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  • Schedule announced for RTDS ATC17

    April 25, 2017

     

    rtds-atc-schedule

     

    The schedule for the  2017 RTDS Applications + Technology Conference  is now available! Take a look at the user presentations and interactive RTDS workshops that will make this a memorable 3.5 days. We are excited to share NovaCor, our new generation of simulation hardware based on a powerful multicore processor, with attendees of this special event.

    RTDS ATC 17 Schedule

    RTDS Technologies invites RTDS Simulator users and power industry colleagues from around the world to join us for three days of user presentations, networking options, a tour of the RTDS Technologies headquarters, and three exciting interactive workshops in real time power system simulation. The 2017 RTDS Applications +  Technology Conference (ATC17) is gearing up to be our most exciting event yet.

    In addition to many user presentations and updates on new developments from RTDS Technologies, ATC17 will feature three interactive simulation workshops run by RTDS Technologies simulation specialists. This is a unique opportunity for hands-on learning with the RTDS Simulator in an environment with the world’s foremost experts in real time simulation.

    Workshop 1: Grid Modernization
    Participants will learn the fundamentals of RSCAD’s new Distribution Mode for simulating large-scale distribution feeders. Case studies for modelling microgrids and distributed energy resources with the RTDS Simulator will be explored. Power-hardware-in-the-loop (PHIL) simulation fundamentals and technical considerations will be discussed.

    Workshop 2: Small Timestep Modelling
    Participants will learn the modelling approach and simulation principles of the RTDS Simulator’s small timestep subnetworks for the simulation of fast switching power electronic devices. Upper and lower level controls for voltage source converters (VSCs) will be implemented.

    Workshop 3: Protection + Automation
    Participants will learn how to use the IEC 61850 Goose Messaging protocol for the RTDS Simulator’s GTNETx2 Network Interface Card, for interfacing external devices to the simulation via GOOSE Message. The new GTFPGA Unit-based IEC 61850 Sampled Values protocol will also be discussed. The all-new Protection and Automation Software Suite will be explored.

    REGISTER TODAY!

     

  • Introducing NovaCor: A New Generation of Simulation Hardware

    April 3, 2017

    RTDS Technologies is proud to introduce NovaCor – a new generation of simulation hardware for the RTDS Simulator. Based on a powerful multicore processor, NovaCor is the world’s fastest and most capable real time power system simulator.

    Since the introduction of the RTDS Simulator as the world’s first ever real time power system simulator in 1989, the system’s hardware architecture has consisted of processors housed in rack-mounted cards which exchange data over a backplane. The NovaCor platform features an all-new architecture: for the first time ever, the simulator is based on rack-mounted chassis housing a powerful multicore POWER8 processor, designed by IBM to deliver performance for the some of the world’s most demanding workloads. Rapid communication between the ten cores of each processor eliminates the need for backplane data transfer, allowing for much faster and more complex real time power system simulation than ever before.

    novacor-board

    It’s based on a powerful multicore processor

    Each NovaCor chassis features IBM’s state of the art POWER8 processor, containing 10 powerful cores running at 3.5 GHz.

    It’s compatible with previous hardware

    NovaCor can be connected to GTWIF-based RTDS Simulator racks containing PB5 and/or GPC processor cards. NovaCor is compatible with the existing Global Bus Hub, IRC Switch, and all GTIO hardware.

    The NovaCor platform will allow users of the RTDS Simulator to do more with less. In terms of simulated network size and complexity, NovaCor is notably more powerful than the RTDS Simulator’s previous hardware platform, the PB5 Processor Card. The hardware exchange program will allow users who participate in the hardware maintenance program to exchange previous generation RTDS Simulator processing hardware and receive NovaCor hardware at a significantly reduced price.

    novacor-cubicle

    It’s powerful

    Each NovaCor chassis has 2-3 times the simulation capacity of a fully loaded PB5-based rack. Hundreds of nodes can be solved on a single core.

    It’s precise

    NovaCor provides higher precision real time simulation than ever before, with timesteps reduced by up to 50%.

    It’s scalable

    NovaCor allows scalable access through the licensing of 1 to a maximum of 10 cores per chassis. Overall system expansion and full connectivity of up to 60 chassis is supported.

    It’s accessible

    NovaCor allows an entire power system simulation to be run on a single core, making the world standard for real time power system simulation more accessible than ever before.

  • Hot Topic: Fuel Cell Model

    March 28, 2017

    Fuel Cell is an Entity of Modern Grids

    Development of information and communication technology helps real-time management and control of distributed energy resources (DERs) connected to the grid. At present, utilities are interested to modernize their power grid through the advancement of smart grid.

    A smart grid is an electrical grid which extensively uses the digital communication to manage energy entities including DERs, electrical vehicles, and smart energy meters to minimize the mismatch between generation and load within the grid.

    The development of the fuel cell began with a human effort towards space exploration. The electricity needs of all the commander vehicles in the Apollo project in the 60s’ and 70s’ were provided by fuel cells. The justification was simple and clear. The rocket motor in the vehicles took pure hydrogen and oxygen as fuel, which were the same chemicals necessary for the operation of the fuel cells on board. Moreover, the by-product water was used for drinking and humidifying the atmosphere of the space capsule [1]. Then, the technology found a completely different application, electric vehicle (EV). The amount of EVs connected to the smart grid is believed to be large in the near future as EVs are considered as a greener solution for the carbon emission issue. The recent research and developments on the fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) have attracted the vehicular industry. Fuel cells are devices that utilize the electrochemical process to convert chemical energy in a fuel to electrical energy. The produced electrical energy can be used to power electric vehicles, electronic devices, house and the excess energy can be delivered to the grid. Many different types of fuel cells can be constructed from different chemical reactions. In general, those fuel cells can be categorized according to the electrolyte used in the cell. However, for vehicular technology, the usual choice is polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). Apart from the emerging FCEV market, the biggest market for the PEM fuel cell is the application of back-up power supply for remotely located electronic outposts such as cell phone towers. Fuel cells also have an expanding presence in the indoor fork-lifter power pack application because of zero-emission characteristics. Conventional fuel such as natural gas can be converted to hydrogen with the necessary purity after reformation. This adds to the suitability of the technology in the diverse markets.

    Another interesting application of the fuel cell is rural electrification.

    A complete closed-loop pilot project based on fuel cell is built to electrify Stuart Island of Washington state. Solar panels are used to power an electrolyzer which makes hydrogen. Then, the hydrogen is used in fuel cells to produce dc current which is converted to ac current by an inverter to supply the loads [2].

    The research and developments that take place at RTDS Technologies Inc. are always in line with advancements in the electrical industry. This time, we are proud to introduce the real-time simulation model of the PEMFC.

    Operation of the Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell

    The functional diagram of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is shown in Figure 1. The anode and the cathode are separated by an electrolyte that is based on polymer electrolyte membrane.

    fuel-cell-diagram

    Figure 1 – Functional diagram of fuel cell

    At the anode, a hydrogen molecule will decompose into two hydrogen ions (H+) and two electrons (e). Typically, a catalyst is used to boost the rate of reaction. Since the electrolyte behaves like a high resistance to the electrons and low resistance to the proton, the hydrogen ions will pass through the electrolyte while the electrons flow through the external load. At the Cathode, the oxygen ion (O2-) will combine with two hydrogen ion (H+) and form water (H2O) that will carry out the heat produced by the fuel cell reactions.

    The RTDS Fuel Cell Model

    The RTDS fuel cell model represents the PEM type fuel cell. In particular, this model attempts to depict the electrical aspect of a real fuel cell system known as ‘SR-12’ from a company named ‘Avista Labs’ (now ‘ReliON’). The fuel cell system is described further in [3, 4]. The draft icon of the model is shown in Figure 2. The model has two power system nodes namely Cathode and Anode. The model has three control inputs, which are the cell temperature (Tcell) in Celsius, the anode pressure (Pa) in atm, and cathode pressure (Pc) in atm. This model also requires the user to enter parameters such as charging capacitance per cell, cell area overall flow delay, rated voltage and current, and initial temperature and pressure values.

    Fuel-cell-model-draft

    Figure 2 – Draft icon of the fuel cell model in RTDS

    The PEMFC model enriches our latest release of RSCAD software that is available on our website www.rtds.com. More information of the above fuel cell model can be found in the help file associated with the model. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at support@rtds.com.

    Author: Arunprasanth Sakthivel
    March, 2017

    References

    [1] K. R. Williams, “Francis Thomas Bacon. 21 December 1904-24 May 1992.” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 39, pp 2-18, 1994.
    [2] “Stuart Island Energy Initiative”, http://www.siei.org, accessed on March 18, 2017.
    [3] J. M. Correa, F. A. Farret, L. N. Canha, and M. G. Simoes, “An electrochemical-based fuel-cell model suitable for electrical engineering automation approach,” Industrial Electronics, IEEE Transactions on, vol. 51, pp. 1103-1112, 2004.
    [4] The Center for Fuel Cell Research and Applications, “ReliOn (formerly Avista Labs) Independence 1000 Model J32 OVERALL EXPERIENCE,” 2004.

  • Real-Time Microgrid Modeling and Simulation

    March 20, 2017

    Real-Time Microgrid Modeling & Simulation

    The increasing relevance of microgrids and the distributed energy resources that comprise them has generated a demand for detailed study tools and sophisticated hardware-in-the-loop test facilities to evaluate the operation of the associated control and power devices on the grid.

    The benefits of microgrid systems include increased grid reliability, the integration of renewable and alternative energy sources, and the provision of energy access to remote and developing communities.

    The microgrid concept is relatively new compared to conventional power system operation and the best method to study challenges regarding microgrid operation and implementation is using detailed simulation programs and models. Electromagnetic transient (EMT) simulators, such as the RTDS Simulator, have been well established for detailed analysis of power system transients in the time domain from DC up to kHz frequencies found in modern power electronic converter systems.

    Microgrid-Simulation

    Figure 1. Time step requirement for different types of simulation [1]

    RTDS Simulators can accurately analyze the steady state and transient behaviour of the microgrid in grid connected and islanded mode in continuous real time. Advantages of using real time digital simulators for microgrid modeling and applications include:

    • Fast simulation times
      Microgrid analytical studies can be performed much faster than with offline simulation programs. Since the simulator operates in continuous real time, the simulated microgrid system can operate in a manner similar to the real system. As the simulation parameters are modified and contingencies are applied, the user can watch the microgrid respond in real time.
    • Hardware in the loop Testing
      The Hardware in the loop capability of RTDS Simulators allows the design of microgrid control, protection and power devices to be evaluated under realistic operating conditions before they are installed and commissioned in the real microgrid system.

    The short video shows the real time simulation of a simple microgrid with a Photovoltaic, Battery and Diesel Generator unit for different operating conditions such as grid-connected operation, turning on the microgrid components, islanding the microgrid and shading conditions of the solar array. Developing detailed real-time microgrid simulation models is critical for detailed analytical studies and hardware-in-the loop testing applications [2].

    Please contact support@rtds.com if you have any questions regarding this feature.

    Author: Onyi Nzimako
    March 2017

    References

    [1] M. D. Omar Faruque et al., “Real-Time Simulation Technologies for Power Systems Design, Testing, and Analysis,” in IEEE Power and Energy Technology Systems Journal, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 63-73, June 2015.
    [2] O. Nzimako and A. Rajapakse, “Real time simulation of a microgrid with multiple distributed energy resources,” 2016 International Conference on Cogeneration, Small Power Plants and District Energy (ICUE), Bangkok, 2016, pp. 1-6.

  • Interactive Simulation Workshops announced for RTDS ATC17

    March 14, 2017

     

    Power-System-Simulation-Workshops

    RTDS Technologies invites RTDS Simulator users and power industry colleagues from around the world to join us for three days of user presentations, networking options, a tour of the RTDS Technologies headquarters, and three exciting interactive workshops in real time power system simulation. The 2017 RTDS Applications +  Technology Conference (ATC17) is gearing up to be our most exciting event yet.

    ATC17 will be hosted in Winnipeg, Canada – the birthplace of the RTDS Simulator and the home of the RTDS Technologies headquarters. Winnipeg is a power systems research hub. It is home to the University of Manitoba, a leading institution in power systems expertise, as well as Manitoba Hydro and the Manitoba HVDC Research Centre – the birthplace of PSCAD. Described as the “cultural cradle of Canada”, Winnipeg offers an array of talented artists, significant architecture, award-winning musicians and athletes, and legendary festivals and cultural events. ATC17 will be hosted at the Forks, a historic meeting place and tourist destination framed by the banks of the two rivers. The Forks is home to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, a stunning array of dining experiences, shopping for local art and goods, and a constantly changing slate of entertainment and events.

    In addition to many user presentations and updates on new developments from RTDS Technologies, ATC17 will feature three interactive simulation workshops run by RTDS Technologies simulation specialists. This is a unique opportunity for hands-on learning with the RTDS Simulator in an environment with the world’s foremost experts in real time simulation.

    Workshop 1: Grid Modernization
    Participants will learn the fundamentals of RSCAD’s new Distribution Mode for simulating large-scale distribution feeders. Case studies for modelling microgrids and distributed energy resources with the RTDS Simulator will be explored. Power-hardware-in-the-loop (PHIL) simulation fundamentals and technical considerations will be discussed.

    Workshop 2: Small Timestep Modelling
    Participants will learn the modelling approach and simulation principles of the RTDS Simulator’s small timestep subnetworks for the simulation of fast switching power electronic devices. Upper and lower level controls for voltage source converters (VSCs) will be implemented.

    Workshop 3: Protection + Automation
    Participants will learn how to use the IEC 61850 Goose Messaging protocol for the RTDS Simulator’s GTNETx2 Network Interface Card, for interfacing external devices to the simulation via GOOSE Message. The new GTFPGA Unit-based IEC 61850 Sampled Values protocol will also be discussed. The all-new Protection and Automation Software Suite will be explored.

    Eventbrite - 2017 North American RTDS Applications & Technology Conference

    Download Workshop Flyer!