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Real-Time Simulation of Communications and Power Systems for Testing Distributed Embedded Controls

Real-Time Simulation of Communications and Power Systems for Testing Distributed Embedded Controls

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The anticipated benefits of the next generation of electric distribution systems of efficiency and reliability greatly rely on a dependable power delivery system that incorporates information and communication infrastructures. While great efforts have been expanded to address the challenges of modelling and simulating either the power or the communications system, combining these two into a single, coherent system is still a field of active research. This article describes the approach taken to achieve real time simulation capabilities of such a hybrid system to demonstrate developments performed within the FREEDM Systems Center. The objective is to provide a platform that allows evaluating a newly developed, power electronics-based distribution system concept that requires communication among the various components to properly operate and respond to fault conditions. This objective is achieved by extending existing real-time power system simulation capabilities by a real-time communications simulation tool and bridging the gap between the two. The issues described herein address core modelling and simulation components and the interfaces developed to access simulation data and cope with the required amount of exchanged data.

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