Microgrid Real Time-Simulation
While microgrids and their Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) offer operational and economic benefits, they differ substantially from traditional power grids bringing challenges currently being addressed by utilities, equipment providers, system integrators and academics.
In contrast to a typical distribution feeder, microgrids may operate independently, export power to the main grid and have different topologies involving AC, DC or a combination of both. Their control and protection systems can be complex (i.e. multi-level and distributed) involving equipment from multiple vendors making interoperability during key functions (e.g. islanding) a concern. As with other electrical systems, field testing of microgrid products and integrated systems on live grids can be risky.
For these reasons, many microgrid applications are well suited to Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) and Power Hardware-in-the-Loop (PHIL) testing. To the extent that HIL is recommended by the IEEE Standard for the Testing of microgrid Controllers (IEEE 2030.8-2018).
OPAL-RT TECHNOLOGIES has recognized the power of HIL and PHIL, and over the last decade, we have strived to help engineers employ these types of Real-Time Simulation for their microgrid projects. For the next decade, OPAL-RT will also offer advanced solutions for faster-than-real-time software-in-the-loop solution (SIL) to analyse the integration of very large number of DER and microgrids to transmission and distribution systems.