Hardware In the Loop Test Environment

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Dr. Varjasi István
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

Power electronic devices have always played a huge role in industrial and everyday usage.

Go no further than mobile phone chargers or power units of any household device to see

the evidence of it. Today, even a single LED light bulb contains a small electronic device,

wich generates the constant current supply from grid voltage.

In the industry, there is also an enormous demand for motor controllers, such as

frequency converters or power units with huge output capacity, even in the megawatt

range. Electric cars are also gaining market share same as are renewable energy sources are.

In both cases, high-power converters are needed to charge the cars or generate alternating

current from DC solar panels.

In my thesis, I will discuss the development of such converters, with emphasis on

hardware-in-the-loop simulators. Hardware-in-the-loop simulation method provides a solution

to engineers who develop the software and the power electronics side by side. For

this form of usage, we have to develop the mathematical model of the real hardware, then

synthesize it on hardware with immense computing capability, usually on an FPGA. We

must also implement monitoring capabilities for the system to validate the simulation or

to modify the parameters. The other advantage of physical hardware is that it can be

connected to real control electronics, with real interfaces. In this way, we can test our

control algorithms and methods without causing costly damage to the main power circuit.

I will examine the simulation environment itself, expand on the development process,

and consider systematic difficulties. I will provide an example solution and I will show

both the advantages and the bottlenecks of the system.


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