Testing the Complex Small-Scale Power Grid of the Future
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.
Digital Twins for Modern Power Systems
The potential of Digital Twins is undeniable. Imagine being able to replicate a system and, through doing this, possibly predict its future. In the context of a power grid, this invaluable insight could mean avoiding difficult blackouts, improving operational efficiency, and revolutionizing asset management. As power grids become more decentralized operating near their operational limits, the value of such knowledge becomes even more significant.
Using today’s computational resources and advanced models, OPAL-RT has the capability to create high-fidelity digital twins of power systems for both real-time and accelerated applications. This new simulation technology will benefit utilities, research laboratories and manufacturers in new ways, enabling planning and operation activities with fresh insight and an overall greatly increased output capacity.
Power System Protection
In designing, configuring and implementing protection systems, protection engineers aim to provide validated systems that operate with reliability, security, speed and selectivity. Testing is necessary to ensure that systems meet performance criteria, but the increasing complexity of interconnected equipment has made comprehensive testing more challenging. Testing of complex protection schemes and coordinated wide-area protection poses still greater challenges. What is more, the need for increased power grid resilience and smarter grids capable of handling separation of the bulk transmission system into separate microgrids, protection and control systems, requires tools capable of delivering realistic and high-fidelity test conditions for a broad range of system configurations.
Master the Power of IEC 61850
The IEC 61850 standard has been increasingly adopted for the configuration of Intelligent Electronic Devices (IED) involved in the monitoring, protection, control and automation of substations and various power system applications. By adhering to the IEC 61850 standard, industries, utilities and institutions are safeguarding their investments and mitigating the risks associated with interoperability issues and the long-term stability of the system.
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