Opal-RT Debuts eDRIVEsim for Real-time HIL Simulating, Control Prototyping

Opal-RT, the leading provider of distributed real-time simulation and hardware-in-the-loop testing systems, unveiled eDRIVEsim(TM). Combining Opal-RT’s RT-LAB(TM) real-time technology with affordable, high performance multi-core X86 processors and FPGA I/O products, eDRIVEsim is the ideal real-time platform for designing advanced control systems and performing HIL testing of controllers used in high-speed electric motors, power converters, and hybrid drives.

eDRIVEsim’s software is based upon Opal RT’s RT-LAB — the real-time technology that has revolutionized the way model-based design is performed. RT-LAB’s flexibility and scalability allow it to be used in virtually any simulation or control system application, and to add computing-power where and when it is needed.

“Opal-RT leads with technologies for simulating complex power electronics systems in real-time,” says Jean Belanger, President, Opal-RT Technologies Inc. “eDRIVEsim fills an important gap in the design of motor drives by greatly improving both the speed of the design process and the accuracy of the motor models that are used in hardware-in-the-loop testing.”

Major manufacturers that have already implemented eDRIVEsim include Hitachi, Mitsubishi, and Toyota.

Typical Applications
eDRIVEsim is designed to conduct controller testing and HIL simulation of various electric and power electronic systems including:

  • PMSM, BLDC, and IM motor drives
  • Automotive: Hybrid power trains, power steering, and auxiliary power systems
  • Transportation: Trains traction and auxiliary systems, ship propulsion systems
  • Rectifiers and battery chargers
  • Wind energy and power electronic distributed generation and distribution systems
  • Industrial drives and multi-level converters

eDRIVEsim can also be used for fast power electronic control prototyping; implementing control algorithms and testing them in real-time and in both digital mode or HIL mode, by connecting the prototyped controller I/Os to either a virtual plant or a real-plant.

eDRIVEsim uses Simulink(R) as a front-end graphical modeling environment, and comes with a full range of software tools and libraries for the real-time modeling and simulation of power converters and motor drives. In addition, eDRIVEsim uses the latest Intel(R) multi-core X86 processors and Opal-RT’s OP5000 series of high speed Xilinx(R) -based FPGA I/O products as real-time targets, and is available in a 19-inch rack desk-side rack-mountable chassis or in a compact MX STATION portable chassis.

Three eDRIVEsim Models
eDRIVEsim hardware is fully configurable to meet specific customer needs. Popular configurations include:

  • eDRIVEsim OP4110 comes equipped with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, and one Opal-RT OP5110 Xilinx FPGA board dedicated solely to I/O management.
  • eDRIVEsim OP4120 includes an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, one Opal-RT OP5110 Xilinx FPGA board dedicated to I/O management, and an Opal-RT OP5130 Virtex(TM) -II Pro FPGA board for use as a real-time target to execute models in less than one microsecond.
  • eDRIVEsim OP4130 comes equipped with an Intel Core 2 Quad processor and one Opal-RT OP5110 Xilinx FPGA board dedicated to I/O management.

The eDRIVEsim OP4130′s Quad-core processor enables the simulation of complex multi-drive systems.

Using eDRIVEsim OP4110 and OP4130, typical AC motor drives, including the motor and a 6-switch inverter, can be simulated at a time step in the range of 10-20 microseconds, depending on the model characteristics and I/O used. This makes these eDRIVEsim configurations ideal for testing motor drives with a switching frequency up to 10 kHz, and a rotation speed up to 6000 RPM. Using Opal-RT’s OP5130 FPGA board, eDRIVEsim 4120 can achieve total input-output latency below 1.5 microseconds by executing models on the FPGA chip. The OP4120 can simulate PWM frequency exceeding 100 kHz, and a rotation speed up above 20000 RPM with JMAG finite-element based models.

With the eDRIVEsim OP4130, multiple drives and other power converters can be simulated simultaneously by taking advantage of all four processing cores of the INTEL QUAD-CORE 2.4-GHz processor.

Ease of Use
eDRIVESim also allows the engineer to easily develop the circuit of an application (motor drive, power conversion system) in Simulink(R), with basic components taken from different libraries. Blocks from Opal-RT’s specialized modeling libraries RTeDrive(TM), RT-Events(TM) and ARTEMIS(TM) (with SimPowerSystems(R)) can be included in the Simulink model to run on the CPU real-time target.

After compilation, the Simulink part of the model is downloaded to the Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Duo or Quad processor, while the Xilinx part is downloaded to the eDRIVEsim OP4120′s Opal RT OP5130 FPGA chip. The resulting real-time target is ready to be connected to the physical equipment to be controlled or tested, by the means of analog and digital I/Os.

Models can be connected to external equipment simply by dragging-and-dropping any input or output needed from the extensive list of I/O blocks available in the RT-LAB I/O library.

With eDRIVEsim OP4120, subsystems designed with blocks from the Xilinx Blockset for Simulink can be incorporated into a model, allowing that part of the model to be executed on a Opal RT OP5130 Xilinx FPGA chip, achieving low latency unprecedented in the simulation of high speed motors and high switching frequency converters, and allowing testing of fast controllers and protection systems.

Using RT-LAB’s distributed and parallel processing scheduler, models can be easily distributed on multiple processing cores. One core is dedicated to communication with the host PC, data logging, and running slower parts of the model (i.e. slow dynamics). Remaining cores are fully dedicated to model computation with time steps as low as 5 microseconds.

Maximum Accuracy With JMAG-RT Finite Element-Based Motor Models eDRIVEsim includes support for RTLAB.JMAG(TM), announced by Opal-RT. Developed in cooperation with Tokyo-based JRI Solutions, RTLAB.JMAG combines Opal-RT’s RT-LAB real-time simulation technology with JMAG-RT(R), part of JRI Solutions’ Finite Element Analysis (FEA) tool suite, allowing eDRIVEsim users to run accurate motor models with model data (inductance and torque map) generated from JMAG-RT.

About Opal-RT Technologies Inc.
Founded in 1997, Opal-RT is the leading supplier of integrated software and hardware solutions for real-time simulation and hardware-in-the-loop testing of electrical and mechanical systems. Opal-RT’s unique approach integrates parallel, distributed computing with commercial-off-the-shelf technologies. Opal-RT customers perform rapid-prototyping, system integration and hardware-in-the-loop testing of mechatronics, automotive, transportation, spacecraft and aircraft systems as well as electric drives, power electronics and power distribution networks used in all products, industries including utilities. Opal-RT solutions can be found in leading International companies in the automotive, aerospace, energy and power generation industries including AISIN, BMW, Daimler Chrysler, DENSO, EADS, Embraer, Ford, GM, Hitachi, Mitsubishi and Toyota.

RT-LAB, eDRIVEsim, eMEGASim, RT-Events, RTeDrive, RT-LAB.XSG, RT-LAB.JMAG, ARTEMIS, TestDRIVE are trademarks of Opal-RT Technologies Inc. Intel, Xilinx, Virtex, Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel Core 2 Quad, JMAG, JMAG-RT, MATLAB, Simulink, SimPowerSystems, and LabVIEW are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.