The RTDS Simulator is a real time power system simulation tool used worldwide for the closed-loop testing of protection and control equipment, HVDC and FACTS scheme testing, phasor measurement unit (PMU) simulation, power electronics simulation, distributed generation studies, and more.

The RTDS Simulator is the world standard for real time power system simulation. It is used by all of the world’s major protection and control equipment manufacturers, as well as by leading electric utilities, educational institutions, and research facilities around the world.

The RTDS Simulator consists of custom hardware and all-in-one software, specifically designed to perform real time ElectroMagnetic Transient (EMT) simulations. It operates continuously in real time while providing accurate results over a frequency range from DC to 3 kHz.  This range provides a greater depth of analysis than traditional stability or load flow programs which study phenomenon within a very limited frequency range.

The RTDS Simulator’s fully digital parallel processing hardware is capable of simulating complex networks using a typical time step of 50 µs.  The simulator also allows for small timestep subnetworks that operate with timesteps in the range of 1-4 µs for simulation of fast switching power electronic devices (e.g. VSC bridges with PWM switching).  The hardware is bundled into modular units called racks that allow easy expansion of the Simulator’s computing capability as required.

Custom Hardware

The parallel processing required by the RTDS Simulator is carried out by processor cards. These cards are mounted in card cages, known as racks, which are housed in cubicles. Different cubicle sizes are available to meet the varying simulation requirements of our customers. As the simulation demands increase, the user can add processor cards to the racks. Therefore, as racks are filled, more cubicles can be acquired, and many different racks can be involved in a given simulation.

RTDS Simulator cubicles include standard DIN rails for the installation of I/O cards and other components. The I/O cards available from RTDS Technologies allow the Simulator to be interfaced with external equipment such as protective relays.

Custom Software

RTDS Technologies’ proprietary software, designed specifically for interfacing to the RTDS Simulator hardware, is called RSCAD®. RSCAD is a user-friendly interface, intended to create a working environment familiar to the power system engineer.

RSCAD is an all-in-one package, containing all facilities that the user needs to prepare and run simulations, and to view and analyze results. This eliminates the need for third-party products. RSCAD is provided with a site license, which means that an unlimited number of users can use it at a given site—there is no per-seat fee.

Since the RTDS Simulator operates in continuous real time, the simulated power system can “operate” in a manner similar to a real power system. As simulation parameters are modified and contingencies are applied, the user can watch the power system respond in real time.

The Advantage of Real Time

The RTDS Simulator operates continuously in real time, meaning that analytical studies can be performed much faster than with offline simulation programs. Complex networks are simulated using a typical timestep of 50 μs. Small timestep subnetworks operating with timesteps in the range of 1-4 μs simulate fast switching power electronic devices.

real time power system simulation

RTDS Simulator