NI’s Inverter Test System simulates EV powertrains to perform hardware-in-the-lop (HIL) tests of traction inverter electronic control units (ECUs). (Photo: Business Wire)

NI expands electric vehicle testing ecosystem by collaborating with D&V Electronics on power-level inverter testing

November 2, 2021

AUSTIN, Texas—National Instruments (NI), the developer of automated test and measurement systems, is working to enhance testing environments and workflows for validation of electric vehicle (EV) traction inverters. Toward this goal, NI has introduced a new Inverter Test System (ITS) and established a collaboration agreement with D&V Electronics for testing of power-level inverters, the company said in a release.

According to NI, both achievements promise to accelerate innovation for EVs by integrating test earlier in the product development lifecycle. By simulating EV powertrains to perform hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) tests of traction inverter electronic control units (ECUs), the ITS allows EV test engineers to create more life-like scenarios that are not easily and accurately reproduced on the road.

For more than a century, NI said, automotive powertrain engineers focused on optimizing the combustion engine. Although the arrival of the electric vehicle brings the promise of a sustainable future, the engineering challenge has proven formidable. However, the problem-solving capabilities of NI, coupled with the expertise of D&V Electronics, are said to allow customers to spend more time engineering ambitiously toward Vision Zero, and less time troubleshooting their test systems.

Through the collaboration between NI and D&V, electric motor and direct current power emulators can be inserted into the test workflow to enable durability and thermal testing of the inverter component, at full power, in a high quality, cost-effective, and safe environment. Adding more simulation fidelity and capabilities speeds up the entire development process at a lower overall cost than field tests, NI said in the release.

“Automotive engineers are constantly modifying simulation models based on evolving electric vehicle performance and test requirements,” said Noah Reding, senior director of validation, transportation at NI, in the release. “They need integrated solutions to seamlessly move these models from design to validation. Advancements such as these speed up EV adoption and production innovations by eliminating inefficiencies in the testing process.”

“Traction inverters are the heart of the powertrain, and inverter design technology is changing rapidly,” said Uday Deshpande, chief technology officer of D&V Electronics, in the release. “D&V’s innovative power emulators, combined with NI’s high-speed test platforms, will offer customers future-ready capabilities that enable coverage from component to system level testing in a controlled environment. Our team is excited to partner with NI on its new inverter test offerings, and we look forward to ongoing success.”

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