Efficient data collection accelerates electric vehicle development
With interest in the development of electric vehicles at an all-time high, one company has identified the Ixxat USB-to-CAN V2 interface as perhaps the best way to download operational data for analysis.
In fact Voltsport started out supplying drives to the marine market, mainly to
the racing fraternity who preferred electric propulsion to heavier, slower diesel
engines. However it has grown its land-based business alongside the growth of
electric vehicle developments, and this now represents the majority of its work.
Setting up electric drives for vehicle applications can be very challenging,
because of the wide range of performance expected of them, as Phil explains:
“Motors driving say industrial plant tend to work in a stable environment and
are required to perform only a small number of different duty cycles – which
are predictable and therefore easily modelled. However a vehicle drive will have
to run equally well on the coldest winter morning and the hottest day of the
year; be able to go uphill and down; run under a wide range of loads, operate
comfortably at a number of different set speeds and offer a wide range of
acceleration and deceleration profiles.”
Electric vehicles’ motor controllers work hard in real time to
give the smooth driving required and there is a lot of data to
be analysed during commissioning. This data is broadcast at
high rates from the controllers and stored for processing on
the host PC. After performance analysis, we adjust tuning of
settings to improve performance. Visualising data in this way
really helps the customer understand their vehicle.
“We started to use Ixxat because it was the preferred
solution of one of our motor suppliers, Sevcon,” recalls Phil
Eagleton, Managing Director of Voltsport in the North East of
England. “Originally we used a number of different ways to
collect data from our drive systems, but we quickly came to
see the advantages of Ixxat’s USB-to-CAN interfaces”.
Ixxat PC CAN Interfaces
The large Ixxat range of CAN PC interfaces enable
applications to access in-vehicle CAN networks easily. They
are available for PC connetion via PCIe, PCIe Mini, PCIe
104, USB, Ethernet or even Bluetooth. Many interfaces are
modularly designed and can be equipped with up to four
CAN high-speed channels. They can also be used with CAN
low-speed and LIN channels.
The interfaces are available in low-cost passive or active
versions with powerful on-board controllers. Active