New Electric Drivetrain Testing Equipment For EV Makers

Massachusetts-based HBM has introduced a new solution for eDrive testing, an integrated system for measuring the performance and efficiency of electric motors and inverters.

HBM, Inc. describes itself as a leading manufacturer of data acquisition systems, analysis and calibration software, strain gauges, and transducers and sensors,

HBM explained making the measurements necessary to increase the efficiency of an electric drivetrain used to be a real chore. Typically, a power analyzer is used to make these measurements, but while these instruments do provide calculated results, they do not provide the raw data that engineers actually need.

“HBM’s new eDrive package is the only completely integrated test solution on the market that allows engineers to record, verify and study both electrical and mechanical parameters under dynamic conditions,” said Mike Hoyer, HBM applications engineer.

The eDrive testing solution combines HBM’s T12 or T40 torque sensor, the most accurate torque transducers in each respective class; the GEN3i data acquisition system; and as an option the Quantum 1609B temperature satellite to provide synchronous, dynamic, and continuous acquisition of mechanical and electrical signals from an electric drive system, said HBM. In addition to making temperature, torque and rotational measurements, the eDrive testing solution can make measurements from as many as 18 current and voltage channels at voltages up to 1,000 V, at a sampling rate of up to 2 MS/s.

HBM added the system incorporates an intuitive eDrive software GUI developed exclusively for electric motor and inverter testing. For noise immunity, optional high voltage 2-wire shielded cables with safety banana connectors are provided in various lengths ensuring improved signal integrity. For additional safety from high voltages and currents, an optical Ethernet interface offers complete display and control from a remote location or control room via an external PC.

The mechanical torque and rotational signals are recorded by the use of a rotating torque sensor with an integral slotted disc for speed sensing, explained HBM.

The system not only provides the raw data, but real-time analysis as well, said HBM. Included with the system is powerful software that provides a complete characterization of an electrical drive train. The software analyzes the raw data and displays real time results, such as true, reactive and apparent power and efficiency calculations. It also allows for more extensive verification and analysis of the corresponding raw data. A freely programmable formula database can be used to determine equivalent circuit diagrams, calculate air gap or cogging torques for motor analysis plus calculation for space vector, part transformation and THD to analyze inverter behavior.

What does this all mean to future EVs and hybrid vehicles? Better testing procedures and data to improve electric drivetrain systems.