Contact Us

A Power Hardware-in-the-Loop Testbench for Aerospace Applications

Aerospace system overview
Fig. 1. Overview of the typical aerospace power system.
   The more electric aircraft (MEA) concept increases the complexity of the aerospace electrical system. Fig. 1 shows an example MEA electrical system, including a synchronous generator and several motor drive systems. Due to the high reliability nature of the aerospace sector, the testing of this electrical system is greatly increased. In a simulation, it is difficult to take into account all of the parasitic elements that will be present and impact performance in the real system. Therefore, it is desirable to do as much as possible of the testing in a close-to-reality setup. A full hardware implementation solves these challenges, but is quite expensive, especially when motors and generators must be custom built. Naturally, it is undesirable to perform tests that could potentially damage those expensive machines with prototype power electronics. However, the power hardware-in-the-loop (P-HIL) testbench can recreate many of these different test scenarios before the full hardware solution is built.
   This work centers around the demonstration of the various capabilities of EGSTON Power ElectronicsÂ’ COMPISO System Unit CSU200-1GAMP6 (CSU) P-HIL platform. An advantage of this platform is the four-quadrant power amplifiers that allow the unit to act as a voltage or current source or load. Two of the key results demonstrate the capabilities of the CSU to emulate power converters and electric machines. The diode rectifier is modeled using a switching function approach and assuming ideal switches. Additionally, the synchronous generator is modeled using the fifth-order model with a damping winding on the D and Q axes. The induction motor is modeled using the traditional DQ approach as well. Fig. 2 shows the CSU accurately emulating an induction machine.
   This paper presents the capabilities of the CSU to emulate electric machines and power electronics through a series of tests. The electric machine emulation is validated through comparison with real-world test results, and the power electronics emulation test cases are validated though comparison with simulation results.
Induction machine stator current
Fig. 2. Comparison of stator current of real-world, emulated, and simulated induction machine.