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Hardware-in-the-loop testing for power electronics

Efficient, low-risk validation of how intelligent devices will behave in real-life power systems

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Theo Bosma Theo Bosma
Program Director
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Hardware-in-the-loop

Electricity grids are becoming smarter and more complicated with increased use of software-driven digital electronics. Although still essential, component type testing alone is no longer sufficient. Components also need to be validated as part of the complete system. But connecting critical or large numbers of components to a real grid is hugely risky, and creating a realistic power system for testing purposes would be prohibitively expensive.

Cost-effective, system-level validation
DNV GL offers an alternative that allows components to be rigorously and cost-effectively validated under the most realistic system conditions. Our hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing service verifies that certified components are fit for purpose in the system for which they are intended. HIL testing enables innovative development while mitigating the risk of new, unforeseen error modes and prevents the proliferation of rogue control software.

You can think of our HIL testing service as “a flight simulator for power electronics”. The component to be validated is connected to a real-time digital simulator (RTDS) representing the complete (complex) power system in which it will be deployed. The RTDS exposes the component to all the transient and dynamic phenomena it may face in operation, and the component’s responses are fed back. This allows us to determine how the component will perform in the real system and identify any unwanted interactions between components.

We offer both controller hardware in the loop (CHIL) and power hardware in the loop (PHIL) testing. CHIL testing is ideal for fast prototyping of power electronics applications, while PHIL testing allows the controller and power electronics hardware to be validated in an integrated manner.

Proven validation, now for power electronics
HIL testing is a tried-and-trusted technique for developing and validating real-time embedded systems. Drawing on our experience in the maritime and wind energy sectors, DNV GL is among the first to offer HIL testing commercially for power electronics and power systems. 

Contact Us Get in touch with one of our future-proof grid experts For information about our services or to request a quote