The successful and reliable implementation of Hardware-in-the-Loop for power electronics applications requires sound models, fast program execution with reaction times below a few microseconds, and fast I/O communication, so that the controller is put under test in conditions identical to those it would be submitted to in reality. One also needs a set of tools to monitor and interact with the simulator to acquire data, and visualization tools to interpret results (scope, graphs, data logging, etc.).
Based on RT-LAB simulation platform, OPAL-RT’s FPGA Electric Machine Library is integrated within eFPGASIM unique software environment and is the ideal platform for designing and testing controller and power electronics and electric drive systems.
The FPGA Electric Motors Library firmware integrates power electronic converters and inverters who can be changed and edited via the OPAL-RT solver called eHS.
The model contains dedicated I/Os used in most of motors controls like PWMs, resolvers, encoders and hall effect sensors. All I/O can be reconfigured through RT-XSG.
The FPGA Electric Machine Library includes a power electronic and motor library that lets you simulate all components forming the electrical motor drive system. It includes detailed mathematical model of different type of electrical motors such as:
The automotive and transportation industries comprise the core markets for PMSMs. This machine type is known for its power density (power per unit of size/weight), and its higher speed capacity. OPAL-RT’s solutions provide resolver and encoder I/O interfaces and communications protocols to exchange time-accurate information and position sensor responses—crucial for the successful testing and simulation of this motor type.
Induction motors are widely used as industrial drives because they are self-starting, reliable and economical. They’re also increasingly used with variable-frequency drives (VFDs) in variable-speed service, as well as in wind turbines, for example. OPAL-RT’s solutions support various machine configurations and machine parameters that can be modified at runtime, enabling flexible test possibilities, and making our simulation tools indispensable for induction machine control testing.
Switched reluctance machines run with reluctance torque and deliver power to windings in the stator. SRMs are used in appliances and vehicles, are considered uncoupled, and have a complex relationship between excitation current, rotor position, and flux linkages. OPAL-RT’s solutions interface easily with modeling packages for finished components, like JSOL’s JMAG-Studio, Infolytica’s MotorSolve or ANSYS Maxwell. This improves high-precision testing and logging of the complex informational exchanges between the flux and other variables mentioned above.
A complete electric motor test coverage requires validation of controller behavior under fault scenarios on electrical motors and converters. The OPAL-RT solution enables the simulation of faults on many converters and motors, including:
OPAL-RT’s FPGA Electric Machine Library comes with a complete set of modules, based on Python, TestStand and MATLAB software, to perform reproducible automated test and Monte Carlo analysis. With a minimum of programming skills, users can create open-loop and closed-loop testing of the hardware under test at an early development stage:
Read our technical papers about electric machines:
FPGA Electric Machine Library can import in the motor models the inductance and back EMF data generated by Finite Element Analysis (FEA) tools. The FEA technique is required when classical D-Q models cannot be used due to large asymmetry in the motor construction generating non-sinusoidal fluxes and currents. This is important for hybrid vehicle manufacturers using high-speed motors optimized for space and cost and saturation.
Advantages of using motors integrated with FEA analysis tools include the capability to simulate:
JMAG-RT generates high fidelity plant models. The JMAG-RT block can be used in OPAL-RT Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) simulations which connect a physical Electronic Control Unit (ECU) to a virtual motor. The JMAG-RT plant model can be used in system level simulations to provide a more accurate representation of the electromagnetic device and to acheive the highest calculation speed.
Using Infolytica’s MotorSolve, the machine designer can create a motor data file compatible with OPAL-RT software. The control engineer can transfer this data to RT-LAB FPGA simulators, which provide extremely accurate and flexible motor simulation that may dramatically change the way users do testing in the electrical motor industry.
Ansys Maxwell Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software models can be integrated on OPAL-RT Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) simulation platform to test & validate of complex drive systems found in various application areas including hybrid & electric vehicle drivetrains, industrial drives, machine tools, among others.
OPAL-RT offers scalable hardware-in-the-loop and power-hardware-in-the-loop simulators integrating a powerful real-time computer, electric motors, and accurate high speed solvers that meet the demanding requirements of precise controller testing and motor drive simulation.