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1. The Challenge Of Testing Complex Power Electronics Systems
Thorough and reliable tests are necessary to verify and validate design. But, as modern systems grow in complexity, particularly in software, this critical step is more easily said than done.


Consider testing a new designed wind turbine system. To build such kind of real power system is very expansive and time consuming. For safety reason, all kinds of fault conditions need to be considered and tested before production. And because there are so many combined conditions there must be a way to auto-test for saving man-power.


It will be great to have a simulation solution with real I/O interface to simulate the wind turbine system behavior. This target could directly connect to the controller. Also the solution must provide comprehensive testing without the burden of using an assembled final product in the field. By allowing controllers under test to interact with a simulated use case, you are free to test early and often to uncover as many software defects as possible. This is the basis of a hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) test.


Another Challenge is:
The topology of the wind turbine system is a fast changing, because of the electronics components in AC/DC, DC/AC converters. To simulate such kind of system fidelity the simulation step size must be at the range of 1us. 

2. What Is HIL?
HIL testing is a technique where real signals from a controller are connected to a test system that simulates reality, tricking the controller into thinking it is in the assembled product. Test and design iteration take place as though the real-world system is being used. You can easily run through thousands of possible scenarios to properly exercise your controller without the cost and time associated with actual physical tests.


Here consider an electrical motor. The controller is responsible for control the speed of the motor. It’s hard to test the controller with the real electrical motor ( shown in the left figure), but easy to test with the simulator (as shown in the right figure). And this is called Hardware-In-the-Loop(HIL) test.



Real system with controller Hardware-In-the-Loop Test


ModelingTech Solution

With software StarSim HIL, StarSim Real-Time, and PXI hardware, ModelingTech provides total solutions for HIL test. As shown below, system models could be download to multi-core CPU and FPGA hardware. And then connect the system informations to controller through analog and digital I/Os.


 



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