First Fully Operational Testbed for Probing the Performance of Traction Inverters

Achievement date: 

The first fully operational, 100-hp testbed with “hardware in the loop” capabilities” provides a robust platform for testing traction inverters at the Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS), an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) based at the University of Illinois.


The testbed provides a safe, effective, and cost-effective resource for validation of traction inverters for the Center’s researchers, industrial partners, and external users. The testbed also provides a showcase for K-12 campus tours.


Traction inverters are a key component of electric vehicles as they convert the DC current from the EV’s battery to AC current to be used in the electric motor that drives the vehicle’s propulsion system. The testbed’s incorporation of EPA and user‐produced driving cycles with a customizable, EV/HEV-simulation model enables a realistic test environment without the dangers and complexities of mobile platforms

Hardware in the loop is a is a technique used in developing and testing real-time embedded systems, enhancing the quality of testing by increasing its scope and by bringing together software and hardware platforms. The POETS testbed, for example, can emulate harsh climate conditions with an environmental chamber and the virtual modeling of the tire-to-surface interaction.