Hardware-in-the-loop simulators for power electronics

Louise Smyth

High performance hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulators for testing power electronics control systems are now available from MDL Technologies following a distribution agreement with manufacturers Typhoon HIL.

The new Typhoon HIL402 is a notebook sized HIL emulator offering ultra-high fidelity real-time simulation. It allows engineers to design, test and verify controllers and control systems for applications such as smart inverters, micro-grids and battery storage systems as well as hybrid and fully electric automotive powertrains.

The HIL402 is designed to simplify work in all stages of the control development, from prototyping, through verification, all the way to fine-tuning of the production-ready controller.

With a 1us real-time simulation time step, 20ns pulse width modulation (PWM) sampling time and ultra-low latency, this HIL instrument sets the industry standard for ultra-high fidelity real-time emulation of power electronics systems.

Its streamlined test suite allows one click operation of complex testing scenarios, and simulations can run accurately for days, weeks or months thanks to the sophisticated hardware platform and advanced numerical algorithms.

The HIL402 also comes with a new signal processing toolbox which has a comprehensive library of signal processing components that can be seamlessly integrated with electrical domain elements.

The Typhoon hardware-in-the-loop system is also useful in educational establishments since educators and researchers in the power electronics field can use it to perform research at a fraction of the cost of traditional power electronics laboratories, while giving their students industry relevant hands-on experience in a completely safe teaching environment.

Also available from MDL is the more powerful Typhoon HIL602. This ultra-high fidelity HIL simulator is an ideal tool for the development, testing, optimisation and quality assurance of grid connected converters such as solar and wind power generation, as well as automotive converters, electric propulsion drives, micro-grids and industry automation.

HIL602 units can be connected into one large, unified, super-HIL emulator using the lightning-fast 5 Gb/s real-time communication link. With a few cables, HIL602 emulators are transformed from a portable standalone HILs into a full blown HIL cluster emulator.

It is easy to simulate large power electronics systems, from micro-grids to parallel converter, maintaining the 1 us simulation time step, 20ns PWM resolution and the signature ultra-high fidelity.