Time-Optimized Testing of Power Electronics Thanks to E-Motor Emulation

A new Inverter Test System for testing inverters separately from the e-motor and battery has been developed by AVL SET Gmbh. According to the company, it not only helps to reduce development time but also provides the complete reproduction and representation of safety-related reactions and standard specifications. As a result, the Product named AVL Inverter TS™ is well placed to play a critical role in the future development of power electronics.

The inverter is the key component in electric vehicles and significantly affects the driving experience. As a result, the inverter needs to be developed and tested without any influence from other powertrain components, such as the electric motor. The AVL Inverter TS™ is based on real-time e-motor emulation technology, enabling the unit under test, i.e. the inverter, to be tested without an actual electric motor and battery.

“It is important to us to provide our customers with individual components and a state-of-the-art, comprehensive test system based on our many years of applications knowledge and expertise, enabling highly efficient testing methodology and implementation.” Says Dr Tobias Schelter. Managing Director AVL SET.

With the Inverter Test System, all conventional e-motor concepts can be simulated to mimic reality. “The testing is highly dynamic and conducted virtually continuously in real-time using ultra-high-performance power electronics. Combined with a high-precision motor model, which calculates the behaviour of the emulated machine every 320 ns, this ensures the outstanding accuracy of our emulators. As a result, real, meaningful and reproducible test results can be generated,” explains Dr. Alexander Schmitt, Head of R&D at AVL SET.

Complete test coverage for inverters

The Inverter Test System provides many testing options, some of which go far beyond basic testing requirements, such as performance tests. For example, it is possible to reproduce the reactions of the inverter in all vehicle error and driving situations. This also includes, among other things, the behaviour of the inverter in incidents that strongly impact safety, such as short circuits or cable breakages, rotor position sensor and e-motor errors, and extreme driving situations such as hydroplaning. The testing, therefore, provides the most detailed, comprehensive validation of the inverter’s performance.

Not only that, but the AVL Inverter Test System can of course, also be used to fully comply with normative test specifications, such as those in ISO 21498. This standard covers particular specifications that must be followed to operate multiple power electronics systems, such as inverters, DC-to-DC converters or chargers, together on one battery in the vehicle.