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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 even for the fastest control loops
  • Support of dedicated converter protocols like TWINsync and EtherCAT
  • Support of all major automotive bus systems for easy integration in the ECU network

For applications that use a converter from LTI, such as the LTi ServoOne, dSPACE provides two dedicated TWINsync solutions for SCALEXIO- or PHS-based platforms.

  • The SCALEXIO TWINsync solution is configured in ConfigurationDesk and enables the SCALEXIO LabBox including the DS6001 Processor Board to interface various converters via TWINsync. The current version of SCALEXIO LabBox is intended for laboratory use.
  • The second 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. MicroAutoBox and AutoBox can be used either in the laboratory or installed in a car.

To give you maximum flexibility in your prototyping setup, dSPACE products let you synchronously control more than one converter. Instead of an LTI converter, you can also use additional third-party converters. For this, dSPACE products support communication via CAN, Ethernet, and EtherCAT using the SCALEXIO Fieldbus Solution. More communication networks will be available in the future. In both scenarios, the computation of the algorithms is processor-based, making it suitable for sample times up to 20 µs.

If an ECU is available in your test setup, you can use the RCP platform (MicroAutoBox II or DS1007 installed in an AutoBox) to extend the ECU by means of bypassing. Unlike fullpass approaches where the RCP system completely replaces the ECU, bypassing is used to develop only specific 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, such as CAN, FlexRay, or Ethernet. The power stages implemented on the ECU and the cable harness to the electric motor can be reused for this method.
For convenient measurement and calibration, ControlDesk has access to all variables at run time. You can also log data to a USB device at 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. They include:

  • The MicroAutoBox II, which is available in variants with a user-programmable FPGA module
  • The AutoBox with a DS1007, which lets you add a DS5203 FPGA Board
  • The SCALEXIO LabBox with a DS6001, which lets you add the DS2655 FPGA Base Board and the corresponding I/O modules DS2655M1 and DS2655M2

For convenient FPGA programming, an entirely 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. To reduce the development effort, dSPACE also offers the XSG AC Motor Control Library, which provides preconfigured function blocks for all major electric motor features, such as PWM generation, Hall, encoder, resolver, EnDat and SSI sensor processing, and angular computation.
If the sample times are longer than 20 µs, you can use the AC Motor Control Solution.

FPGA Programmable per Application

dSPACE offers FPGA-extensions for SCALEXIO, MicroAutoBox II, MicroLabBox, and PHS-based systems. The dSPACE FPGA platforms (DS2655 FPGA Base Board for SCALEXIO, DS1514 FPGA Board for MicroAutoBox, and DS5203 FPGA Board for PHS-based systems) can be adapted to various tasks, which means you can react flexibly to stricter timing requirements, such as signal pre-processing, or accelerating the execution of model parts. I/O modules for these platforms provide additional analog, digital, and specialized channels. FPGAs are especially useful for relieving the processor board of tasks such as signal preprocessing during ECU development. Running at 80, 100, or 125 MHz (depending on the platform), the dSPACE FPGA platforms are ideal for application fields such as fast current control loops and customized signal generation.