RSCAD Version 5: Exciting New Features for RTDS Simulator Users

RSCAD Version 5: Exciting New Features for RTDS Simulator Users


RTDS Technologies is excited to announce the release of RSCAD Version 5. This new version of the RSCAD software offers many new advantages to users of the RTDS Simulator. Most notably, V5 runs on an entirely overhauled compiler, and features Distribution Mode, which allows users to simulate a distribution network with a larger number of interconnected nodes than in non-distribution mode.




The largest and most complex part of the code that sits under the graphical user interface of the RTDS Simulator is the RTDS compiler. The compiler puts together the executable code and associated data that is sent to the processors and memory on the RTDS Simulator hardware for each simulation case and is a critical part of every simulation.

When RSCAD was first released, all of the power system and control system components were hand-coded in assembly language. As such, new code was added to the compiler each time a new power system or control system model was added to the RSCAD component library. With the introduction of the new and powerful processors for the RTDS Simulator, it became possible to write models in a higher level language, typically C, and use a C compiler to generate the executable code modules that could be run as part of the simulation. RSCAD was then enhanced to include the CBuilder module, in which users could create custom components. As more and more models in the RSCAD library were developed using the CBuilder tool, the requirements of the RTDS compiler changed. CBuilder created the executable code and associated data in a consistent way for each model so that the RTDS compiler could handle those new components in a general way without the requirement to add special code for each new model. 

Once all of the power system and control system models were imported into CBuilder, it became possible to re-write the compiler and take advantage of the consistent data structure for each component, thus greatly simplifying the compiler. The new compiler under RSCAD V5 and the availability of all main time-step power system and control system models in a high level language makes it easier to maintain and enhance the RTDS software going forward.





With the introduction of RSCAD V5, RTDS Simulator users are able to model large distribution networks and feeders for the first time ever. These networks can include several hundred to over a thousand nodes in one tightly coupled area, and are typically made up of short lines and cables that are not long enough to allow the circuit to be separated into subsystems.

dbn_mode_screenshotThe all-new Distribution Mode relies on the distribution feeder being radial in structure, which creates a highly sparse admittance matrix compared to non-distribution cases and reduces the computational burden of the network solution. Furthermore, the simulation timestep for Distribution Mode is in the range of 150 – 200 microseconds to provide more time for the calculation of the network solution. The combination of the highly sparse admittance matrix as well as the larger timestep allow a vastly larger number of nodes to be modelled in one subsystem. The Distribution Mode component library is a limited subset of components from the RSCAD library.

As with any new feature that is released for RSCAD, Distribution Mode is included with your existing RSCAD installation and can be accessed by updating your software to Version 5 via our client login area. RSCAD is an all-in-one simulation package containing all available modules and models that have been released for the RTDS Simulator. Users should note that Distribution Mode is compatible with PB5 Processor Cards only.

Read the full RSCAD V5 Release Notes via our client login area for a comprehensive look at all of the updates and new features available with RSCAD V5. You can also download the feature sheet from our Downloads page.

 For more information, please contact our team at