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Real‐time simulation of electric machine drives with hardware‐in‐the‐loop

Osama A. Mohammed (Energy Systems Laboratory, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA)
Nagy Y. Abed (Energy Systems Laboratory, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA)



This paper seeks to present a fully digital, real‐time (RT) hardware‐in‐the‐loop (HIL) simulator on PC‐cluster, of electric systems and drives for research and education purposes; to use the developed system to conduct several motor drives implementation and to evaluate the motor and the control algorithm performance in RT.


This simulator was developed with the aim of meeting the simulation needs of electromechanical drives and power electronics systems while solving the limitations of traditional RT simulators. This simulator has two main subsystems, software and hardware. The two subsystems were coordinated together to achieve the RT simulation. The software subsystem includes MATLAB/Simulink environment, a C++ compiler and RT shell. The hardware subsystem includes FPGA data acquisition card, the control board, the sensors, and the controlled motor.


The complexity of RT implementation of motor drives is greatly reduced by utilizing this simulator. The detailed operation and implementation of this simulator are presented, together with test results and comparisons with simulated virtual environment for a permanent magnet dc and induction motors (IM). The simulator performance is adequate for both open and closed loops motor drives. The simulation time step is limited by the system Master/Target CPU's speed, the communication network type, and the complexity of the control algorithm.

Practical implications

A typical application for this system is to select and evaluate the performance of electric motors for a hybrid electric vehicle in a real vehicle environment without actually installing that component in the real vehicle.


The use of the developed RT simulator to achieve HIL simulation allows rapid prototyping, converter‐inverter topologies testing, motors testing, and control strategies evaluation. The transition from simulated virtual environment to the HIL mode can be performed by replacing the model of the physical system (e.g. motor) with the DAQ blocks to represent the channels connected to the physical system sensors. The use of a single environment for both simulation and HIL control provides a quick experimentation and performance comparison between the real and simulated systems.



Mohammed, O.A. and Abed, N.Y. (2008), "Real‐time simulation of electric machine drives with hardware‐in‐the‐loop", COMPEL - The international journal for computation and mathematics in electrical and electronic engineering, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 929-938.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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