Powerful, innovative energy storage systems are essential for an environmentally friendly energy concept as they make it possible to use the variable output of regenerative energy sources as efficiently as possible. The most efficient storage solution in the power supply sector is stationary battery storage systems. These systems do not require conversion from kinetic to electrical energy. However, fuel cells have also gained in importance, although their primary purpose remains propelling the vehicles in which they are installed, which range from trains to trucks to an ever increasing number of passenger cars.

Fuel Cell

Compact hardware-in-the-loop test system on which a fuel cell model is calculated. All interfaces of the control unit under test are operated this way and malfunctions can be triggered.

A typical fuel cell system consists of an air supply path (cathode), a hydrogen supply path (anode) and a cooling circuit. Fuel cell vehicles therefore require an electronic control unit (ECU) to control the operation of the fuel cell system and its individual subsystems. As with any other application, these ECUs have to pass extensive tests before being introduced to the market. dSPACE has the right tools to support you in developing and testing state-of-the-art fuel cell technologies.

The ECU uses various control algorithms to actuate the components related to the fuel cell system, including hydrogen injection, valves, pumps, and compressors. During ECU tests, the test system must adequately process the actuation controls. At the same time, the sensor values from the fuel cell system, such as pressure and temperature, must be provided continuously to the ECU. dSPACE offers industry-proven hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) test systems in which a simulator performs all relevant functions required for the operation of the ECU, e.g., SCALEXIO rack systems. In addition to these hardware components, the tests require mathematical descriptions of the fuel cell system, called plant models, and optionally of the system’s environment. Appropriate plant models of fuel cells fulfill two key requirements: strong computation performance (real-time capability) and model accuracy. Furthermore, the model must be scalable, e.g., via parameterization, so that different fuel cell system architectures can be tested. Last but not least, it must be possible to integrate the model into a simulation framework, which can be a passenger car or even a full truck simulation with the corresponding vehicle environment. dSPACE will support you in meeting these challenges by developing a suitable model for your specific use case.

Battery Systems and Smart Charging

The batteries of electric vehicles can also be used as a kind of mobile storage system. Whenever needed, they can be connected to the energy system and provide additional power to even out fluctuations in supply and demand. The latest developments in this area focus on “smart charging”: The electric vehicle and the charging station communicate with each other to optimize the energy exchange process and schedule charging times.

CHAdeMO, ISO 15118, and GB/T 20234.2

Electric vehicles (EV), including battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), as well as the electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) are produced by a wide range of manufacturers. At the same time, charging infrastructures differ significantly depending on the region. For example, charging connectors might vary in shape from one country to another. To manage this diversity, standardization is key. The communication between the EV and the EVSE is specified in several standards, such as CHAdeMO, ISO 15118, and GB/T 20234.2. These standards not only help the customers who can easily switch between manufacturers, but also the manufactures themselves by harmonizing and thus facilitating their development processes. However, standardization still bears the risk of different interpretations of its contents, which is why intensive testing of the functionality to be achieved is highly recommended. 

dSPACE Support

Whether you are developing and testing charging systems, fuel cell control systems, or battery storage systems, dSPACE offers the right tools to help you improve your development process. Just ask us.

Global warming and the finite resources of fossil fuels are forcing countries to create environmentally friendly energy systems. In the past years, smart grids based on regenerative energy sources have gained more and more importance and are paving the way to a green energy supply. Power is generated from infinite natural resources like the wind and the sun, which are available in variable quantities throughout the day. The changing power outputs must match power demand, which also varies throughout the day. Power grids connect high numbers of distributed energy resources. New devices like solid-state transformers, controllable local grid transformers and stationary batteries can help ensure a stable energy supply, but they need to be controlled. That is why modern power supply systems have to be smart. This means that the individual system components for power generation, consumption control, and storage must be part of the same communication network, which is monitored by a central control unit (SCADA system) that registers any change in the overall energy system and responds by adjusting energy supply and consumption. The main goals of smart grids are to increase efficiency, save resources, reduce emissions, and ensure an adequate energy supply at all times.


As the electric drives industry continues to grow, electric vehicles are becoming a promising solution for the fluctuations regenerative power systems have to cope with. Their onboard batteries can be used as a mobile storage system that can be connected to the grid whenever additional power is needed or excess power is available to be stored for later use – a concept better known as “vehicle-to-grid” (V2G).

Smart House and Vehicle-to-Home

“Smart house” is another term frequently used in the context of future energy concepts. Similar to “smart grid”, it refers to a house with components for energy generation, management, consumption control, and storage. The energy systems of smart houses are still connected to the grid but can work autonomously for a certain period of time. Again, electric vehicles can be connected to the system to provide additional power on demand (“vehicle-to-home”, V2H).

dSPACE Support

dSPACE is proactively working on solutions for energy control technologies to support the development of environmentally friendly energy systems. Whether you need support in developing control algorithms for the central control unit or for supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, require ready-to-use environment, controller or power electronics models or need assistance in battery, power grid or power electronics simulation – dSPACE helps you find the perfect solution for your application.

Environmentally friendly energy concepts involve regenerative energy as the main source of energy. Power is generated from infinite natural resources like wind, water and the sun, with nearly no emissions. Smart grids and smart houses typically include various regenerative energy installations, such as photovoltaic and solar thermal devices as well as wind turbines. However, developing such power systems is challenging because the energy output of regenerative energy systems fluctuates throughout the day. Depending on the weather conditions, there are times of increased power generation and times of low power generation. A rough estimate of the expected energy output can be taken from the weather forecasts – but this data is just as unreliable as the weather itself. That is why the systems have to be highly flexible. They need smart control units to cope with the variations in power generation and demand, as well as sensible energy management systems which shift less time-critical actions to times of high energy output.

Solar and Wind Inverters

Solar and wind power systems usually produce direct current (DC), while most appliances need alternating current (AC). Therefore, such systems must be equipped with power electronics components that convert the systems’ DC output to AC electricity, which can also be fed into the utility grid or a local electrical network.

dSPACE Support

Whether you are developing power systems, control units, energy management systems, inverters or other power-related systems – dSPACE offers comprehensive support in designing, prototyping, implementing and testing your systems to help you improve your development process.


In view of growing environmental concerns, vehicle concepts of the future must focus on alternative power systems. dSPACE offers a wide range of products and decades of experience for supporting your projects.

Power Electronics and Electric Drive Technology

dSPACE offers comprehensive support for electric motor applications – from controller design and rapid control prototyping to controller implementation and controller tests.

  • Electromobility Product Information, PDF, English, 1945 KB
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