Software Development of Stations For Electric Motor Test

Software Development of Stations For Electric Motor Test

In recent years we have been witnessing a shift towards electric cars. One of our customers is developing stations to carry out tests on electric motors for various carmakers.

In order to carry out tests on an electric motor, you need two main elements: an inverter and a power supply. For this reason, the client is developing both a Battery Simulator (Power Supply) and an Inverter station internally. 

BATTERY SIMULATOR

The hardware for the Battery Simulator is composed of a Beckhoff PLC, an AFE (AC-DC converter), and DAB control board (DC-DC converter). These components are connected to a PLC that acts as a master and exchanges information with both devices.

Kineton‘s main task is to develop and configure the software for the PLC. The PLC software implements the state machine for the Battery Simulator, and it manages all the diagnostic checks for the station.

Then, it has been developed an HMI application using a C# environment. Through the application, the final customer can visualize the status of the station with alarm and warning messages and with all measurement feedback read from the hardware devices. Moreover, it is possible to send commands and change the Voltage and Current setpoint of the Battery Simulator.

INVERTER

The hardware for the Inverter is composed of a Beckhoff PLC and a Speedgoat device for the real-time application in Simulink.

Our main task is to develop and configure the software for the PLC. Also in this case, PLC software implements the state machine for the Inverter, and it manages all the diagnostic checks for the station.

In this case, it has been developed a TCP Client/Server communication between the PLC and Speedgoat for the exchange of the main signals. These signals are then transmitted to a Web application developed in C#, to monitor the behavior of the signals and plot them.

FINAL STATION

Finally, these devices are connected together. The connection is done through the EtherCAT connection. EtherCAT is an Ethernet-based fieldbus system invented by Beckhoff, and it allows the data exchange between these devices. Then, the Inverter is connected to the Device Under Test (DUT), which could be any electric motors of the final customer, and it is possible to do tests on it.

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