The growing focus toward renewable energy has made universities nation-wide to update their energy systems curriculum. A hardware lab for electric drives forms an essential part of such programs. To enable students to design control strategies, implement them in-class and test them on real machines, expensive DSP based hardware are currently being used. This thesis provides an alternative approach, exploiting the processing power of today's powerful computers. Using MATLAB/Simulink R's Real-Time Windows Target, control systems can be run in realtime on regular windows machines. The controller developed as a part of this thesis provides the necessary hardware for utilizing this feature. The hardware-in-the-loop controller forms a communication link between the computer and the power converters driving the motor. The controller also reads analog sensor values and generates gate driving signals. The controller is microcontroller based and is relatively inexpensive. The controller has been designed and implemented in hardware, with a minimal firmware demonstrating the essential features of the set up. Satisfactory test results were obtained assuring the feasibility of this approach. Further work would help this technology mature into a replacement for industrial grade real-time controllers.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. Major: Electrical Engineering. Advisor: Prof. Ned Mohan. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 56 pages, appendix A.
Rajavel, Tamil Kadir.
Micro-controller based hardware-in-the-loop controller for electric drives..
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