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Testing ECU Networks of Hybrid Electric Powertrains

Application Area

A hybrid electric powertrain typically contains several networked ECUs to which the functions are distributed. The functions, such as overlaid hybrid control functions, can be implemented on separate ECUs or combined with other functions. As these functions need to be extremely reliable, the development and test requirements are high. For hardware-in-the-loop simulation, you can connect all the powertrain ECUs with the HIL simulator. The simulator is equipped with at least one processor board and various interface boards. Powertrain components that are not yet available are emulated via restbus simulation. Testing usually also covers several CAN FD or Ethernet networks. The modularity of the dSPACE hardware lets you configure the simulators for various applications. All known hybrid vehicle versions and ECU or CAN FD or Ethernet configurations are possible. For integration testing, a hybrid electric powertrain simulator can be extended to simulate a full hybrid electric vehicle by adding further simulator racks to cover all the other ECUs in the vehicle, such as the ESP ECU.

Important Aspects

To set up a typical realistic hybrid powertrain, two parallel CAN FD or Ethernet structures have to be built: A powertrain or vehicle CAN FD or Ethernet connection and a private hybrid CAN FD or Ethernet connection. The powertrain CAN FD or Ethernet connects the standard ECUs, such as the engine and transmission ECUs, and others, such as the ESP ECU, which can also be simulated by means of their messages. The hybrid-specific ECUs are usually connected to the hybrid CAN FD or Ethernet. If the HIL tests cover the simulation of the electric motor and the battery, the HIL simulations must be performed on different simulators for safety reasons. The simulator racks are then connected via Gigalink. This high-speed serial data transmission via fiber-optic cable with a bit rate of 1.25 Gbit/s provides very fast information exchange.

Possible Test Areas

  • Testing complex ECU structures with extensive communication or whole virtual vehicles
  • Extending dSPACE simulator systems to fit project requirements

Success Stories