HV Breakout Module simplifies EV powertrain measurement

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Germany-based CSM, a developer of measurement and data technology, has released the latest addition to its suite of measurement modules for the development of electric vehicles. Its HV Breakout Module 3.3 has, says the company, been specifically designed to meet the international safety standards relating to the use of equipment in high-voltage applications on electric vehicles.

CSM claims the module simplifies the instrumentation of HV drivetrains, improves measurement accuracy, and reduces costs compared with systems that were not designed for in-vehicle use. When combined with Vector Informatik’s e-Mobility Analyzer, real-time power analysis can performed on both the test bench and in-vehicle.

The company says the module enables electrical power analysis of vehicle HV systems without the use of classical power meters and current transformers. The system samples current and voltage signals at 2 MS/s and sends the sampled values via XCP-on-Ethernet directly to either Vector Informatik’s vMeasure exp or CANape software. The data is stored and power values calculated in real time using the integrated e-Mobility Analyzer function library. This calculates motor power values such as active power, apparent and reactive power, power factor, electrical speed, harmonics, total energy or the effective power of the motor windings. At the same time, a graphical online display of all measured values and power parameters is available.

The system can accommodate high-voltage cables up to 95mm, which are fed into the module via suitable PG cable glands and connected with appropriately sized ring terminals. Alternatively, instead of PG glands, the HV BM 3.3C can also be supplied with three-phase PowerLog connectors. This allows easy connection of DUTs, especially in powertrain test benches, to reduce changeover times. These connections, and the module itself, provide a system which meets EN 61010-1 requirements for using electronic equipment in high-voltage environments.

For three-phase power assessment, a measurement circuit for currents and voltages is pre-installed in the module. This eliminates the need for cumbersome cabling and eliminates the associated interference. Phase currents and voltages up to 1,400A and 2,000V are sampled synchronously within 1µs with the module. Notably, says the company, complex phase correction for power measurement, as was previously common, is no longer necessary. The direct A/D conversion in the module and transmission of digital samples avoids electromagnetic interference associated with high-speed traction inverters.

CSM states that the number of channels for power analysis can be easily expanded: The measurement data from further HV Breakout Modules, placed for example between the battery and inverter or other vehicle components, is synchronously integrated in the measurement chain via an EtherCAT interface. This enables power efficiency analysis of the components in the powertrain with minimal effort.

Additional HV-safe and conventional CSM MiniModules for measuring temperatures, vibration, torque and speed can also be added via a CAN interface in order to approach load points with temperature accuracy and to record efficiency maps.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology International and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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