Electric Vehicle roller test bench development

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


“VEHICLE ROLLER TEST BENCH DEVELOPMENT”, by Olivier Candeur. Academic year 2013-2014, Bruface (Université Libre de Bruxelles and Vrije Universiteit Brussel). In order to be awarded the Master Degree in Electromechanical Engineering.
In the context of vehicle testing and studying, having a roller test bench is a strong advantage. This asset represents a very useful tool, also for educational purposes, and as any test stand, it provides increased safety, reproducibility, flexibility and comfort compared to the actual roadway. In spite of its frequent use, especially on the university’s electric vehicles, the latest features of the bench under study had been left aside for a few years now… More specifically, ECE15 test cycle scheme and the electric motor had been disconnected, leaving the bench in its original state: a double-roll one-axle chassis dynamometer with only unidirectional braking capability.
In this framework, the main objective is to improve the existing installation, considering the human, financial and material resources available. Three main levers are investigated to achieve this: a new software environment and a better user experience; new and enhanced software functionalities; and a potential hardware upgrade.
The complete software development is based on the creation of a unique user interface connected to a dedicated real-time controller, in the LabVIEW graphical programming language. Developing an efficient modular code exploiting each platform’s advantages at best (FPGA, real-time controller, computer), the programming challenges encountered and their solutions are reviewed hereby. While keeping two legacy control modes (constant force or speed), the final software delivered here allows to perform “road load simulation” and to follow official speed cycles such as the NEDC, the recent WLTC, or dozens of others (pre-loaded). It offers many customization features, such as user-defined test cycles importation, selectable data exportation, various live visualizations schemes, etc. In parallel to the software development, promising opportunities of hardware upgrade are deeply investigated. Longing for a greater power rating, the potential replacement with an available induction machine of more than twice the previous power (22kW/45kW) is evaluated. Despite a mechanical compatibility of the machines and much perseverance in the investigations on the necessary frequency converters, those finally jeopardized the desired upgrade. All intermediary results and progresses are presented here to provide as many tools and knowledge as possible to any future development. Some discussions, ranging from a use analysis, up to a failure mode and effect analysis and including modelling limitations, permit a critical review of the test facility as a whole. Future work perspectives such as pursuing the mechanical upgrade investigations, enhancing further the data acquisition or the program layout, conclude this master thesis.
The delivered real-time control is demonstrated on the test bench (re)equipped with the electrical motor of 22kW, giving bidirectional motoring capabilities up to 60km/h. Globally, the attractive and user friendly software interface, along with rich and clear documentation (both at the bench location, within the program and hereby), are meant to provide the best user experience possible.
Date of Award2016
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJoeri Van Mierlo (Promotor), Johan Gyselinck (Co-promotor), Mohamed El Baghdadi (Advisor) & Cedric De Cauwer (Advisor)


  • chassis dynamometer
  • test cycles
  • road load simulation
  • LabVIEW
  • FPGA
  • cRIO

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