In the few years since its foundation in 2014, the Chinese electric vehicle specialist has experienced impressive development. The sales figures have grown rapidly, most recently with a plus of 34% compared with the previous year. At the end of 2021, the number of employees had already reached 15,000 globally. And now that NIO has firmly established itself in the Chinese market, the group is preparing to gain a foothold in the international markets.
Highly dynamic ECUs, high voltages
To realize the ambitious plans for growth, the NIO engineers need powerful development tools for the numerous challenges in the development of controller functions for electric motor ECUs. Why? Because electric motors are characterized by extremely dynamic behavior. That is why the associated electric motor ECUs work at very high clock speeds (typically 10-20 kHz). Therefore, the test systems for testing the motor ECUs have to be able to handle these high clock speeds. Added to this is the handling of system voltages beyond 1,000 V.
Decision for SCALEXIO
To also master the various challenges in the future, NIO has evaluated several test systems available on the market. Ultimately, NIO decided to use a test system based on a SCALEXIO HIL simulator and simulation models from dSPACE. Decisive factors included:
- High real-time performance
- Robust emulation of real currents and voltages
- Exact simulation results
- High precision in the measurement and output of electric variables
- User friendliness
- Quick familiarization
Time savings of 30% achieved
Already after a short training phase, a team of more than 50 employees was able to use the SCALEXIO system productively for various component tests. In addition, in comparison with the earlier working method, a time saving of more than 30% was achieved. Therefore, the test system based on simulation models and the SCALEXIO HIL simulator now plays a key role in NIO in a wide range of test and validation tasks for the development of new controller functions for innovative electric motors.
Next Step: Integration tests
After the SCALEXIO system has proven its abilities in various component tests, NIO will take the next step and extend the use to a broad spectrum of integration testing.
Courtesy of NIO
dSPACE MAGAZINE, PUBLISHED AUGUST 2023
The real-time test system based on simulation models and the SCALEXIO simulator from dSPACE plays a central role at NIO in the processing of test and validation tasks for the development of controller functions for innovative electric motors.