(Electronics) Realtime Simulation in Power Electronics

Using real-time simulators to validate power electronics converters is becoming more and more common. Real-time simulation is a mature trend in power systems, as they usually work with parameters that vary as fast as 50 Hz and CPUs are capable of simulating systems real time with time step of 50 micro-seconds. Meanwhile, in case of power electronic converters, the switching frequency is much higher compared to 50 Hz and the simulator should be able to solve state equations in less than 500 nanoseconds, or 1 micro-second. This not possible with current CPU speeds, and FPGAs are used for this purpose. However, FPGAs with enough gates and ALUs were not commercially available until around a decade ago.

Picture: with our power electronics team in G2ELab, back in 2019, trying to validate a new converter design with a real-time simulator.


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