HOLZKIRCHEN, Germany—Bosch has developed a new way for engineers to test power electronics used in electric vehicles. The high-voltage lab rig (HVLR) integrates a high-voltage power supply and electronic safety functions for the circuit of the component under test in a portable control cabinet.
“Many power electronics [tests] can [now] be shifted from the test bench to the high-voltage laboratory,” says Andreas Nachreiner, head of product management for e-mobility at Bosch Engineering. “This frees up valuable bench capacity for other testing and validation tasks, thereby reducing development time and costs”
Because of its modular design, the test system can be flexibly adapted to individual customer requirements. For example, different voltage levels of up to 1,200 volts, as well as different communication interfaces, can be selected. Subsequent upgrading is possible as well.
The system is operated via a touch-screen display that provides a clear-cut overview of all operating parameters, such as status messages, information on system settings and any error warnings.
A key focus in the design of the high-voltage lab rig was safety in everyday test operations.
“In the laboratory, a large number of tests have to be carried out directly on the live components of power electronics,” explains Heinz-Georg Schmitz, director of mechatronic solutions at Bosch Engineering. “Any mistakes here are life-threatening. Our protection concept covers potential causes of accidents and reduces the risks when working on the high-voltage circuit.
“Another advantage is the protection of the test object from damage during testing,” says Schmitz. “This is particularly advantageous for prototype components that are only available in small quantities and where defects would lead to delays in the development process.”
The safety functions are implemented by a separate unit. The high-voltage safety box was developed in accordance with DIN EN ISO 13849 and offers isolation monitoring, an interlock circuit, integration into a laboratory emergency shut-off concept and a PLC interface that can be operated remotely.