Ben Black, National Instruments
Real-time test in the area of power electronics provides unique challenges that are difficult to address with traditional hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) systems. The high speed discrete switching states of power electronics systems mean that the simulation system needs to run on the order of 1 us to provide useful numerical results, and the benefits during algorithm development are directly related to the fidelity of the model. A good test system allows a control engineer to speed up the design cycle by allowing control testing to start without physical hardware, to test novel control algorithms without endangering hardware and to see potentially un-measureable parameters within the system. To address these issues and to provide a platform for HIL testing of electric motor systems, National Instruments has partnered with JSOL Corporation and developed field programmable gate array (FPGA) models that use JMAG-RT as a means to deploy the high-fidelity of an FEA simulation into the high speed of a FPGA processing node.