Hardware in the Loop simulates electric drives

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By Nick Flaherty

The new high-voltage loads are characterised by their compact design and modular design. They are flexible in terms of current, number of phases and the type of voltage source to be emulated. The use of the same hardware for emulating loads, such as electric motors, and sources, such as batteries and AC power, makes the systems inexpensive and easy to maintain. Energy circulation, which does not require costly mains regeneration, ensures additional efficiency and a minimum load on the supply network. An open (Simulink/Xilinx) library provides the corresponding simulation models, from FPGA models for motors and encoders to dSpace Automotive Simulation Models (ASM) for batteries and complete drive trains.

Thanks to its high dynamics and low self-inductance, the high-voltage load can simulate variable motor inductances. In addition, high rotary field frequencies can be mapped and all operating points of an electric motor can be emulated, both in motor and generator operation. By advancing conventional dynamometer tests to emulators, the electronic high-voltage load fits perfectly into validation using hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) systems. Current ripples and harmonics can be displayed using current simulation, making it possible to test even the latest controller concepts. In addition, numerous aspects important for fault simulation such as leakage currents, zero currents or current-limited short circuits can be mapped. The integrated monitoring and limitation of voltages, currents and temperatures guarantees protection of the connected control units at all times.

The new high-voltage loads from dSpace are designed for testing high-voltage vehicle systems, but are also suitable for other applications, such as testing industrial inverters, DC/DC converters, wind power and solar inverters or for emulating AC networks.

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