Power Hardware in the Loop (PHIL)

Our customers' success depends on getting the information they need, when and how they need it. OPAL-RT and partners provide smart ways to deliver that information faster, easier and more reliably.  


What is Power Hardware-In-the-Loop?

Hardware In-the-Loop (HIL) simulator is commonly used in power system and power electronic applications to prototype, design and test protection equipment and power electronic controllers. The real device under test is connected to the simulator that runs the electric circuit using analog and digital I/O signals that transmit low level of power, voltage and current.

This concept has been extended to power components that require high power flows between the real component and the simulated electric circuit running on the simulator. Such a technique is also called Power Hardware-In-the-Loop (PHIL) and is required to test power converters, generators, FACTS, and so on. However, to completely fool the real equipment, it must be interfaced and connected to the simulator using voltage and power amplifiers that can generate and absorb power since the simulator works with low level of voltage and current.

PHIL simulation is a scenario where a simulation environment virtually exchanges power with real hardware, in contrast to the usual case in hardware-in-the-loop simulation, which involves only signal exchange.

The OPAL-RT’s simulators can be optionally delivered with standard or custom amplifiers that meet the most demanding requirements in power applications: high accuracy, low distortion, high bandwidth, low phase lag, etc.



New tools for new rules


Furthermore, sub-microsecond FPGA models can be integrated with power interfaces to emulate complex power equipment in real-time. This feature is important to test modern power electronic controllers that are integrated with high-power IGBT converters as well as to perform HIL tests using real-equipment, such as fuel cell, in the loop with the simulator.

We believe that these features are very important to utilities, manufacturers and research centers requiring modern, open and scalable real-time simulator equipments based on technologies that will easily follow the very fast evolution of computer systems and that can easily be adapted to their needs.


Our partners


For more than 20 years, Puissance Plus has established itself as a leader for R&D, design, production, and service for electronic equipment design, energy conversion and power electronic instrumentation. Thanks to P+ amplifiers, it is now easy to integrate high-power equipment in the closed-loop with OPAL-RT real-time simulators. This will make it easier to develop and test equipment that requires bidirectional energy exchange, such as batteries, converters or other islanded-grid or smart-grid components. Download the documentation >>


Triphase is a spin-off company from the Catholic University of Leuven, providing solutions for the rapid development of complex, high-performance, industrial power-electronics systems including electric vehicles and power grid control. Triphase amplifiers also provide a means to integrate high-power equipment in the closed-loop with OPAL-RT real-time simulators. 


Related articles:

Technical paper- PHIL applications >>

Wikipedia - PHIL >>