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Development of a Real-Time Hardware-in-the-Loop Power Systems Simulation Platform to Evaluate Commercial Microgrid Controllers

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Technical Report

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MIT Lincoln Laboratory Lexington United States

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This report describes the development of a real-time hardware-in-the-loop HIL power system simulation platform to evaluate commercial microgrid controllers. The effort resulted in the successful demonstration of HIL simulation technology at a Technical Symposium organized by the Mass Clean Energy Center CEC for utility distribution system engineers, project developers, systems integrators, equipment vendors, academia, regulators, City of Boston officials, and Commonwealth officials. Actual microgrid controller hardware was integrated along with actual, commercial genet controller hardware in a particular microgrid configuration, which included dynamic loads, distributed energy resources DERs, and conventional power sources. The end product provides the ability to quickly and cost-effectively assess the performance of different microgrid controllers as quantified by certain metrics, such as fuel consumption, power flow management precision at the point of common coupling, load-not-served LNS while islanded, peak-shaving kWh, and voltage stability. Additional applications include protection system testing and evaluation, distributed generation prime mover controller testing, integration and testing of distribution control systems, behavior testing and studies of DER controls, detailed power systems analysis, communications testing and integration, and implementation and evaluation of smart grid concepts. Microgrids and these additional applications promise to improve the reliability, resiliency, and efficiency of the nations aging but critical power distribution systems. This achievement was a collaborative effort between MIT Lincoln Laboratory and industry microgrid controller manufacturers. This work was sponsored by the Department of Homeland SecurityDHS, Science and Technology Directorate S and T and the Department of Energy DOE Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.

Subject Categories:

  • Electrical and Electronic Equipment
  • Electricity and Magnetism

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