Austin Consultants

Austin Consultants are system integrators and provide expertise in automated test, embedded development, data harvesting and analysis. Our multidisciplinary team of developers, systems architects, electronic and mechanical engineers and data scientists, combine expertise in leading hardware and software to develop innovative solutions for a range of industries. 

The EVolution Test Cell Control and Data Acquisition System provides a low-cost entry route to an adaptable extensible solution for testing Electric Vehicle powertrains and new battery technologies. This open platform allows you to easily integrate with existing instrumentation and test cell equipment; rapidly deploy models from almost any environment to run deterministically in-the-loop, at high-speed; and automate testing through the innovative Python scripting engine.

Based on the NI platform the system is designed to offer maximum flexibility and extensibility to integrate across any hardware configuration. The advanced software is designed to address many of the issues faced by a busy and technically demanding test environment including powerful features to support efficient test configuration and deployment:

  • Intuitive user-friendly interface and workflows.
  • The ability for high-speed synchronous data acquisition and logging (up to 200kHz – requires specific hardware options/support).
  • Standard 1kHz loop rate for model execution, IO update rates and data logging.
  • Flexible to support multiple model formats including MATLAB/Simulink, AVL Boost and Cruise, TechnaliaDynaCar, IPG CarMaker, LabVIEW, etc. Simply import new models as compiled DLL and map inputs and outputs.
  • Simple and fast to deploy standard scripts or create new scripts via Python scripting tool and support library.
  • Supports long continuous test durations with a built-in real-time sequencer (when based on headless real-time system). 
  • Change and manage test cell configurations from a single interface.
  • User level-based access.
  • A dynamic user interface that can be reconfigured in tests removing the need to restart.
  • Open extensible architecture. Add new sensors or bespoke protocols via a simple low-cost, ‘plug-in’ upgrade or import via the built-in template. The new custom device is automatically verified, packaged and deployed down to the real-time controller.
  • Wide range of standard comms buses are supported such as High Speed CAN bus up to 1 Mbits/sec, Ethernet up to 1000BASE-T, Generic RS-232, EtherCAT, CANopen, Profibus, FlexRay, LIN (please note that many of these require specific interface cards).

The software includes a number of battery test specific features:

  • Specific battery protection models and fixed device definitions applicable to battery testing
  • Application-specific user interface widgets
  • Device plugin in for Unico EtherCAT Battery Cycler*
  • A generic Battery plugin device with a wizard-based UI to reduce the time required to add a CAN-based Battery pack/BMS to the system.
  • Environmental Chamber plugin device – currently supports ACS Chambers*
  • DUT Chiller Plugin Device – currently supports Huber* or Lauda*
  • Generic Python Scripts for the following standard battery tests
    • DC-IR
    • Capacity
    • Max Power
    • Endurance Cycle – Playback of a CSV file.

*Plugins proven on specific device models and may require specific communication interface cards.

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