Drive System Design Debuts Open Platform Inverter

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The new power inverter from Drive System Design
Drive System Design has created an open platform power inverter for quick and efficient development fo motor control systems. // Courtesy of Drive System Design

Drive System Design (DSD) in Farmington Hills, a company specializing in the rapid engineering and development of electrified propulsion systems and associated technologies, has announced it has created an open platform inverter that enables quick and efficient development of motor control systems from initial concept to first prototype.

This solution features reliable and customizable hardware, paired with a flexible, modular plug-and-play software and is being used by DSD to service a range of industries including automotive, commercial vehicle, aerospace, marine, and defense.

“One of our core focuses at Drive System Design is to swiftly provide innovative and optimized solutions that leverage our unique systems expertise and enable our customers to walk away with the IP in hand – ultimately providing a turnkey support package,” says A.K. Arafat, principal controls engineer at DSD.

“Initially we set out to create an internal research tool, but soon realized how far ahead our customers could be by taking advantage of our flexible open platform inverter that can accommodate a whole range of motor technologies that off-the-shelf solutions cannot.”

Inverters convert a direct current source to alternating current and are a critical component in the application of electrified propulsion in any sector. DSD’s product allows customers to gain access to every aspect of the inverter, including the hardware, drivers, and software. Additionally, DSD’s engineers teach them how to start developing their own code and configure a motor control solution.

Additional input and outputs (IO) were incorporated to facilitate development, diagnostics, and monitoring. Open access to this means customers can go beyond the typical three-phase motor topology, with the additional analog and digital IO providing more signal monitoring and performance measurement than off the shelf units.

The open platform inverter is designed drive a three-phase machine — which converts electric power to mechanical energy using three alternating currents of the same frequency — in standard configuration but can be modified to drive six-phase machines and more.

The modular design approach also has eliminated the need for modifications to the control board and central processing unit, allowing it to be configured for insulated-gate bipolar transistor and silicon carbide applications.

“Our inverter technology and expertise has been tested and proven in the automotive space and we are now adapting it for electrified aerospace applications like eVTOL, as well as the defense and marine markets, where we think the speed to market will be a key asset,” says Lee Rogers, senior engineer at DSD.

“Onboard power generation and other power electronics are becoming even more paramount in the age of electrification and our team of expert engineers is prepared to support customers in each of our core markets in identifying the best solutions to fit their needs.”

Beyond a strong inverter offering, DSD has an in-house team of power electronics and software engineers who complement the company’s expertise in motor and transmission design, simulation, and testing.

Plans for a dedicated motor test rig in 2022 will further advance DSD’s turnkey capability to deliver motor controls and electrification across a range of markets. The company has also recognized a demand for on-board power distribution in the defense and aerospace sectors, fueling plans to expand its DC-DC converter capabilities in the future.

Beyond the inverter offering, DSD has an in-house team of power electronics and software engineers who complement the company’s expertise in motor and transmission design, simulation, and testing. Plans for a dedicated motor test rig in 2022 will further expand DSD’s turnkey capability to deliver motor controls and electrification across a range of markets.

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