Realtime Connected Test Laboratory


The “Center for Mobile Propulsion” is an ultramodern, realt-time connected research center at RWTH Aachen University. Under the direction of Professor Stefan Pischinger from the Chair of Thermodynamics of Mobile Energy Conversion Systems, 16 institutes jointly investigate modern, electrified powertrains for mobile applications in an interdisciplinary approach. The CMP provides a worldwide unique infrastructure. Its spectrum ranges from numerous component test benches, for example for combustion engines, electric motors, traction batteries, fuel cells, and transmissions, to complete powertrain test benches and highly modern HiL-test bench environments. To satisfy the progressing electrification of powertrain components the CMP capacities have been extended. Several component test benches for transmissions and engines are now prepared for high voltage applications.

Various fuels can be used in the CMP, enabling research and development of clean and efficient systems and components for the innovative powertrain. In addition to conventional fuels, synthetic fuels (e.g. methanol) and hydrogen in particular can also be tested in the CMP. All test benches provide the capability to test different components in-the-loop with a co-simulation. This means that the component exchanges bidirectional physical data in real-time with a state-of the-art simulation of the vehicle. It enables the possibility to investigate the component in a transient and realistic environment. Moreover, the CMP offers a sophisticated real-time network which enables the virtual coupling of individual component test benches via an EtherCat connection. By this, researchers can examine interactions of single components for dynamic cases of applications, consider the effects of different powertrain topologies and integrate necessary control strategies of the overall system already in an early project phase. The CMP’s modular set-up supports a consequent research of individual components and control concepts, which can be developed further independently without disregarding the overall system.

Furthermore, the Research Training Group “Integrated Energy Supply Modules for Roadbound E-Mobility” funded by the German Research Foundation DFG is operating at the CMP. In total, approx. 40 researchers work within the research trainee group and explore research topics around the mobile powertrain. The Center for Mobile Propulsion is funded by the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat) and by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).