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  • ERIGrid Summer School 2019

    May 1, 2019

    RTDS Technologies has joined forces with ERIGrid project partners ICCS-NTUA and HEDNO to organize the ERIGrid Summer School on Advanced Operations and Control of Active Distribution Networks. The school takes place at NTU Athens, June 10 – 14, 2019. 

    The course will cover key aspects of modern distribution networks and smart grids, such as

    • Advanced inverter functions to provide ancillary services
    • Optimal operation and control of distribution networks
    • Machine learning applications in smart grids
    • Energy markets and demand response
    • Grid integration of Electric Vehicles
    • Adaptive protection of distribution networks
    • Service restoration of distribution networks
    • Power system resilience

    Also included in the Summer School program:

    • Advanced Controller Hardware in the Loop and Power Hardware in the Loop experiments during dedicated laboratory sessions.
    • A visit to the Meltemi smart grid pilot site (awarded by the Smart Grids European Technology Platform) at a seaside location a few kilometers from Athens.
    • An industry session with the Greek distribution network operator HEDNO, including discussions with industry experts and visits to real installations.

    Participation to the Summer School is free of charge, however a limited number of seats is available. Registration is open until May 20, 2019.


    RTDS Technologies Inc.
  • ACDC 2019 ~ February 5 – 7, 2019 ~ Coventry, UK

    January 25, 2019

    Stop by our booth to learn about our GTFPGA MMC models capable of modelling up to 1024 SM per valve with half, full and mixed topology. We will be demoing the HVDC point to point and DC grid systems developed by CIGRE working groups. See NovaCor’s ability to model large DC grids on a single NovaCor chassis!

    Also learn about our new simulation environment Substep for HVDC and power electronics applications. Made possible by the computing power of NovaCor, Substep will allow modelling networks of a certain size with a time step much smaller then our Mainstep while also performing matrix decomposition in real time. This will support pure resistive switching for all switching elements and therefore support higher switching frequency, clean waveforms and low losses!

    Want more information?

    We would love to answer any questions you have about the RTDS Simulator! Fill out this form and one of our Simulation Specialists will get back to you. 

    RTDS Technologies Inc.
  • DistribuTech 2019!

    January 17, 2019

    The RTDS Simulator is the leading real time simulation tool for grid modernization. At DistribuTech, our experts can walk you through the interfacing process that allows power system engineers to test protection and control systems comprehensively prior to commissioning. Join us in observing the interaction between an SEL® Real Time Automation Controller and a simulated microgrid based on a real industrial park in the United States. Plus, have your questions answered and learn how real time simulation can be adapted for your grid modernization project.

    Want more information?

    We would love to answer any questions you have about interfacing the RTDS Simulator to external equipment to test protection and control systems. Fill out this form and one of our Simulation Specialists will get back to you. 

    RTDS Technologies Inc.
  • Abstracts being accepting for 2019 RTDS ATC!

    November 13, 2018

    Submit your abstract to present at the 2019 RTDS ATC!

    Want to present at RTDS ATC 2019 in Denver? This event is the perfect opportunity to share your work and expertise with an audience of power industry professionals. We are looking for RTDS Simulator users to present recent work in all application fields. Submit an abstract before March 15, 2019 for your chance to present!

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    Visit the conference webpage for event details and more information!

    RTDS Technologies Inc.
  • Hot Topic: Interfacing RTDS Simulator to External Equipment Using Aurora Protocol

    October 31, 2018

    The Aurora protocol is a lightweight serial protocol developed by Xilinx that is suitable for high speed point-to-point communication links. Support for the Aurora protocol exist for PB5 and NovaCor based RTDS Simulators and is available within both the main timestep and small timestep simulation environments.  Aurora specifications for the PB5 and NovaCor hardwares are similar but slight differences do exist.  The overview provided here focuses on the NovaCor implementation.

    The RTDS Simulator’s Aurora protocol implementation allows the bi-directional exchange of 32-bit integers or floating point numbers between the simulator and another Aurora protocol compatible device.  Signals are exchanged via a fiber optic cable. 

    The ability to output or read-in Aurora formatted packets must be licenced for each PB5 card or NovaCor chassis.  Each license allows for interconnections over 4 different fiber optic cables.  Each fiber optic connection supports the output of 1-64 numbers as well as the input of 1-64 numbers.

    In order to read or write Aurora data to/from a fiber optic cable, either the mainstep or small timestep Aurora components must be used in DRAFT.  Both of these icons are shown below and can be found if the keyword ‘aurora’ is used to search the master library.


    Using the Aurora Protocol to exchange data with and external device is an attractive option in cases where a lot a data needs to be moved in a short period of time.  The other IO cards and not ideal for such applications.  The data exchange between the RTDS Simulators and an Aurora-compatible device can be either unidirectional or bi-directional.  The number of signals exchanged and the direction of that exchange is generally application specific.

    Examples of Interface options: (1/2) Unidirectional, (3) Bi-directional



    Tighter Closed-Loop Performance using Sequence Numbers

    For certain applications, data will be sent from the RTDS Simulator to an external device and the device will provide a response that should be read back into the simulation.  For such scenarios, we’ve introduced something called a sequence number that is useful for minimizing loop delays and improving closed-loop performance.

    A sequence number is an integer that is appended to the package of data sent to an Aurora compatible device.  This integer is incremented every timestep.  When the sequence number option is enabled in the Aurora DRAFT component, the component will send out its package of data (including the sequence #) and then its execution is paused until the sequence number of an incoming data package matches the one sent out.  NOTE: The Aurora compatible device is expected to echo the sequence number it receives.

    Use of sequence numbers makes it possible to send out data to external device using the Aurora protocol and then receive a response to that data within the same timestep.  This of course assumes the device is able to respond in significantly less time than a timestep.  Interfacing time delays can therefore be minimized.

    *Due to performance constraints sequence numbers are not available for the small timestep Aurora component.

    Aurora Interface Details

    When generating the Xilinx IP Aurora core to connect to the NovaCor Aurora link, the following settings are required:

    • Aurora lanes : 1
    • Encoding: 8b/10b
    • Lane Width : design dependent
    • Interface : Framing
    • Dataflow Mode : Duplex
    • Flow Control : None
    • Line Rate : 2 Gbps
    • Scrambler/Descrambler: No
    • Little Endian Support: No
    • CRC: No

    Additional Resources

    A demo case that includes a reference FPGA design that can be loaded onto a Xilinx VC707 board is available to provide a starting point for customers wanting to use the Aurora protocol to communicate between the RTDS Simulator and an external device.

    Want more information?

    We would love to answer any questions you have about interfacing the RTDS Simulator to external equipment using the Aurora Protocol. Complete this form and one of our Simulation Specialists will get back to you!

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    RTDS Technologies Inc.