systems (batteries), the ESTC offers a wide range of test and evaluation capabilities and equipment, including:

  • High power bi-directional DC power supplies
  • Cycle life testing
  • Calorimeter chamber
  • Fire test facilities capable of complete vehicle tests
  • Measurement of toxic emissions
  • Short-circuit test equipment for high-energy systems
  • Hydraulic press chamber for abuse testing to SAE, ISO, UN and other standards
  • Pack-level thermal testing
  • Temperature-controlled aging
  • Thermal imaging systems
  • Physical environmental testing
    • Simulated earthquake vibration
    • Ground or air transportation vibration
    • Installation and handling shock
    • Temperature, humidity, wind and rain
    • High-altitude transportation and operation
    • Airborne contamination
    • Acoustic noise measurement
    • Corrosive atmosphere
    • UV exposure and solar loading


ESTC facilities may be used to evaluate:

  • Cells
  • Modules
  • Packs
  • Grid storage battery systems
  • In-vehicle packs
  • In-vehicle battery and powertrain
  • ESS component-in-the-loop
  • Battery with electric motor and power electronics
  • Fire exposure (short and long duration)

Additional Capabilities

In addition to development of energy storage devices, the ESTC offers assistance in many types of system integration, including:

  • Power grid to storage communication protocols
  • Cyber security of communication networks
  • Control systems and strategies
  • Storage system sizing using modeling and simulation

Related Terminology

battery abuse • battery emissions • battery performance • battery safety • cyber security •cycle life •electrochemical storage systems • energy storage • environmental testing • ESSES • fire testing • hydraulic accumulators • grid storage systems • life cycle testing • lithium ion • physical testing

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.