Company: Yokogawa Test&Measurement Europe
Category: Automotive Product of the Year
With increased emphasis on electric vehicles and a growing electrification of many forms of transport, from trains to ships and even aircraft, the efficiency of electric motors has never been more important. Small improvements in motor efficiency for electric vehicles can result in increased range. Taking efficiency measurements requires accurate synchronous measurement of power, motor speed and torque.
Current methods use discrete instruments to read and display the data but these are optimized for investigating particular signals â€“ for example, oscilloscopes offer high sample speed and in-depth views of waveforms. Although a power analyzer can analyze the power efficiency, it is optimized for accuracy of power reading rather than capturing waveforms in the high detail that developers need.
Similarly, Yokogawa’s ScopeCorder can capture the switching waveform with high-speed sampling, but this requires correlating the data between the ScopeCorder and the power analyzer. This means that getting a complete picture of the vehicle’s behaviour is difficult, due to the different user interfaces and the need to correlate the timing of the various input signals.
This challenge has now been solved by the Yokogawa IS8000 Integrated Measurement software platform, which simultaneously provides both the precise power analysis and the accurate waveform.
The IS8000 can be used to remotely operate Yokogawa’s high-precision power analyzer, high-speed recorder and oscilloscope, which can all be monitored and configured from the software. Additionally, third-party high-speed cameras can also be controlled, making it easier to operate and manage various instruments for measuring power, physical phenomena such as brake actuations, video, and control signals.
With numerous instruments all working together as an integrated system, test staff can get coherent measurements, making it easier to debug and analyze data by viewing all measurements on a single display.
It also allows data to be shared easily throughout an organization, while customized reports can be easily generated simply by dragging and dropping measurement data and waveforms onto the report sheet.
The IS8000 also saves time, allowing efforts to be devoted to actually gathering data rather than developing and setting up test methods. The software is also scalable, offering optional software packages to achieve more in-depth data analysis as users’ needs evolve.
The IS8000 will find typical uses in the testing of motors and inverters for electric vehicles, which produce numerous electronic, electrical and mechanical signals that need to be compared.
Another application is motion analysis using video and sensor signals of processes and events such as combustion and vibration. Some mechanical motions in vehicles are controlled by or closely related to electrical signals and both video images and signal waveforms may be needed to adjust the vehicle’s parameters.
For maximum benefit, the IS8000 suite is designed to work closely with the DL950 ScopeCorder, the latest in Yokogawa’s family of portable multi-channel data-acquisition recorders. With the DL950, Yokogawa has built on the success of the widely used DL850, extending and improving r speed, channel count and data acquisition features.
With companies keen to develop more energy efficient technologies for transportation, the DL950 is designed to offer manufacturers a highly detailed view of a vehicle’s electrical and mechanical behaviour.
Continuing Yokogawa’s philosophy of offering continuous improvements to its instruments, the new device offers several upgrades over earlier generations. Chief among these is the DL950’s ability to handle larger amounts of data at a faster sample rate and with a longer recording time. It has a large acquisition memory up to 8 Gpoint, and a 200 MS/s sample rate at 14-bit, compared to the DL850E’s 100 MS/s at 12-bit. This is twice the sample rate but with much more detail. The DL950 can run up to 32 isolated analog channels with 10 MS/s at 16-bit or up to 128 digital channels.
The DL950 will prove invaluable in the transportation industry for applications such as testing electric vehicles and SiC/GaN inverters, as well as ECUs, sensors and in-vehicle communications networks.
The DL950 offers several options for acquiring data. Users can choose normal acquisition into the fast internal acquisition memory, recording to the internal hard disk (SSD) or directly to the PC via normal Ethernet or opt for 10 Gigabit Ethernet. With 10 Gigabit Ethernet, data can be transferred from the DL950 to a PC at 50 times the speed of its predecessor.
The DL950 will also soon feature Flash Acquisition used to store data when a PC cannot be used, for example when capturing data from within a vehicle, power plant or other similar applications. With this, data can be captured over a long time with a high-speed sample rate of 20 MS/s (8CH) and 10 MS/s (16CH).
This is ideal for developers of transport solutions, as it allows capturing the high speed switching events of components such as inverters, motors and ECUs that increasingly form part of electric vehicles.
The 512GB internal SSD can record for up to 50 days. Waveforms from dual capture can also be recorded, useful for in-vehicle endurance testing and capturing rare spontaneous events.
Various types of external module can capture a wide range of data types, and include universal voltage/temperature modules, acceleration/voltage modules, strain modules and frequency modules.
Ease of use is built-in to the DL950 as it offers a large 12.1 inch touch screen, providing convenient access to its wealth of features.
Touching an application icon brings up the graphical setup screen for the application, while users can also register frequently used applications as favourites.
Yokogawa’s power analyzers and some other instruments can be time synchronized with the device. Combined with the IS8000 Integrated Software Platform, the DL950 offers a fully integrated system for capturing a varied array of simultaneous data signals, giving developers an easy route to analyzing and improving transport systems.