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.