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Electric Vehicle Test Cell Control and Data Acquisition System

A complete off-the-shelf solution for deterministic real-time testing of components or full vehicle eDyno. 

The world global Electric Vehicle (EV) market is increasing rapidly. The number of EV models available is set to jump from 155 at the end of 2017 to 289 by the end of 2022. By 2040 55% of all new car sales and 33% of the global fleet will be electric.

This rapid rate of development combined with new and emerging technology implementations and complexity is driving a increased demand for new test systems and architectures. Test cells require a much more modular approach; combining standard frameworks and commercial–off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware this Test Cell Control and Data Acquisition System provides a low-cost route to re-configurable, flexible, modular, expandable solution.



  • Open platform provides greater modularity, flexibility, model integration and custom sensors.
  • Quick and easy to deploy, configure and replicate.
  • Reduce cost and complexity with a future-proof platform.
  • Achieve complete test coverage with a flexible platform.
  • Enable accurate and innovative powertrain test systems.
  • Achieve faster development times with automation and collaboration.
  • Adaptable to rapidly accommodate changing project requirements.
  • Independent review of requirements and outsourced testbed completion.
  • Integration with existing systems.
  • Detect defects earlier through scalable testing.

System Overview


The EV Test Cell Control and Data Acquisition System is a complete, off-the-shelf solution for either real-time component testing or full vehicle eDyno testing. The system has been designed with a deterministic real-time test engine at its heart, to ensure that the system can run high-speed models and close the loop with real sensor data at rates upwards of 1 kHz.

With the National Instruments hardware and software platform at its core, the system has also been designed with maximum flexibility and extensibility in mind.

Hardware Specification


Main Control System

The main control system consists of a quad-core 2.6 GHz i7 processor running a real-time operating system, for maximum determinism. This allows high-speed models to be run up to 3 kHz. Data acquisition channels will run at the same speed as the model (typically 1 kHz) with the exception of the high power measurements, which include a snapshot mode for acquiring signals at 500 kHz for short bursts.

The unit is configurable on request, however, as standard, offers:

  • Up to 6 CAN (HD/FD/Low Speed (Fault Tolerant) or LIN channels (selectable at the point of order).
  • 2x FlexRay channels.
  • Resolver (Excite, Sine and Cosine).
  • 16 x Differential +-10V Simultaneous Analogue Input.
  • 48x DIO (5V).
  • 4x Analogue Out (0-10V).
  • 1x 3-Phase High Voltage (1000V, individual channel per phase).
  • 1x 3-Phase High Current (1000A, individual channel per phase).
  • 1x DC High Voltage (1000V).
  • 1x DC High Current (1000A).

System Features


User Level Based Access

Multiple User Access Levels are provided to ensure the test system is not only easy-to-use and extensible but also allows new scripts and testing sequences to be generated and low-level functionality increased.


Operators can assign channel names, apply scaling, choose logging destinations, select pre-determined scripts/sequences and models to run. They can also set alarm set-points on a channel-by-channel basis, and actions, including email notifications for specific stakeholders in the event of an alarm being triggered.


Technicians can assist operators in initially configuring the rig for specific tests. This includes building new scripts/sequences, building stimulus profiles (such as RPM profiles) for the software to execute, and creating new report templates for customers. They are able to run diagnostics and perform rig calibration. Technicians also have all the capabilities of the operator level.


Advanced users are able to fully exploit the systems open platform by adding new features. Through the use of the National Instruments software tools, it is possible to add support for new hardware and add additional low-level processing to the system. Extensive documentation and support on how to do this are provided. Developers also have all the capabilities of the technician.


The admin level allows managers to oversee test cells via a high-level view of the test being run and the data produced. Administrators are responsible for adding new users to the system, and granting their access rights.

channel-mappingChannel Mapping with Calibration and Alarming

When first configuring the system, it is possible to assign specific physical channels to in ports and out ports in models. Users can name channels appropriately for your specific test, and apply scaling and calibration to ensure that your channels are giving results in the correct units for your sensors.

highspeed-deterministic-modellingHigh-Speed Deterministic Modelling

The software provides the ability to run many different types of models, ranging from MATLAB/Simulink, AVL Boost and Cruise, TechnaliaDynaCar, IPG CarMaker to simple models built in LabVIEW or pure C code.


All data can be logged to file, including both remote system data and main system data. All data is synchronised, time-stamped and logged to a compact file format called TDMS. There are free plug-ins available for both MATLAB and Microsoft Excel allowing the data to be analysed offline.

scripting-and-test-sequencingIntuitive Test Sequencing and Scripting

The system is designed to allow a high level of flexibility and usability, without the need for high-level programming knowledge or experience. A number of predefined test-steps allow common functionality to be achieved using a configuration based environment. Steps for loading models, channel assignments with scaling and calibration data, sensor databases, and profiles; as well as the Profile Builder for generating new profiles, means that the system can be configured for new tests without any programming.

However, the built-in scripting tool allows new steps to be created for applying calculations to channels, importing new file formats and many other requirements.

Extensible-architectureOpen Extensible Architecture

Developed on National Instruments modular hardware platform, and open software development framework the solution provides a flexible cost-effective architecture that is adaptable to accommodate new and changing hardware requirements and ensures the performance can be upgraded at a minimal cost as new technologies become available.

From a software perspective, this approach allows additions and modifications (often requested by end customers) to be added within very short timescales, without the need for assistance from a third party. The system is built on National Instruments VeriStand framework for real-time test, which provides an engine for running high-speed deterministic models. Adding new sensors, or bespoke protocols is facilitated by a simple ‘plug-in’ upgrade.

As part of the NI ecosystem of solutions, the system is able to integrate with the wide range of commercial-off-the-shelf ADAS solutions, and expertise developed and supported by the National Instruments community of Alliance Partners.

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