🎉We can now proudly present the winners of the TAPAS Community Challenge 2018! 🎉
Congratulations to Team "Wireless Charging" (idea 56). We are really excited for all finalists and a really big thank you to all participants for your interest in this challenge!

We got over 200 submissions! 65 ideas got one or more TAPAS boards, 10 submissions were presentation-ready.
And now we have 5 finalists! YEAH 😃 The finalist's idea numbers were 40, 56, 68, 212 and 213.
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Providing hands-on experience to students on inverter controllers and their industrial applications in test benches

Providing hands-on experience to students on inverter controllers and their industrial applications in test benches

Team members: Thomas D'hondt, Yves Mollet and Mathieu Sarrazin

 

Goals

The control of power electronics is a challenging topic requiring an in-depth knowledge of both the motor and inverter hardware, as well as the controller software.  Through this project, we aim to set up a direct collaboration with students in order to provide them the tools to get hands-on experience with these topics. The creation of a demonstration setup through internships and master theses will enable to form a sustainable interaction with university partners. Amongst the studied topics, the influence of inverter control on efficiency and NVH characteristics, as well as the combination of inverters with system simulation models are of particular interest.

 

Studied setup

As a first step in this project, we plan to reproduce a scaled-down version of a test bench available in our offices. It consists in a dual motor setup, where one machine is acting as a motor and the second one is acting as a generator, both shafts being mechanically coupled to one another. In this setup, one motor is controlled in closed-loop speed control, whereas the second motor is using a torque controller (Figure 1).

 

This setup will serve as a good base for the study of motor control algorithms and their influence on the overall performance of the system. It can also be combined with simulation models running on the host PC, which are able to provide both the reference torque and speed for the motor controllers. One possible application of such a setup is the validation of motors used in electrical vehicles: the torque-controlled motor represents the vehicle drivetrain and the speed-controlled motor is used to emulate the load of vehicle wheels and the road (Figure 2). Alternatively, the drivetrains of electrical bikes and the propulsion of drones can also be validated using such a setup.

 

Possible extensions for future student projects include the study of vehicle battery and E-motor emulators, through the combination of the highly dynamical TAPAS converter and our in-house accurate simulation models. Also, grid-tied solar inverter with harmonic compensation can make great use of the high switching frequency of the TAPAS boards. Finally, the control of different type of motors and controller architectures can be studied, including and SRM, IM, PMSM, DC and BLDC.

 

Implementation plan

This project will exploit our long running and well-proven collaboration with university labs in order to set up internships and master thesis with interested and motivated students. As a first step, our team will first get familiar with the platform, which should improve the quality of the follow-up we can provide. Students will then gradually be involved in the project and handle several tasks, including the sizing and selection of the motors, the design and construction of the mechanical assembly, the implementation of inverter controllers, the interfacing of the system to the host computer and so forth. Our target is to obtain first a solid base setup, which can later be modified and improved. Students participating in this challenging project will gain valuable experience in the domain of inverter control and the design of industrial test benches.

 

How many boards & outlooks

For the planned setup, two boards are required, one handling the torque control and the other one handling the speed control. Depending on the outcome of this project, our activities could be scaled in the future in order to study the topics proposed as an extension and  to increase the number of students involved in the project.

  • Thomas D'hondt
  • May 3 2018
  • Admin
    Nora Schille (TAPAS team) commented
    May 04, 2018 13:57

    Hey Thomas, 

    thank you for your submission.
    It was kinda hard to decide on your idea, not in general, but regarding the challenge itself.
    The TAPAS board is designed to operate < 48V. We are skeptical about the implementation in a  test bench because, normally test benches are built to support a much wider voltage range.

    We are liking the idea of giving hands-on experience to students very much. So if you want to use the TAPAS boards for research only we can offer you to contact us directly via tapas.support.ct[at]siemens.com 

    Best,
    Nora @ TAPAS team 

  • Thomas D'hondt commented
    May 04, 2018 15:34

    Hey Nora,

    Thanks a lot for your feedback.

    The maximum voltage level is not really a limitation for the applications we see. The plan is to build down-scaled versions of the benches, which are still able to illustrate the required hardware, software and controllers. Using a lower power version of the real product should make the design and implementation of such benches more approachable and affortable in the context of a student project.

    Best regards,

    Thomas



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