Team Starcraft e.V.:
Optimized Electrics

Published: February 28, 2017

Team Starcraft e.V. of Ilmenau University of Technology participates in the Formula Student Electric competition. They completely optimized the electrics system of their TSC-03E race car. This includes a new inverter that converts the accumulator’s direct current to alternating current for the electric motor. To develop the inverter, the team uses the Motor Control Education Kit (MEDKit) and the production code generator TargetLink. MEDKit is a hardware platform for developing controls for brushless electric motors. The direct connection to dSPACE TargetLink allows for automatic code generation for the target processor (ARM Cortex M3). The platform also supports a seamless transition between the model-in-the-loop (MIL), software-in-the-loop (SIL), and processor-in-the-loop (PIL) simulation modes, making it possible to test the controller models on the target hardware quickly and easily.

Fabian Zboril-Schwarz of Team Starcraft e.V. explains how they implemented the controller: “After installing the TargetLink Target Simulation Module (TSM) for the ARM processor, we were able to thoroughly test the controllers with the motor model included in MEDKit and optimize them for our purposes. We were very impressed by the code generated by TargetLink because it was compiled to be very resource-efficient for the hardware. To implement the specific sensors, we added individual modules to the model. This made it easy for us to operate the test motor in the lab and perform test drives.”

Detailed illustration: Integration of the electric components in the vehicle.

In a next step, the setup was adjusted to the performance needed during a race. This meant replacing existing power electronics components. The team used Infineon MIPAQ IGBTs and their own DC link as a power stage.

The following detailed illustration shows the integration in the vehicle: At the right of the illustration, and therefore at the back of the vehicle, are the inverters, the accumulator box, and dSPACE MicroAutoBox II, which are fastened to a removable ground plate. The plug connectors used for the motors, for example, are located above the MicroAutoBox II. The junction box is located at the left of the vehicle. All connections to the other vehicle components originate here. The wiring is not depicted. 

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