Opal-RT Develops High-performance RT-LAB Electric Drive Simulator

11/17/2003 - Opal-RT Technologies Inc. (www.opal-rt.com), the world leader in distributed simulation on PC-based platforms, unveiled the RT-LABTM Electric Drive Simulator. The announcement was made at a press conference at EVS-20 - The 20th International Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exposition, currently taking place in Long Beach, California.

The RT-LABTM Electric Drive Simulator is an integrated software and hardware solution for engineers designing electric and hybrid-electric vehicles. Based on Opal-RT's flagship RT-LAB technology and utilizing PC-based software and hardware components, the RT-LAB Electric Drive Simulator provides a hard-real-time platform for the simulation of all mechanical, electrical, and control system aspects of vehicle behavior. The RT-LAB platform allows design engineers to accelerate the design process through virtual-prototyping with high-fidelity simulation using dynamic models, particularly for hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing, thereby reducing prototype construction and testing costs.

"In many areas of automotive design, the widespread use of high-fidelity virtual prototypes has eliminated problems in the early stages of the design process. The development of electric drives and associated controllers is no exception", said Paul Goossens, Opal-RT Technologies' Vice President of Marketing. "Using the RT-LAB Electric Drive Simulator, design engineers can not only conduct HIL testing of dynamic models of electric drives, but also easily merge these models with a virtual prototype of the entire vehicle. The end result is a dramatic reduction in the duration and cost of the real prototyping stage and of the overall design process.

An industry first, the RT-LAB Electric Drive Simulator utilizes a cluster of low-cost PCs - incorporating off-the-shelf technologies and FPGA-based reconfigurable I/O. This is particularly useful for designers of electric drives since PC clusters integrated with FPGA-based reconfigurable I/O can simulate electric power converters and drives, using HIL testing, down to the detailed switching of the power electronic switches (IGBT, GTO, etc), with PWM carrier frequencies of up to 10 kHz, at time steps down to 10us. With real-time interpolation of switching events, the simulator can achieve a firing-pulse resolution of 10 ns.

Fully integrated with SimulinkTM and the simPowerSystemTM Blockset, the RT-LAB Electric Drive Simulator is based on unique parallel processing technologies that allow the design engineer to distribute complex models over several computation targets, running either the QNXTM or RedHawkTM Linux RTOS, while transparently handling all synchronization, inter-processor data communication and signal I/O. This makes the RT-LAB Electric Drive Simulator readily scalable, allowing for increased computation power by adding more PC targets to the cluster.

The RT-LAB Electric Drive Simulator is now available, with commercial system pricing starting at USD$30,000. Special pricing is available where systems are to be used in academic research projects.

About Opal-RT Technologies, Inc.
Opal-RT provides software, hardware, and related solutions for real-time simulation applications, with the aim of enabling real-time parallel processing through flexible and affordable technologies. The company offers a full range of engineering simulation products - from enabling technologies to turnkey engineering simulators - and consulting services that include systems integration, software development, simulation and modeling, problem-solving, and training. Opal-RT's core expertise is in distributed hard-real-time simulation, with experienced engineers designing real-time simulators for automotive, electrical power, aerospace, robotics, and other industries where fidelity and fault tolerance requirements push rapid prototyping and hardware-in-the-loop testing to their limits. Opal-RT's unique approach integrates parallel, distributed computing with commercial-off-the-shelf technologies. The resulting RT-LAB product range enables customers to develop simulations quickly, easily, affordably, and competitively. For more information about Opal-RT's range of Engineering Simulators and Distributed Processing Tools, see www.opal-rt.com.

About RT-LAB
RT-LAB is the real-time technology that revolutionizes the way model-based design is performed within the engineering organization. Through its openness, RT-LAB has the flexibility to be applied to any simulation and control problem, and scalability to provide a low-risk entry point for any application, allowing the developer to add computation power where and when needed-whether to dramatically speed up simulations or for real-time hardware-in-the-loop applications.

RT-LAB is a registered trademark of Opal-RT Technologies Inc.
Simulink, and simPowerSystem are registered trademarks of The MathWorks, Inc.
QNX is a registered trademark of QNX Software Systems Ltd.
RedHawk is a registered trademark of Concurrent Computer Corporation.

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