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HIL Simulation of Power Supply Systems

Testing smart grids and distributed power generation

Power supply systems are undergoing significant changes with the increasing importance of regenerative energy and the growing popularity of electric vehicles. Due to variations in energy supply and demand, these systems must be highly flexible and need intelligent subsystems for energy distribution and storage to keep energy losses at a minimum.

Electric vehicles are a suitable option to even out fluctuations by connecting them to the grid whenever additional power is needed or excess power is available to be stored for later use (vehicle-to-grid, V2G).

Application Areas

  • Testing microgrid and smart grid controllers
  • Testing controllers of solar inverters, battery inverters and fuel cells
  • Testing solid state transformers
  • Testing the interaction between electric vehicles and the grid (V2G)
  • Simulating complex microgrids or smart grids with and without connection to the utility grid
  • Simulating indivdiual microgrid and smart grid components

Key Points

  • Fast simulations in different time domains to provide extremely high precision for individual components as well as large grid networks
  • Very high scalability
  • Easy integration of the various smart grid components into one test scenario
  • Testing at the signal and power levels
  • Support of all major industrial buses
  • Support of common smart charging protocols

Smart Grid Testing

The variations in energy supply and demand throughout the day require a close monitoring of the grid as well as an efficient energy management system that allows power suppliers to respond immediately to any changes. To create such a highly flexible system, numerous power electronics devices are necessary. Their functionality and interactions must be tested thoroughly to make the power supply system reliable. The dSPACE tool chain provides comprehensive support for any test case needed, like hardware-in-the-loop controller tests or real-time simulations with SCALEXIO® to fully test microgrids, smart grids, or V2G. One central component that needs to be tested extensively is the smart grid controller. It lets you integrate the smart grid into the utility grid and manages their interaction.

With the dSPACE tools, you can simulate all parts of the network just as you need:

  • The load grid side, including distributed energy resources, to test the functionality of the smart grid controller
  • The grid side to learn how the integration of local power supply systems might affect the utility grid
  • The power grid without distributed energy resources by connecting virtual components via a restbus simulation
  • Power level interfaces to bring grid emulators into the simulation environment