DSD commits to major investment in hybrid and electric driveline testing

Test facility expansion continues with £500,000 commitment on Torque Pulse Simulator and Battery Emulator

Driveline engineering specialist Drive System Design (DSD) is continuing to expand its test capabilities. As part of the development a 450kW highly transient ETPS machine (Engine Torque Pulse Simulator) is being installed.

DSD has identified strong on-going demand for IC engine simulation, which is set to remain a significant element of hybrid powertrain development for at least the next decade. The new equipment represents a further £500,000 investment, on top of that announced previously in March this year.

“The ETPS machine allows highly repeatable testing of the transmission and driveline without requiring an engine, which may only exist as a virtual model or a scarce prototype in some cases,” explained Rob Oliver, Drive System Design Chief Engineer. “It is also more efficient because instead of burning large amounts of fuel and wasting the energy as heat, we are able to recover most of the electrical power consumed during testing.”

The ultra-low inertia ETPS machine allows DSD to reproduce the firing torque pulse characteristics of almost any IC engine, based on measured data or model predictions, at up to 800Nm steady state and 1600Nm transient torque. The fidelity of reproduction is high enough to enable the development of DCT, DMF and clutch systems, including shift behaviour and NVH, without the need for a vehicle or an engine. Its frequency response, of up to 2kHz, is sufficient to replicate torsional vibrations up to fourth engine order.

The second element of DSD’s facility expansion is a battery emulator that replaces the battery pack in an EV powertrain. The emulator ensures a controlled power supply, allowing the system to be tested without the usual battery pack constraints of charge/discharge behaviour and the limitation of a reducing available voltage. Output can be quickly varied up to 800 volts and 800 amps (continuous) and 960 amps (peak), equivalent to a 300kW e-machine, and the unit is both modular and scalable.

“These latest additions to our test facility reinforce our ability to design, develop and validate hybrid drivelines in their entirety, encompassing everything between the battery pack and the wheels,” said Oliver.