Multi-physics HIL test bed for Home Energy Systems

  Copyright: RWTH Aachen

The PHIL test bed allows for testing HES setups comprising a variety of different components. Following the Hardwarein- the-Loop concept some components may be present as physical hardware; others may be represented by software models and emulated by hardware interfaces. The component types which can be tested as physical hardware reach from heating devices, thermal loads, electrical loads and generators to control devices, e.g. smart home controllers. Also a combination of more than one device simultaneously under test is possible.

Our simulator runs the models of the components, which are not present as physical hardware, in real time in order for the simulated models to be synchronous with the physical components. SimulationX by ITI and the equation based language Modelica have been chosen as modeling environment. SimulationX offers the export of C-Code which can be adapted to the requirements of the real time Linux simulator.

In order to close the loop between software simulation and the device under test, several interfaces are necessary and have been developed. The hydraulic interface developed by EBC allows for emulating thermo hydraulic sources and loads. The thermal interface realized as a climate chamber is especially designed to test air-to-water heat pumps. Any weather condition of temperature and humidity can be emulated.

The electrical interface, a 25kVA converter designed and realized in-house, represents for the home the point of common coupling to the electrical grid. The selected converter topology allows for testing all kinds of unbalanced three-phase AC systems, two independent single-phase AC systems or two DC systems. The high switching frequency of 40kHz allows for tracking the fast dynamics computed by the real time simulator.