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Testing ECU Networks of Hybrid Electric Powertrains

Task

A hybrid electric powertrain typically contains several networked ECUs which the functions are distributed to. The functions, such as overlaid hybrid control functions, can be implemented on separate ECUs or combined with other functions. As these functions need to be extremely reliable, the development and test requirements are high.

Challenge

To set up a typical realistic hybrid powertrain, two parallel CAN structures have to be built: A powertrain or vehicle CAN and a private hybrid CAN. The powertrain CAN connects the standard ECUs such as the engine ECU and transmission ECU, and others such as the ESP ECU which can also be simulated by their CAN messages. The hybrid-specific ECUs are usually connected to the hybrid CAN.

Solution

For hardware-in-the-loop simulation, you can connect all existing powertrain ECUs with the HIL simulator. The simulator is equipped with at least one processor board and various interface boards. Powertrain components that are not yet available are emulated via restbus simulation. Testing usually also covers several CAN networks. The modularity of the dSPACE hardware means that the simulators can be configured for various applications. All known hybrid vehicle versions and ECU or CAN configurations are possible.
For integration testing, a hybrid electric powertrain simulator can be extended to simulate a full virtual hybrid electric vehicle by adding further racks to cover all the other ECUs in the vehicle, such as ESP.
If the HIL tests cover the simulation of the electrical motor and the battery, safety aspects make it necessary to separate the HIL simulations. The simulator racks are then connected via Gigalink. This high-speed serial data transmission via fiber-optic cable and 1.25G bit/s technology provides very fast information exchange.

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