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RCP Systems for Hybrid and Fully Electric Powertrains

Developing Converter Strategies

Application Areas

  • Developing and verifying control strategies and distributed ECU functions for powertrain systems
  • In-vehicle and laboratory systems for fast and convenient verification

Key Points

  • Flexible solutions tailored to various electric motors
  • Dedicated FPGA-based I/O interfaces with convenient Simulink® blocksets for electric drive applications
  • User-programmable FPGA with ready-to-use libraries for even the fastest control loops
  • Support of dedicated converter protocols like TWINsync
  • Support of all major automotive bus systems for easy integration into the ECU network

For applications using a converter from LTI, such as the LTi ServoOne, dSPACE provides a dedicated TWINsync solution. The solution consists of an FPGA-based hardware called Programmable Generic Interface (PGI) and a Simulink blockset for convenient configuration. This enables the RCP platform (MicroAutoBox II or DS1007 installed in an AutoBox) to interface various converters via TWINsync. To give you maximum flexibility for your prototyping setup, dSPACE supports the synchronous control of more than one converter. Instead of an LTI converter, you can also use further third-party converters. For this case, dSPACE supports communication via CAN and Ethernet, and more communication networks are to come. In both scenarios, the computation of the algorithms is processor-based, making it suitable for sample times up to 20 µs.

If your test setup already includes an ECU, you can use the RCP platform (MicroAutoBox II or DS1007 installed in an AutoBox) to extend the ECU via bypassing. Unlike fullpass approaches, where the ECU is completely replaced by the RCP system, bypassing is used to develop only individual parts of the ECU software from scratch, e.g., the electric motor control function. In this case, the new functionality is calculated on the RCP system, which is connected to the ECU via a low-latency ECU interface (e.g., DCI-GSI2) or an automotive bus system like CAN, FlexRay, or Ethernet. The power stages that are already implemented on the ECU and the cable harness to the electric motor can be reused in this method.

For convenient measurement and calibration, ControlDesk® has access to all variables during run time. You can also log data to a USB device during run time for postprocessing purposes.

For test setups requiring very fast sample times shorter than 20 µs, RCP platforms including a user-programmable FPGA are the right choice. MicroAutoBox II is available in variants with a user-programmable FPGA module, and if you are using modular hardware, e.g., AutoBox with a DS1007, you can simply add a DS5203 FPGA Board.

For convenient FPGA programming, a fully model-based tool chain is available. The FPGA controller model can be developed in MATLAB®/Simulink with the RTI FPGA Programming Blockset and the Xilinx® System Generator for DSP. dSPACE also offers the XSG AC Motor Control Library, which provides preconfigured function blocks for all major electric motor features like PWM generation; Hall, encoder, resolver, EnDat and SSI sensor processing; and angular computation. 

FPGA Programmable per Application

The DS5203 FPGA Board and the MicroAutoBox variants with a DS1514 FPGA Board can be adapted to various tasks, so you can react flexibly to tougher requirements, such as signal conditioning, new interfaces, or speeding up model parts. FPGAs are especially useful for relieving the processor board of tasks such as signal preprocessing during ECU development. Running at 80/100 MHz, the dSPACE FPGA boards are ideal for application fields like fast current control loops, customized PWM pattern generation, and electric drive projects. The DS5203 and the DS1514 work closely together with the XSG model library. The DS5203 features the freely programmable Xilinx Kintex®-7 FPGA with Vivado® support. In addition, the DS5203 offers 6 ADC, 6 DAC and 16 digital I/O channels as well as connection to the processor board via a PHS bus. The DS1514 can be used together with different I/O modules dedicated for special use cases, like the DS1553 with I/O interfaces for electric motor control.

Product Information