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Development and Evaluation of a Power Hardware-in-the-Loop (P-HIL) Emulator Testbench for Aerospace Applications

Setup of P-HIL
Fig. 1. System setup of the P-HIL emulator testbench with external hardware.
  As aerospace industries are progressing towards the More Electric Aircraft (MEA) concept, the need for complex electrical system testing is urgently increasing. Power Hardware-in-the-Loop (P-HIL) allows for a variety of electrical system tests without any hardware changes, thereby reducing the development time and cost, enabling concurrent development and fault modes testing.
  In this work, the development of a P-HIL emulator testbench (Fig. 1) using EGSTON Power Electronics, COMPISO System Unit (CSU) CSU200-1GAMP6, and external hardware (Rockwell Automation PowerFlex 753 drive inverter) is explained. First, the testbench was evaluated by characterizing an accuracy region and showed satisfactory accuracy to follow the setpoints. The power circulating operation mode was configured and several applications (induction machine, active front end, and ATRU) were tested and compared with offline simulation. Most importantly, the P-HIL emulated an induction machine working with a 30 kW PowerFlex 753 drive under various working conditions (no-load, constant-load, step-load transient, start-up transient), and the results were compared to the real-world tests as shown in Fig. 2. It showed that the P-HIL emulator has excellent accuracy and flexibility, thus can significantly facilitate the future aerospace electrical system development.
P-HIL
Fig. 2. Test result comparison between the P-HIL emulation and real- world motor. (Top: step-load transient. Bottom: start-up transient.)

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