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  • Joint training course: RTDS Technologies and IEC 61850 University

    July 26, 2017

    RTDS Technologies is pleased to announce that the upcoming RTDS Simulator Advanced Applications Training Course, which will focus on IEC 61850 and GTNET applications, will be held as a joint training course in conjunction with the world-renowned IEC 61850 University. This first-ever collaboration course with IEC 61850 University is an unmissable opportunity for RTDS Simulator users who want the best information on using IEC 61850 in conjunction with their real time simulations.

    The course will take place from September 25 to 29, 2017, in Winnipeg, Canada – the world headquarters of RTDS Technologies. It will focus on the fundamentals and principles of the IEC 61850 standard and its related applications, and will include three full days of hands on exercises using IEC 61850 with the RTDS Simulator. This will be the first training course worldwide in which trainees will use the all-new RTDS Simulator Protection and Automation Suite. Topics, exercises, and demonstrations include the following:

    • IEC 61850 guiding principles and structure of standard
    • IEC 61850 system architecture and data models
    • IEC 61850 project specification, engineering and commissioning, conformance, and project examples
    • Configuring IEC 61850 Sampled Values and GOOSE data streams via the GTNETx2 card for the RTDS Simulator
    • Closed-loop testing of a physical relay using IEC 61850 GOOSE and Sampled Values streaming from and to the RTDS Simulator
    • Use of the RTDS Simulator’s Protection and Automation Suite for simulation of IEC 61850 MMS Servers

    This course is targeted at experienced RTDS Simulator users. A fundamentals course on using the RTDS Simulator and the RSCAD software will be hosted the previous week (September 18 to 22) in Winnipeg. Click here for more information on the courses.

    Meet the course instructors:

    Eric Xu
    Lead Simulation and Automation Engineer, RTDS Technologies

    Eric Xu joined RTDS in 2009, and since then has been involved in technical support, user training, and GTNET component model development.  Eric is a Registered Professional Engineer and a member of IEEE. He is also an active member of IEC Technical Committee 57 Working Group 10 which is the section working on the development of the communication standards for substations – functional architecture and general requirements.


    Dustin Tessier
    Managing Director, Tesco Automation

    Dustin Tessier is the Managing Director for Tesco Automation, which is a system integrator specializing in the engineering, procurement, and commissioning of PAC and SCADA systems, with a particular focus on IEC 61850 based systems. He is a member of IEC Technical Committee 57 Working Group 10 and chair to the IEC Smart Grid Systems Committee and is actively involved with the ongoing development of the IEC 61850 standard.


    Click here for course information and registration


  • RTDS News July 2017!

    July 26, 2017

    Our most recent edition of RTDS News is now available for download. The July News features our new product: NovaCor! We’re excited to be talking about this new hardware platform and to announce the first commercial installation of NovaCor at Scotland’s National HVDC Centre. To compliment the release of NovaCor, we have new software updates and features in RSCAD, all of which you can read about in this edition of RTDS News. Download your copy!


  • Hot Topic: Power Systems Equivalents

    July 14, 2017

    Part 1: The Nature of the Problem!

    Simulation of power systems using electromagnetic transients (EMT) programs provides the user with a very powerful tool to study the behavior of the system over a wide range of operating conditions and frequencies.  An EMT simulator capable of continuous real-time operation has the added benefit of allowing interconnection of physical control and protection equipment to the simulation and thereby provide the opportunity to observe the operation of the physical equipment and interaction with the system.

    When faced with the task of preparing a model of the power system that will be used to test a particular device or to investigate some system behavior, the studies engineer must decide how much of the system needs to be represented in detail, how much can be represented by an equivalent and what can be ignored.  The required fidelity of the model, the nature of the study, the size of the model that can practically be represented on the available computer hardware and the availability of reliable data all contribute to the development of the model.

    It is often the case that an ideal source behind an impedance (see Figure 1) is placed a few buses away from the area of interest to represent the portion of the system that is not represented in detail.  The source impedance is chosen so that it represents the short circuit impedance at that bus and the source magnitude and angle are set to match a given load flow condition.  Such an equivalent does not contemplate component dynamics, frequency dependence, zero sequence impedance or that system may not be completely radial.



    Figure 1: Source Behind Impedance

    Although there may be circumstances where such an equivalent is adequate, there are situations where it is not suitable and may well lead to unrealistic results.  Take, for example, the system shown in Figure 2.


    Figure 2: Test System


    Here two simulation cases are run, one with a detailed generator model at G4 and one where generator G4 is replaced with the simple equivalent of Figure 1.  The impedance of the equivalent is calculated by considering the series combination of the stator resistance, d-axis transient reactance and generator transformer reactance. The source voltage magnitude and angle were calculated from a solved loadflow.  As can be seen from the plots of Figure 3, initial steady-state power flows for the two cases are the same.  However, when an event causes a transmission line to be removed both the dynamics and the resultant new steady-state conditions are quite different for the two cases.  In the case with the detailed model, generator controls act to ensure that the generator power and voltage set-points are met and a new load flow is established.  With the system equivalent the source voltage and angle remain constant and the new load flow that is established results in the system equivalent at G4 absorbing real power.  Since the connection at G4 has only generation the case with the system equivalent has come to a non-realistic operating condition.

    The example here is contrived and it would be unusual to replace a single generator with an equivalent.  Such non-realistic operating conditions, however, have been observed in more realistic cases where the system equivalent represents a more complex portion of the system.

    A disturbance in the system of Figure 2 would result in a swing of the generator rotors relative to the system.  Typically, the generator swings damp out and new rotor angles are established.  Under severe conditions a generator swing could be such that the generator loses synchronism with the rest of the system.  An equivalent that includes an ideal source does not exhibit such power swings and thus could provide unrealistic and optimistic results.  Since the impact of the disturbance diminishes with distance and generators with large inertia more closely approximate ideal sources there are circumstances where simple system equivalents are suitable.  Determining when and where such equivalents can be used requires engineering judgement.


    Figure 3a: Power Flow with Generator model at G4    Figure 3b: Power Flow with System Equivalent at G4

    Stay tuned for future posts which will highlight different techniques that are available for the creation of system equivalents, where such techniques are suitable and their advantages and disadvantages. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at support@rtds.com.

    Author: Arunprasanth Sakthivel
    July, 2017


  • IPST & KIPE Conferences

    June 22, 2017

    Our Simulation Specialists are travelling to Korea for two upcoming conferences!

    IPST 2017

    Join us at IPST – the International Conference on Power Systems Transients, in Seoul from June 26th to 29th! We are proud to once again be the main sponsors of this event! Stop by our booth during exhibition hours for a demonstration of NovaCor, our new generation of simulation hardware! We are also participating in Technical Session 11B on Real-Time Simulation, taking place on Thursday, June 29th at 10:30am in the New Millennium Hall. Our simulation experts Hui Ding, Yi Zhang, Dinesh Gurusinghe, Dean Ouellette and Ali Dehkordi have all contributed to this technical session through multiple presentations.

    KIPE Summer Conference

    Our next stop is the Korean Institute of Power Electronics Summer Conference! This annual event is taking place July 4 – 6, 2017 at the Gyeongju Hanwha Resort in Gyeongbuk. Please stop by our booth during exhibition hours where our simulation expert, In-Kwon Park, will be demonstrating NovaCor and the GTFPGA unit, focusing on Power Electronics and STATCOM simulations.

    We hope to see you in Korea!

  • Hot Topic: GTNETx2 Modbus Protocol

    June 1, 2017

    New Modbus Protocol for the RTDS? Dinomite!

    Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus Rex… These were some of the most famous dinosaurs that still roamed the earth when the Modbus protocol was originally introduced… Okay, maybe I am exaggerating just a little bit… But if you’re a strapping young lad such as myself, then Modbus was probably a little bit before your time.


    Modbus Protocol

    Originally introduced in the late-70s by Modicon, (14 years before the first Jurassic Park movie) Modbus was originally used to link other smart devices with PLCs. Since then, Modbus has become an open protocol which means that manufacturers are free to incorporate it into their equipment without having to pay royalties.  Having stood the test of time, Modbus is still widely used today with over 7 million Modbus nodes reported in North America and Europe alone. Modbus is often praised for its unrivaled simplicity, which is quite evident from the fact that its specification is only a mere 50 pages long!

    The Modbus protocol uses the familiar master/slave concept by which the designated master has full control over the communication bus. The master will record outputs and read inputs from each of the slaves who will only respond when requested too by the master. If no such request is made, then the slaves simply sit idle. Today, Modbus is commonly used in SCADA and system automation based applications to facilitate communication between a master station and a RTU. (Remote Terminal Unit)

    Previously, only the Modbus master station could be implemented within RSCAD software by using the scripting facility within Runtime. However, with the introduction of the new Modbus component and communication protocol for the GTNETx2, it is now possible to implement a Modbus slave within RSCAD software.


    The new ­Modbus component allows for Modbus communication over TCP/IP networks by using a GTNETx2 card configured with the Modbus protocol. More specifically, the component supports three different variants of the Modbus protocol, namely,

    1. Modbus TCP
    2. Modbus RTU over TCP, and
    3. Modbus ASCII over TCP

    This new functionality now allows users to interface and test an external Modbus master with the RTDS Simulator.

    Be sure to check out the new Modbus component and GTNETx2 protocol in the latest release of RSCAD! Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at support@rtds.com.

    Author: Christian Jegues
    May, 2017