User Spotlight Series 2.0

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Learn from RTDS Simulator and RSCAD users around the globe

What to Expect

It’s back! The virtual User Spotlight Series is your opportunity to learn from people who use the RTDS Simulator and RSCAD. Hear success stories, learn about their challenges, and explore new applications.

The User Spotlight Series 2.0 features…

  • New webinars every other month
  • Two 20-minute presentations per webinar, each with a live Q&A
  • Free registration
  • Door prizes for attendees

All webinars will be recorded and available on-demand for everyone who registers. Stay tuned for registration details by bookmarking this page and checking back or by signing up for our newsletter.

Still curious? Learn more about our inaugural User Spotlight Series here! 

Event Details

Dates (subject to change):

  • November 24, 2021
  • January 26, 2022
  • March 23, 2022
  • May 25, 2022
  • July 27, 2022
  • September 28, 2022

9:00 AM
Time zone: Central Time (Winnipeg)

Episode 4: May 25, 2022

Topic: HIL Testing an Adaptive Out-of-Step Protection Algorithm based on Wide-Area Measurements

With TU Delft

Abstract: This presentation shows a robust and adaptive out-of-step (OOS) protection algorithm, using wide-area information, that can be applied on tie-lines in observable power systems. The developed algorithm is based upon the real-time computation of the system impedance and makes use of the well-known power-angle characteristic. In this way, a setting-less OOS concept in a real-time environment is developed, applicable for tie-lines in an arbitrary power system. Furthermore, the developed protection algorithm is installed on hardware and is verified by numerous tests. The testing for the developed protection algorithm is carried out by applying hardware-in-the-loop simulations in an RTDS environment. The performance of the new hardware implementation is compared to the traditional impedance-based OOS protection methods. The results of the hardware-in-the-loop simulations confirm that the proposed algorithm detects OOS conditions faster and more reliably than the traditional impedance-based solutions.


Marko Tealane received his B.Sc and M.Sc degrees in electrical power engineering from the Tallinn University of Technology in 2014 and 2016 respectively. From 2019 to 2020, he was an Academic Visitor at the Delft University of Technology, where he was working on out-of-step protection in the Intelligent Electrical Power Grids group. In the past, he worked as a protection engineer at the Estonian Transmission System Operator. Currently, he is on sabbatical leave, works at TU Delft and pursuing a Ph.D. degree in electrical power engineering at Tallinn University of Technology. His research focus is on Power System Protection, Power System Relaying and Wide-Area Control.

Topic: Power-HIL System for Evaluating Physical EV On-board Chargers using RTDS

With the University of Manitoba

Abstract: Integration of excessive electric vehicle (EV) chargers into the low voltage (LV) network may introduce new challenges. Power hardware in the loop (PHIL) simulations can be used for evaluating such systems as it provides a flexible testing platform to study the overall system as well as individual devices. The PHIL testbed consists of a PHIL-based battery emulator (BE) and a grid emulator (GE) to mimic the DC side battery energy storage system (BESS) and the AC side LV grid behavior, respectively. The Battery Emulator in this presentation considers a switch-mode power amplifier (PA). Thus, design strategies for its linear controller are also discussed in the context of cascaded DC-DC configuration. An experimental PHIL platform based on a real time simulator (RTDS has been used) has been designed and implemented. Finally, the validated PHIL test has been employed for analyzing the performance of a commercial EV charger and its interactions with a weak LV network simulated in RSCAD/EMTDC.


Isuru Jayawardana received his B.Sc. degree in electrical engineering and PG. diploma in energy technology from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka in 2011 and 2015, respectively. He recently completed the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

He is currently an HVDC specialist at Hatch Ltd, Winnipeg, Canada. He joined Power delivery & Integration Team of Hatch in June 2021 and his current focus is on HVDC/FACTS projects, including renewable energy integration and power system planning studies. He has experience in control system designs and performing electromagnetic transient simulations in PSCAD and RSCAD/RTDS for power system studies and power electronics applications. In his Ph.D. research, he has worked on developing power hardware-in-the-loop (P-HIL) testbeds for microgrid and EV applications. He also has experience working as a Research Assistant at the Renewable-energy Interface and Grid Automation (RIGA) lab at the University of Manitoba from 2016-2021. Before joining the University of Manitoba, from 2012 to 2015, he has worked as an Energy Efficiency Engineer in sustainable development-related projects in Sri Lanka and South Asian countries.


Dr. Carl Ho received the BEng and MEng double degrees, in 2002, and the PhD degree, in 2007, in electronic engineering from the City University of Hong Kong. In 2007, he joined ABB Switzerland. He has been appointed as Scientist, Principal Scientist, and R&D Principal Engineer. In October 2014, he joined the University of Manitoba in Canada, where he currently holds positions of Professor, Associate Head (Electrical Engineering) of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Canada Research Chair in Efficient Utilization of Electric Power. He established the Renewable-energy Interface and Grid Automation (RIGA) Lab at the University of Manitoba and takes up the challenge of research into Microgrid technologies, Photovoltaic Inverters, Power-Hardware-in-the-loop, Power Quality Conditioning and Electric Vehicles. Dr. Ho is currently an IEEE Senior Member and serves as an Associate Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Circuits and Systems (JETCAS), and an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics (TPEL) and the IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics (JESTPE). He received the 2018 TPEL Prize Paper Award, the JESTPE Associate Editor Award in 2018 and 2019, and His student project team received “Best Student Team Regional Award” of the IEEE Empower a Billion Lives 2019 competition in the Americas region.

Episode 3: March 23, 2022

Topic: Development of a Digital Twin Simulation Wind Turbine and Power Plant Controller Model in RSCAD, Based on Microsoft Windows Dynamic-Link Library Code Integration by Using IntervalZero

With the Vestas Wind Systems

Abstract: The fast-paced development of wind energy, and the consequent exponential increase of renewable energy penetration into the power system, has raised the bar in terms of modelling requirements for wind power plants (WPP) by different transmission system operators (TSOs) around the globe. TSOs have started to request hardware in the loop (HiL) and software in the loop (SiL) models as a grid code requirement, particularly in the case of offshore WPPs. The National HVDC Centre in Great Britain (GB), a regulator-funded simulation and training facility for the benefit of multiple system operators in GB, requests simulation models in that format. The purpose of having SiL/HiL models for an offshore WPP is to de-risk the project by spotting potential compliance issues ahead of time through simulation, reducing or eliminating any delay to the project’s connection date. Although SiL/HiL models can be a great tool to study the grid code compliance of a WPP, the results obtained from the models will not be reliable unless the models accurately represent the real product with a high level of fidelity.

Vestas is experienced in developing electromagnetic transient (EMT) models for WPPs, and the typical approach is to integrate the source code of the real product into different commercial EMT simulation tools (e.g. PSCAD and EMTP-RV). Vestas has created a common C/C++ code base for the actual controller code of the wind turbine and power plant controller, in the form of dynamic-link library (DLL). This DLL can be interfaced to the specific EMT tools through wrapper functions, thus producing a highly accurate simulation model. However, integrating a DLL into a real-time simulation environment is a significant challenge since DLL files are based on the Windows OS, which are not compatible with Real-Time Operating System (RTOS).

With the aid of IntervalZero’s RTX64 software, Microsoft Windows can be transformed into a RTOS, thus making DLL-based models compatible with RSCAD. This presentation will walk through the work carried out by Vestas in conjunction with RTDS to develop the first real-time wind turbine and power plant controller simulation model in RSCAD that interfaces with a DLL file which contains the C/C++ controller code of the actual products.


Miguel A. Cova Acosta is a specialist in the electrical simulation model department at Vestas Wind Systems. He leads a technical team of engineers that develops electrical simulation models for Vestas’s wind turbines and power plant controllers, produced in several commercial power system simulation tools in time and phasor domains, to conduct grid interconnection studies and grid code compliance demonstration.

He has over 15 years of experience in engineering studies using a variety of simulation products, ranging from electromagnetic transients modeling of power systems to finite element analysis, including models’ development, validation, and certification.

Most recently, during his 9 years tenure within Vestas, Miguel had been able to develop subject matter expertise related to dynamic power systems analysis, grid modeling, grid code compliance, and global market requirements for dynamic simulation models. As part of his responsibilities at Vestas, he also collaborates extensively with the grid interconnection department to seek and obtain electric connection permits for new projects by developing project-specific simulation and interconnection techniques that will solve highly complex grid interconnection problems.

Miguel holds a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineer from Simon Bolivar University (Venezuela), and two M.Sc. degrees from the University of Zaragoza (Spain), focused on power systems.

Topic: Development of a Co-Simulation Test Bench for Power System Studies with HIL and PHIL

With Friedrich-Alexander-Universität and the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie 

Abstract: Increasing demands on power system stability, such as converter-driven stability and harmonic stability, shall be met with a co-simulation test bench for HIL and PHIL. For the real-time capable test bench of interconnected HIL-simulation laboratories, members of the FAU LEES together with researchers from KIT IAI and RWTH ACS implemented a distributed simulation spanning over large distances. Using the VILLASnode-based gateway, FAU LEES’ simulator runs a transmission system and serves as a point of interconnection for underlying distribution system simulators. Here, KIT IAI connects a detailed model of the Karlsruhe Campus North area. In contrast to classical power electronic setups large and detailed power system models shall allow systemic power system studies with HIL and PHIL. For the co-simulation the VILLASnode gateway developed by ACS decomposes the simulators’ EMT values to dynamic phasors and handles the communication between the real-time simulators via Internet Protocol.


Timo Wagner is a research associate at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU). Timo finished his studies in Electrical Engineering at the Friedrich-Alexander University in March 2020. Almost two years, he is working as research associate at the Institute of Electrical Energy Systems.

The main part of Timo’s work is the management of the Real-Time Laboratory at the Institute. In the Real-Time Laboratory he is working with several Real-Time simulation tools e.g. RTDS, Opal RT and a Real-Time Target of Speedgoat. The communication and interoperability between these simulators is a main part of the investigations in the Real-Time Laboratory. 


Moritz Weber received his M.Sc. in Computer Science from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany in 2020. He is currently a PhD candidate at KIT working on locally and geographically distributed real-time simulation, network reduction, modeling toolchains, and time series imputation.

Episode 2: January 26, 2022

Topic: Grid-Supporting Battery Energy Storage System - Modelling and Simulation in RTDS: An Australian Case Study

With the University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Abstract: The combination of increasing penetration of inverter-based resources (IBRs) along with decreasing system strength, amplifies stability issues of IBRs and the power system to which they connect. Under these conditions, traditional, resonance and converter-driven stability are found to be affected. The Australian National Electricity Market (NEM) is not the exemption, and it has experienced operational manifestations of low system strength conditions.

The remote location of several areas of the NEM, the lack of nearby synchronous generators and the lack of strong transmission connections are some of the factors that, when combined, result in a very weak area. Grid-supporting battery energy storage systems (BESSs) are among the prominent solutions to strengthen an area while supporting the increased growth of renewable generation. Real-time simulations and hardware-in-the-loop testing enhances the approach.

This presentation will cover:

  • The main technical challenges faced in the West Murray Zone, a weak area of the NEM, due to the high penetration of IBRs and the lack of system strength support.
  • The proposed mitigation measures including a grid-supporting BESS with virtual synchronous machine emulation.
  • Analysis and findings of the proposed solution based on the RTDS simulator.
  • Real-time controller hardware-in-the-loop co-simulation to test and validate the proposed solution under several scenarios.


Felipe Arraño-Vargas is a PhD candidate at the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia. His research interests include the development, modeling and simulation of inverter-based resources and synthetic grids in real-time digital simulators.

Georgios Konstantinou is a Senior Lecturer in Energy Systems with the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia. He is also the research and teaching coordinator at the university’s real-time digital simulation laboratory (RTS@UNSW). Georgios research covers the areas of power electronics and grid integration of renewable energy, energy storage and HVDC systems.

Topic: Development of a Microgrid Controller for a Remote Off-Grid Power System in Northern Canada and Its Evaluation Using Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulations.

With the University of Manitoba

Abstract: Solar photovoltaic (PV) generation combined with energy storage is emerging as a feasible renewable retrofit to the solely diesel-based remote off-grid power systems in northern Canada to reduce emissions and other environmental risks associated with diesel transportation. The integration of inverter-interfaced Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) along with conventional generation resources significantly increases the system complexity requiring complex control algorithms. Advanced energy management algorithms are needed to maximize the economic and environmental benefits of such systems. Therefore, proper testing of microgrid control strategies before field deployment is becoming an important need.

This work develops a hierarchical microgrid controller consisting of an energy management system deploying a model predictive control framework and a power management system. The functionality of the proposed microgrid controller is evaluated on a controller hardware in the loop (CHIL) simulation platform. The structure of the testbed includes a real-time digital simulator (RTDS®), SEL RTAC-3350 digital controller, and a desktop computer running the energy management system implemented in MATLAB®.  The development and coordination of the hierarchical control levels, and the integration of the IEC-61850 based communication for exchange of measurements, status signals and control commands will be discussed.


Mo’ath Farraj received the B.Sc. (Eng.) degree in Electrical Engineering from Philadelphia University, Jordan, in 2019. He recently finished his MSc degree at the University of Manitoba, Manitoba, Canada and is currently working as a Consultant at Quanta Technology.

Dr. Athula D. Rajapakse joined the University of Manitoba as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2004, and currently holds a rank of Professor. He has a diverse background in Power and Energy Systems related areas. His current research activities mainly focus on Power System Protection and Renewable Energy Integration. Prof. Rajapakse is a Senior Member of IEEE, a Registered Professional Engineer in the province of Manitoba, Canada, and a Fellow of Engineers Canada. He is an active member of a number of CIGRE and IEEE working groups.

Episode 1: November 24, 2021

Topic: Hybrid testing of power system protection communication over wireless 5G

With VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Topic: Investigating Inverter-Based Resources Impacts on the Transmission Line Protection via Hardware-in-the-loop Simulation

With Quanta Technology

Abstract: In the transition towards carbon-neutral smart grids, the role of ICT infrastructure is crucial, and exploiting wireless 5G may bring flexibility and significant cost savings in both installation and maintenance. Furthermore, power systems would gain access to 5G services including network slicing, massive IoT, and edge computing.

Testing of wireless communication for power systems applications demands a realistic hybrid pilot environment. In this presentation, we discuss how we upscaled our previous protection communication test setup to provide a novel pilot environment for testing wireless 5G technology on protection communication. Protection was chosen due to its most rigorous QoS requirements compared to other power system applications.

The pilot environment consisted of a closed-loop CHIL simulation on RTDS enhanced with access to a 5G test network and commercial networks. The devices under test were relays and merging units. The switches formed a natural coupling point, through which the data traffic was routed to the desired wireless network. Supplementary video and sensor data traffic were generated to load the connection and to test how different traffic profiles affect the critical communication.

Three diverse and latency-critical protection applications were tested in the pilot environment: virtual fault passage indicator, line differential, and intertrip protection. 


Petra Raussi received her M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from LUT University, Lappeenranta, Finland in 2018. She is currently a Research Scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and responsible for the IntelligentEnergy testbed power system laboratory. Her research interests include power system communication and automation, 5G and beyond for critical data exchange, distributed control, and real-time systems. She is also currently a doctoral candidate at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Automation, School of Electrical Engineering, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland. Her doctoral research focuses on providing new information on the impact of the ICT layer of smart grids on power systems.

Heli Kokkoniemi-Tarkkanen received her M.Sc. majoring in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland in 1995. Since 1992, she has been working at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland in several positions, currently as a Senior Scientist. She has over 28 years of experience in commercial, military, and research projects covering various aspects of wireless communication from radio wave propagation modelling and network simulation to early-phase product development. In recent years, she has been focusing on QoS, latency, and reliability aspects by piloting and testing 5G services in new mission-critical vertical use cases such as protection and control of smart energy grids and harbor automation.

Abstract: Driven by policy changes, renewable energy is poised for an explosive growth in the recent decade. As one of the key forms of renewable energy, inverter-based resources (IBRs) accounts for a significant portion of the current and future renewable generation capacity. Controlled by fast micro-processors, the fault responses of these IBRs are largely dictated by the control algorithms and are fundamentally different from conventional synchronous generators. 

Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation, commonly viewed as a robust tool for protection setting prototyping and testing, is used in this paper to investigate the impact of a wind farm, with type-4 full converter wind turbines, on the protection of a 345 kV transmission line in Texas, United States. The hosting transmission system as well as the wind farm are modeled in a real-time digital simulation (RTDS) system, and the physical line protection relays are interfaced with RTDS to perform a HIL simulation. 

In this paper, two important topics are discussed in great details: (1) RTDS wind farm IBR model development and validation against vendor PSCAD model, and (2) IBR impacts on distance protection and current differential protection. In addition to the aforementioned technical challenges and assessments, the workflow and technical know-how presented in this paper also serves as a valuable application tutorial for any IBR related HIL testing with RTDS system.


Zheyuan Cheng, SENIOR ENGINEER, Protection & Control with Quanta Technology, received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University in 2020 and his BS degree in electrical engineering from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 2015. He has been working on renewable distributed energy resource control related research and industry projects since 2016. His areas of expertise include distributed energy resources protection and control.

Srinidhi Narayanan, ENGINEER III, Protection with Quanta Technology, graduated with a master’s degree in Electrical Power Systems Engineering from NC State University in 2021. The focus areas of her master’s degree included power system protection, transient analysis, and communication and SCADA systems. She has also completed a capstone project as a part of her graduate program, called “Design of Protection Scheme for an Inverter-Based Microgrid Circuit,” which was sponsored by Duke Energy. Srinidhi has more than 2 years of experience in the electrical power systems industry.

Juergen Holbach, EXECUTIVE ADVISOR, Protection and Control, Senior Director of Automation and Testing with Quanta Technology, has more than 25 years of experience designing and applying protective relaying. An IEEE member and chairman, he has published over a dozen papers and holds three patents. In 2009, Juergen received the Walter A. Elmore Best Paper Award from the Georgia Tech Relay Conference. Juergen’s areas of expertise include automation and protection, transmission protection, real-time digital simulator (RTDS) testing, and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61850 compliance.