As the industrial revolution 4.0 is dawning on us, the digitalization of the utility grid and more broadly digitalization of our complete energy system is inevitable. While digitalization brings massive opportunities for value creation, it also brings significant challenges.
Considering the cyber-physical nature of the future grid, where massive amounts of sensors, communications, embedded computing, embedded controllers, and cloud software will dominate the operation and performance, industry leaders are embracing new design, test, deployment and life cycle maintenance processes based on model based engineering and more specifically model based testing.
“The Controller Hardware-in-the-Loop is a very important and required step before actual validation or implementation because we can take care of all the corner cases.”
At the Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center at North Carolina State University, U.S. universities and industry partners focus on modernizing the electric grid using advanced power electronics.
As one of the founding faculty members at FREEDM System Center, Dr. Subhashish Bhattacharya’s research focuses on power electronics and power systems including DC Microgrids.
Dr. Bhattacharya discusses how Controller Hardware-in-the-Loop (C-HIL) reduced the cycle time of design, validation and testing of DC Microgrid controllers from academia to industry.
Using a Controller Hardware-in-the-Loop simulation platform, EPC Power was able to integrate their control software with new hardware in just two days.
Based in San Diego, CA, EPC Power designs and manufactures grid forming bi-directional inverters and DCDC converters for solar, wind, energy storage, automotive and microgrid applications.
Ryan Smith, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and chief controls architect, talks about his experience using Controller Hardware in the Loop (C-HIL) from the early conceptual stage, to final product certification and lifecycle maintenance.
Sandia National Laboratories is the largest U.S. Department of Energy national lab with over 12,000 employees. It has a major role in supporting inverter development and testing protocols for standards organizations and distributed energy research (DER) vendors.
Jay Johnson, a principal member of technical Staff at Sandia, leads several renewable energy research projects in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
He talks about his research paper, “Design and Evaluation of SunSpec-Compliant Smart Grid Controller,” and why Controller Hardware-in-the-Loop (CHIL) is a novel approach.
The ship is a microgrid with interconnected loads (propulsion, C4ISR, propulsion and auxiliary) and distributed energy resources (power generation, distribution and energy storage) acting as a controllable entity. This is not a new concept. However, it is one that is taking on far greater significance with the increasing electrification and computerized control of naval and merchant marine ships.
Distribution grids of the future will be much more dynamic than they are today. The key drivers for this are the decentralized generation largely driven by exponential technology adoption of intermittent renewable sources like solar and wind, battery storage, as well as highly dynamic power electronics converters, and smart relays. Additionally, the resilience considerations against cyber-attacks and natural events call for a more decentralized control architecture, i.e. cellular design of the distribution grids-one in which parts of the grid can both operate as independent islands and control their own voltage and frequency, as well as operate as integral part of the large grid.
At the Microgrid & DER Controller Symposium 2017, the brainchild of Erik Limpaecher from the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, the ultra-high fidelity controller Hardware in the Loop (HIL) was in the spotlight, and it was glowing. It won the hearts and minds of all power engineers present.
At the workshop center stage, the real, unadulterated industrial microgrid controllers—from Eaton, GE, SEL, and Schneider—were in action. They were directly interfaced and controlling the Microgrid Controller HIL Testbed running real-time simulation comprising 3 feeders with 24 busses, one diesel generator, one natural gas generator with combined heat an power, battery storage, PV inverter, and numerous loads.