Prototyping an integrated electric powertrain with REPS


At a testing facility of a leading global automotive supplier, engineers design and test prototypes of Integrated Electric Powertrain (IPT) systems for use in compact fuel cell powered cars. Based on stringent specifications provided by their customers, the engineers at this facility take to a challenging mission - designing the IPT from scratch in a burgeoning industry of electric and hybrid vehicle technology.

As with all prototyping, the need for a flexible yet robust testing facility is paramount. Our customer, located in Michigan, needed to upgrade its three outdated dynamometer test cells in order to better accommodate the various testing involved in designing the IPTs. For Millbrook Revolutionary Engineering (RE), this was no daunting task.

With years of experience in designing and building test cells from the ground up, RE has an unmatched record for delivering high-quality testing products and services. At the forefront is the Revolutionary Engineering Pro System (REPS), a complete data acquisition and control system that is operator-friendly yet powerful enough to satisfy even the most advanced users. In order to evaluate the IPT design, REPS became an invaluable tool for the engineers at this automotive supplier testing facility

System Background

An IPT is an integrated system in that it combines an electric motor, a gearbox and a power electronic assembly. The electric motor, a permanent magnet motor, combined with the gearbox is capable of producing high torques at the wheel output. The power electronic assembly, which includes the power inverter, is responsible for all motor control, DC/AC voltage conversion, and current distribution across components.

Communication between REPS and the main control board is accomplished via CAN. Redundancy of the CAN signals is crucial; therefore two CAN buses are employed. In the event that the main CAN bus should fail, the IPT board switches automatically to the “backup” CAN bus.

Download the attached project summary .pdf for additional project details.