Test & Measurement

EV HIL test solutions to feature at NIDays in Munich

16th November 2019
Mick Elliott

New solutions for hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) validation of electric vehicle (EV) powertrain components have been released by NI. They will be demonstrated at NIDays in Munich on November 20.  Government mandates for lower emissions and higher efficiency are increasing pressure on automakers to get EVs to market as quickly as possible.

For powertrain test engineers, the move to EVs represents new and constantly evolving technologies with rapidly changing test requirements on aggressive schedules.

NI is helping engineers modify and extend test systems more quickly and efficiently than they can with traditional fixed-function test systems delivered by turnkey vendors.

This approach can help accelerate time to market through the flexibility to scale system performance and change the I/O mix as often as necessary in response to rapidly changing test requirements.

NI HIL systems are built according to a reference test architecture based on best practices observed by leaders in the automotive industry.

The EV reference architecture optimises HIL test of powertrain power electronics like the traction inverter, DC/DC converter and charger by providing standard starting points for:

  • Integrating high-fidelity power electronics and plant models
  • Mapping and signal conditioning I/O
  • Emulating sensors and loads
  • Inserting faults
  • Sequencing tests
  • Reporting results

High-performance EV HIL systems require coordination from multiple vendors. NI works with companies like OPAL-RT, with its advanced eHS electrical solver and electric machine library, to help ensure seamless high-fidelity model integration.

Seamless integration of OPAL-RT models with the test system can help reduce test development times while increasing result resolution, helping customers achieve shorter design cycles and gain better insights from test data.

“We believe this collaboration enables us to develop an end-to-end solution covering the full HIL automotive spectrum, and it offers our clients an economical, modular and scalable solution,” Jean Belanger, CTO and CEO of OPAL-RT, said. “The collaboration facilitates the development of FPGA-based electrical solvers on popular NI hardware platforms, such as PXI and CompactRIO, which enables us to maintain our focus on cutting-edge HIL technologies.

NI is also investing in tool chain integration across the HIL workflow to help ensure that the best tools work well together for its customers.

It has formed a joint venture with ETAS NI Systems to provide pre-configured HIL systems, and it is collaborating with MathWorks, makers of Simulink software, on model integration.

The NI reference architecture for EV test and NI's investments in workflow integration better optimise HIL test for fast moving new technology with quickly changing requirements.

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