FPGA-based Real-Time Simulation of an Energy Storage Inverter

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Kökényesi Tamás
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

Development and testing of the control units for modern power converters is a very time-critical task nowadays, and in addition minimalizing the time-to-market is important, because the market expects very fast answers for the claims without decreasing the quality.

For the modern powerconverterdevices we need to design very complex control systems. When we want to test it on the field, on the high power main circuit, it could be dangerous for the testers as well as for the device. We can build the low-power model of the circuit in the laboratory, but the parameters and the time constants won't be the same as for the simulated circuit, and the ratio of the losses will be different.

The solution for that problem is the FPGA-based Hardware-In-The-Loop (HIL) simulation, which is reducing not only the testing time, but it is parameterizable and monitorable, and makes it possible to try different configurations, without changing the hardware. Furthermore we can bring forth extreme conditions, like network errors.

The subject of my thesis is to develop a software for a HIL simulator. The system to be modelled is a network-connected, 500kW energy storage inverter, which can be used in a wide range of applications. For example in power plants, when there is a block black-out for providing power for the power plant, or at the households for energy storage solar power systems, so the network can be more stable, because we can use it in the opposite direction (AC/DC), for charging the battery.

In the frames of my thesis, I have made an offline simulator model, and a synthesizable, model for the inverter, which is downloadable to the FPGA. I have also made some measurements with the FPGA realized model, to prove its correct behaviour.


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