Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) simulation is the standard for developing and testing the most complex control, protection and monitoring systems. HIL’s rise is the result of two major factors currently affecting product development across all industries: time-to-market and system complexity.
Testing of control systems has traditionally been carried out directly on physical equipment (i.e. plant) in the field, on the full system or on a power testbed in a lab. While offering testing fidelity, this practice can be very expensive, inefficient and potentially unsafe.
HIL testing offers an excellent alternative to traditional testing methods. When performing HIL simulation, the physical plant is replaced by a precisely equivalent computer model, running in real-time on a simulator appropriately equipped with inputs and outputs (I/Os) capable of interfacing with control systems and other equipment. In this way, the HIL simulator can accurately reproduce the plant and its dynamics, together with sensors and actuators, providing comprehensive closed-loop testing without the need for testing on real systems.
HIL offers all this functionality and more, while significantly decreasing the deficiencies of traditional testing methods. By reducing risk, cost and the overall time required to test complex embedded systems, HIL simulation has become the standard for a great many industries around the world.