We specialize in using FPGAs for the control algorithms involved in power conversion and motor control. FPGAs offer advantages over traditional DSPs because of the inherent parallelism of code execution. In addition, we prefer to program the FPGAs using LabVIEW which, based on the support for a broad range of FPGA targets, allows us to use different target platforms for prototyping (e.g., cRIO) and deployment (e.g., sbRIO) with no or minimal FPGA code changes.
Algorithms are based around Space Vector Modulation (SVM) for PWM control of the switches. Additional control needs are handled with extra FPGA-based algorithms and/or by using a real-time OS (RTOS).
Signals in and out of the FPGA are conditioned via custom and COTS signal conditioning depending on the application power needs. We typically start algorithm development and testing on a test bench at low power levels, enough to drive small motors (e.g., AC and DC) and generators (e.g., DFIG) that can be controlled and monitored with ±10 V signals. After algorithms are vetted, the higher power equipment is connected to the controller.
AC signals generated from separated power sources and used to drive motors can be synchronized via various techniques including Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) technology.