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  • RTDS Technologies expands production capacity

    October 27, 2017

    RTDS Technologies is pleased to announce a significant expansion to its production capacity at the RTDS Simulator’s worldwide headquarters in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

    With the release of NovaCor, the newest generation of simulation hardware for the RTDS Simulator, in April 2017, there has been an unprecedented demand for Simulator upgrades and new installations around the world. To meet this demand, RTDS Technologies has expanded its on-site production capabilities in terms of both staff and facilities. Many new production staff have been hired since the release of NovaCor, increasing the size of the production team by almost 50%. The on-site production facility has also expanded into new space, nearly doubling the floor space available for assembling NovaCor chassis and cubicles.

    The design, manufacturing, assembly, marketing, servicing and support, shipping, and continued development of the RTDS Simulator is all done out of the RTDS Technologies headquarters in Winnipeg. This allows RTDS Technologies to maintain the highest quality of equipment and support in the industry due to the control over every aspect of our product’s development. Every piece of equipment that leaves the facility has been developed, built and thoroughly tested in-house. The increase in the size of and resources available to our production team will allow us to maintain the same level of quality and comprehensive testing as demand for NovaCor continues to accelerate.



    RTDS Technologies Inc.
  • Hot Topic: Distribution Simulation with the RTDS Simulator

    October 26, 2017

    Distribution Simulation with the RTDS Simulator

    Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) are becoming more prevalent in distribution systems. An increasing number of people are adding solar panels to their houses, solar and wind farms are increasing in number, and electric vehicles and battery storage are increasing in popularity.

    Distribution systems were not originally built with these things in mind. Distribution systems were designed with power generated further away from the load. More sophisticated study tools are needed to study the bi-directional power flow of DERs in distribution feeders. The RTDS Simulator is a real time Electromagnetic Transient (EMT) simulator, and can be used to model and study distribution feeders.

    In RTDS, when a case has reached the node limit of the hardware, the network has to be split using a travelling wave transmission line or a cross rack transformer. In transmission systems this is no problem, since the travel time of the transmission line is often longer than the timestep. In distribution systems, where the whole case is tightly coupled, a transmission line needs to be lengthened in order to split the system into multiple networks. Introducing artificial subsystem splitting in a case can add error to the system, such as bus voltages becoming unusually high.

    Looking at the IEEE123 Node Test Feeder case, the longest transmission line is 825 feet which is approximately 0.25 km. Looking at the table below, the transmission line length would have to be increased significantly to split the system.

    Distribution Mode

    RTDS Technologies has developed an operating mode in the RSCAD software called Distribution Mode. Distribution Mode works in a substantially similar way to normal simulation mode, but a few key differences allow the user to model significantly more power system nodes in one tightly coupled area using this mode. In Distribution Mode, feeders of hundreds of single phase nodes can be simulated on one RTDS Simulator rack or chassis!

    Distribution Mode relies on the feeder being radial in structure, which reduces the computational burden of solving the network in real time due to the highly sparse nature of the network’s admittance matrix. Also, the simulation timestep for Distribution Mode is slightly larger – in the range of 100-200 microseconds – to provide more time for calculating the network solution. These factors allow a vastly larger number of power system nodes to be modelled in one tightly coupled subsystem.

    The IEEE123 Node Test Feeder case has been successfully simulated in one subsystem in Distribution Mode with DERs added in 4 different locations as seen in Figure 1. It can run on both PB5 and NovaCor systems, and has a total of 288 nodes.

    Figure 1: IEEE123 Node Test Feeder with DERs

    Average Models

    The small timestep bridge box cannot be used in Distribution Mode due to the increased timestep, therefore the DERs were modeled with average model components rather than fully switched models in the small timestep. Two average models have been developed. There is the dynamic PQ source, and the DC/AC average model shown in Figure 2.

    The dynamic PQ source assumes a constant, large DC source. This model is sufficient for applications where the focus is on how the system responds to real and reactive power flow from a large number of DERs. This model was used in the IEEE123 Node Test Feeder case to model the DERs.

    The DC/AC average model allows a DC component, such as a PV or battery model, to be interfaced with the AC system. It neglects the effects of the switching devices but is sufficient for providing the accurate real and reactive power profile of the converter. The average models require much less computational resources than the fully switched small timestep models, so they are much more efficient in terms of RTDS Simulator hardware required for modelling.

    Figure 2: Average Models (a) Dynamic PQ Source (b) DC/AC Average Model

    CYME to RSCAD Conversion Program

    A CYME to RSCAD conversion program has also been developed. It allows a distribution case modeled in CYME to be converted into Distribution Mode in RSCAD.

    Figure 3: CYME to RSCAD Conversion Program

    Due to the difference in graphics in CYME, new graphics were created in RSCAD for the components used in the conversion program. The components can stretch in any direction to connect between any 2 points in draft. Most of the components are 1-3 phases, and all 1-3 phase connections are at one point on the draft canvas. A small sample circuit using these new component graphics is shown in Figure 4. A library tab in Distribution Mode contains these components.

    Figure 4: Distribution Stretchable Graphics

    Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at support@rtds.com.

    Learn more!

    Author: Melanie Dyck, October 2017


    1. Dyck and O. Nzimako, 2017, “Real Time Simulation of Large Distribution Networks with Distributed Energy Resources,” in CIRED, Scotland.
    RTDS Technologies Inc.
  • University of Alberta selects the RTDS Simulator for Donadeo Innovation Centre

    October 24, 2017

    RTDS Technologies is pleased to announce that the University of Alberta has officially selected the RTDS Simulator as the technology of choice for their real time simulation laboratory at the Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering. The University of Alberta will receive a powerful RTDS Simulator comprised of two NovaCor chassis with a total of seven licensed cores, as well as both conventional and ethernet-based I/O components for interfacing external hardware. The Simulator will be used as a key tool for transmission level studies and the modelling of power systems with both AC and DC components, including the modelling of LCC, VSC, and modular multilevel converters.

    The University of Alberta is now one of over 170 universities and research institutions worldwide using the RTDS Simulator for testing control and protection systems and simulating power systems at the transmission and distribution level. Their new Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering will be a hub of research activity, providing great opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration among professors and students.

    RTDS Technologies Inc.
  • NYPA’s AGILe lab to feature NovaCor!

    October 12, 2017

    New York Power Authority’s AGILe lab to feature the RTDS Simulator

    NovaCor-cubicleRTDS Technologies is pleased to announce that it was awarded a project by New York Power Authority to deliver a NovaCor based RTDS real-time power system simulator for use in NYPA’s Advanced Grid Innovation Laboratory for Energy (AGILe).  The AGILe lab will be used to study advanced transmission applications and perform studies in the areas of Cyber Security, Sensors, Automation and Controllers.  The real-time operation of the RTDS permits major utilities such as NYPA to develop high fidelity models of their grid and to interconnect physical control and protection equipment to the simulator.  Performance of the control and protection equipment can then be evaluated under various steady-state and dynamic conditions to verify correct operation before that equipment is installed in the field.  In addition to observing the behaviour of the interconnected equipment, NYPA will be able to verify that the parameters and settings for the equipment are correct.

    RTDS Technologies Inc.
  • September issue of RTDS News is available!

    October 5, 2017

    Check out the September issue of RTDS News, now available for download. This issue features the record-breaking project with China’s SGEPRI/NARI. Our guest article, by Hyosung Corporation in Korea, focuses on the development of an MMC-based STATCOM using the RTDS Simulator. And, as always, we talk about the latest features in RSCAD. Download your copy today!


    RTDS Technologies Inc.