Electronic load module makes mechanical ECU test benches redundant

July 30, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Automotive test system vendor dSPACE GmbH has introduced an Electronic Load Module that emulates motor and generator currents at voltages of up to 60 V for the hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation of electric motors. As a result, mechanical test benches are no longer needed to test the ECUs. With a voltage range up to 60 V, the module is also ideal for use with higher in-vehicle voltages of 42 and 48 volts or with numerous electric components running in parallel.

The system emulates three-phase real currents, and energy recuperation is also included to boost the energy efficiency of the overall system. Typical test application areas are electrically supported steering, starter and generator systems, and mild hybrid drives.

The Electronic Load Module uses the same supply voltage as the device under test (ECU). It is equipped with bidirectional working voltage regulators so that the current that is sunk on one pin can be sourced to another pin. This means that the effective power which is simulated on the “Load” pins can be much higher than the power consumption of the electronic load.

The Electric Load Module can be operated in three different modes:

  1. Current control mode (typically used for motor applications, not brushless DC (BLDC) motors) 
  2. Voltage control mode (general-purpose applications)
  3. Mixed current and voltage control mode (BLDC motor application)

The mode parameter can be set from the host via protocol.

Similar systems are available from dSpace for voltages of up to 30 V as well as for the 800 V supply used in hybrid electric vehicles and in electric vehicles.


For more information visit www.dspace.com