A Regenerative Burn-in Test System for Electric Vehicle DC/DC Converters

Jim Castelaz & Grayson Zulauf

(Motiv Power Systems)

Play Video (Stanford)

Play Video (SystemX Members)

❏ Lecture Slides (Stanford)

❏ Lecture Slides (SystemX Members)

Date: May 29, 2015


In this talk, we present a highly configurable, closed-loop regenerative burn-in test system for high-power, bidirectional DC/DC converters. These converters are increasingly used in electric vehicles. The method presented here reduces power supply and load requirements to less than 1/10th of those required for conventional test setups while achieving converter-to-grid power ratios over 11. These test systems have been implemented at Motiv’s manufacturing production line in Hayward, CA.  The data from the testing of the first 220 converters is presented to demonstrate the benefits in benchmarking converter performance, reducing infancy and wear-out field failures, conserving grid energy, and reducing test system cost and space requirements.

Motiv Power Systems provides next-generation power management electronics, controls, and software for heavy electric-drive vehicles. Motiv’s electric Powertrain Control System (ePCS) provides a battery-, chassis-, and motor-agnostic system for these vehicles, making it easy to integrate new vehicle applications and collect the data needed for efficient management of fleets. Motiv is the only company to have our electric powertrain in vehicles as diverse as school buses, garbage trucks, and delivery vans.

Further Information:

Jim Castelaz is the founder and CEO of Motiv Power Systems.  Their vision to free trucks and buses from fossil fuel.  He loves bringing smart people together to solve big, difficult, meaningful problems.  Previously, Jim was a PhD student in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, where he worked on MEMS for power electronics and solar applications.  Jim holds an MSEE from Stanford University and a BS in Engineering and Economics from Harvey Mudd College. Jim lives in Alameda with his wife Hailey and their two kids, Clara and Cole.  He is an avid rock climber, swimmer and skier.

Grayson Zulauf is an Electrical Engineer at Motiv Power Systems. He designed and implemented Motiv’s automated test systems and now leads many of Motiv’s system topology, power converter, and signal component designs. He has presented domestically and internationally on automotive security and published on magnetic nanoparticle targeting for hyperthermia treatment. He holds a B.S.E.E. and B.A. from Dartmouth College, where he graduated with High Honors in Electrical Engineering.

Created: Friday, May 29th, 2015