Power Grids

Developing and testing electrical networks and distributed power generation

Due to fluctuations in energy supply and demand, power grids must be highly flexible and require intelligent subsystems for energy distribution and storage to keep energy losses at a minimum. This requires smart power grids to increase efficiency, save resources, reduce emissions, and ensure an adequate energy supply at all times. 

Challenges

Environmentally friendly energy concepts involve renewable energy from natural resources as the main source. This includes energy from small local production sites as well as energy input from smart houses that typically come with various renewable energy installations. Developing power grids that cope with these constraints is challenging because the energy output of renewable energy systems fluctuates with weather conditions.

This requires a new distribution infrastructure to face challenges, such as:

  • Variable generation throughout the day
  • Integration of intermittent energy generation with existing power grids
  • Energy generation and energy consumption in different regions
  • Conversion of direct current (DC), usually generated by solar and wind power systems, to alternating current (AC)

As a result, only smart control units can guarantee the flexibility that modern power grids require to meet the following challenges:

  • Combination of central and local energy generation
  • Connection of a high number of distributed energy sources
  • Integration of smart houses that can be energy consumers and providers at the same time
  • Shift of less time-critical actions to times of high energy output
  • Energy management based on real-time data

New devices, such as solid-state transformers, controllable local grid transformers, and stationary batteries can help ensure a stable energy supply, but they have to be controlled. This means that the individual system components for power generation, consumption control, and storage must be part of the same communication network, which is monitored by a central control unit (SCADA system) that registers any change in the overall energy system and responds by adjusting energy supply and consumption.

dSPACE Solution

dSPACE offers a wide range of products for developing and testing smart grid controllers. For developing power electronic control units, we provide tailored ready-to-use I/O libraries for prototyping control algorithms.

Our dSPACE portfolio includes comprehensive support for any required test case, such as hardware-in-the-loop controller tests or real-time simulations with SCALEXIO to fully test microgrids, smart grids, or vehicle-to-grid (V2G) systems. With our solutions, you can simulate all parts of the power grid based on your requirements:

  • To test the functionality of controllers for smart grids and renewable energy systems, you can use our EPSS Package in combination with Simscape Electrical™. Using the EPSS Package, you can execute Simscape Electrical™ models on the dSPACE real-time platforms, letting you easily create models from the topology.
  • To extend the overall simulation, you can integrate additional virtual components via a restbus simulation
  • For these use cases, you can use signal-level as well as power-level testing
  • For power-level testing, we can easily combine our simulation environment with grid emulators such as our electric test benches to test the complete functionality at full power.

Whether you need support in developing control algorithms for the central control unit or for supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, require ready-to-use environment, controller, and power electronics models, or want to have power grid or power electronics simulation – we can help you find the perfect solution for your application. 

Selected Use Cases

RCP Systems for Multilevel Converters

dSPACE RCP systems enable the development and validation of controller functions for multilevel converters.

HIL Simulation of Power Supply Systems

dSPACE HIL systems for testing smart grids and distributed power generation

Selected Success Stories

Texas A&M University: A Bright Future Ahead

Students from Texas A&M University are developing a concept for hybrid power distribution systems that could provide developing countries with reliable power supply.

Bern University of Applied Sciences: Give and Take

Lab Testing of Load Flow Management for Prosumer Households

Video Success Stories Use Cases

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