Testing the Complex Small-Scale Power Grid of the Future.

In today’s power grid, alternative power sources such as wind, solar, and storage power are rapidly becoming viable substitutes for more traditional energy production methods. These innovations have created the very real possibility of operating on a fully autonomous islanded grid as well as increasing the popularity of microgrids, small-scale power grids capable of operating independently from the main grid.

Due to the unpredictability of weather changes and other external factors, renewable energy sources in microgrids are often considered to be variable resources requiring complex, reliable control systems to regulate the flow and quality of power, voltage and frequency. The greater the complexity of the systems, the more tests are required, all with greater accuracy than ever before. Real-time digital simulation enables researchers to study the effects of multiple scenarios, in near-real conditions and without risk, prior to deployment in the field.

Accurate, Real-Time Simulation of Microgrid Systems

OPAL-RT’s state-of-the-art, real-time simulation platforms are designed for specific applications such as fast or real-time computation of Microgrid models, and provide:

    • Fast, accurate and reliable studies for microgrid implementation.

    • A simulation environment based on MathWorks’ Simscape Power Systems™ (formerly SimPowerSystems™)

    • A suite of fixed-step solvers and algorithms, called ARTEMiS, to optimize SPS-based models of electromagnetic transient (EMT) systems for high-fidelity, high-performance simulation in real-time
    • The only solver specifically designed for microgrid distribution systems, called ARTEMiS-SSN, allowing for multi-processor simulation without introducing artificial delays.

    • Sub-microsecond time steps for power electronics simulations using eHS

Flexibility to Meet All Microgrid Real-Time Simulation Needs

OPAL-RT simulators are not only fast and reliable, but flexible enough for precise testing of a variety of microgrid applications, from high-definition, detailed power electronics to wide area stability studies. One solution can serve several projects with no need for investment in additional features or equipment. OPAL-RT simulators are furthermore designed to be adaptable to technological developments and to be used towards certification purposes, and by universities and research centers for in-depth research into microgrid testing.

Microgrid Applications Webinar and Demo

View our complete Microgrid Applications Webinar or click below to view one of 3 individual sections:

Introduction to microgrids, including challenges and applications.

Demo of a simulated microgrid being operated by one of our specialists.

Example of a Microgrid controller HIL demo platform, by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory.

Microgrid Configurations

OPAL-RT solutions enable the simulation of the microgrid to be performed in numerous configurations on PC equipped with Simscape Power Systems and RT-LAB. Additional systems, such as eFPGASIM for power electronics (including eHS) or ePHASORSIM for detailed microgrids with a great many components can be used in certain applications.

All OPAL-RT simulators can contain:

    • 4 to 72 processing cores

    • One or more FPGA

    • A set of configurable analog and digital I/O

    • Multiple communication protocols

Four configuration options are available for real-time simulation of microgrids:

Recommended OPAL-RT Real-time simulation systems

The preferred solution, eMEGASIM provides the flexible and affordable solutions for microgrid real-time applications. Whether the microgrid area of research is on power electronics and/or power systems.

The industry’s most powerful and intuitive FPGA-based real-time solution, eFPGASIM combines the performance of high-fidelity digital simulators with very the low latency required for fast-switching power electronics.

The real-time simulation performed under ePHASORSIM is in phasor solver domain. It can be used in microgrid studies when dealing with a great number of components such as electric car chargers or roof-mounted PV cells.

Customer Success Stories

Trondheim uses an OPAL-RT simulator for feasibility studies of an offshore wind park.

Download PDF

MIT is involved in the development of a real-time hardware-in-the-loop power systems simulation platform to evaluate commercial microgrid controllers using eMEGASIM.

Download PDF

Read on ENEL and the department of distribution grid renewable integration and protection studies are conducted using a digital real-time simulator (DRTS)

Download PDF

Related Resources