FPGA Technology and Software IP in Power Electronics Applications

Altera FPGA in Motor control solutions for industrial applications

Here’s a recent brochure from Altera on Motor control solution in industrial space.

While microcontrollers and DSP devices may be well suited to certain aspects of motor control systems, they lack flexibility to support motor control IP and interfaces in hard logic. With our Cyclone® III FPGA, you can integrate processors, digital logic interfaces, DSP functions, motor control IP and multiple Industrial Ethernet protocols into one device, reducing board size and complexity. Operating across industrial communication networks, motion control solutions with drive-controlled motors can be very energy efficient. Aside from saving power, this can also lead to net cost savings in the long run.”

Source: Altera

It may be important to mention that this type of system architecture in industrial space – with industrial ethernet connection – is “smart-grid” ready, i.e. information is going in two direction : to the motor drive system for motor control and from the motor drive system for condition-monitoring purposes.

In that latter case, the motor drive system may become a “broadcaster” of useful information to the main control system if the Motor Control IP contains fault-detection and diagnosis algorithms that are running simulataneously with torque and speed control algorithms.

OPAL-RT Realtime 2009 Conference in Montréal

I am just arriving from attending OPAL-RT’s RealTime 2009 Conference held in Montreal from August 30th-September 2th. People from all around the world gathered to this conference to share experience using OPAL-RT RealTime Simulators, to give new perspectives of this technology or simply to learn more about this kind of products. Many industries/applications were represented : power systems, aerospace, automotive, industrial motor drives, wind turbines, etc. To know more about OPAL-RT technology, please read one of my previous post .

OPAL-RT Demonstration at RealTime 2009

Source : OPAL-RT

On the picture above (click to enlarge), Philippe Venne from OPAL-RT (on the right side) is presenting a real time simulation demontration of a 17 wind turbine wind farm to Frédéric Colas from Université de Lille (France). The experiment running on the picture (from the simulator located on the left side of the screen) is a short-circuit from phase A to ground at the point of connection of the farm on the network. The graphs on the left are the voltages and currents at the point of connection; the graph on the top right is the torque of the wind turbine rotor during the fault. Finally, the graph on the bottom right is the DC bus voltage during the fault.

Many other hand-on demonstration were presented on various topic of applications. It looks very promising for RealTime 2010 conference.