Scalability and flexibility without performance loss​

Simulation Hardware

Real-time simulation is too demanding for a regular PC

The RTDS Simulator’s dedicated hardware platform, NovaCor, is at the heart of every simulation. Custom-developed and based on a powerful multicore processor, NovaCor can represent power systems and power electronics of varying sizes and complexities depending on the needs of the user.

Introducing NovaCor 2.0

We’re happy to introduce our latest generation of simulation hardware. Released in July 2023, NovaCor 2.0 is based on IBM’s POWER9 processor and has exciting new features and performance gains.

NovaCor board featuring IBM's POWER8 processor

Custom-integrated multicore processor: Faster and higher fidelity than off-the-shelf hardware

Inside each NovaCor unit is a custom-built board featuring IBM®’s POWER8™ processor. World-class engineers and developers have worked to ensure that simulations run directly on the processor for unparalleled speed and efficiency. Full control of the hardware platform allows RTDS Technologies to provide customers with the confidence that complex, long-term simulations will remain stable and accurate.

  • Larger networks, less hardware
  • Complex components, smaller timesteps
  • Consistent confidence, accurate results
Prior to running on the dedicated, high-speed hardware, the simulation is configured by the user in the RTDS Simulator’s software which runs on their PC.

How It Works

License multiple cores in a single unit

Choose to unlock between 1 and 10 cores on the processor of a NovaCor unit based on your current simulation needs. Additional cores can be unlocked to expand the system’s capabilities at any time.

Scale even further with multiple units

Additional NovaCor units can be added to your simulation system and can be used together to represent larger networks, or in parallel to handle multiple simulations.

Up to 144 units can be fully connected to represent massive networks using the IRC Switch and Global Bus Hub.

Add I/O cards to connect external devices

Connect input and output cards to fibre-optic ports on the rear of a NovaCor unit. Hundreds of channels can be handled on a single unit.

Conventional analogue and digital I/O (GTIO cards) are available, as well as communication-based I/O (via the GTNETx2 card).

RTDS Simulator – How it works

Flexible, scalable I/O over copper or Ethernet

  1. Analogue input and output: Our GTAO and GTAI cards can connect to external equipment directly at +/- 10 Vpeak, or can be interfaced via power amplifiers to create secondary-level signals. These cards connect to the rear of the NovaCor unit via fibre cable.
  2. Digital input and output: Our GTDO and GTDI cards connect to the rear of the NovaCor unit via fibre cable. The GTDO digital output card has a source driven output that can range from 5-30 V. The GTDI digital input card operates over an input range of 0-50 V. Our GTFPI provides dry operation input and output for relay contacts and can also allow for breaker status output up to 250 Vdc.
  3. Ethernet-based communication: Our GTNETx2 card provides an I/O interface to external equipment via various Ethernet-based communication protocols including MODBUS, TCP/IP, IEC 61850/61869-9 SV and GOOSE, DNP3, IEC 60870-5-104, and synchrophasor data for PMUs.
  4. Aurora protocol: Aurora licensing facilitates high-speed point-to-point communication with external devices via Xilinx’s lightweight serial protocol. Fibre cables are used to create a convenient digital link running at 2Gbps.

The GTSOC: New hardware for black box control simulation

The GTSOC is a new auxiliary hardware component for the RTDS Simulator. This rack-mountable unit features a powerful FPGA board with multi-processor system-on-a-chip technology to facilitate the integration of black box control models into the real-time power system simulation. This allows manufacturers to package up their proprietary control models for real-time simulator users while protecting their intellectual property. Users can run a detailed, accurate model of the vendor-specific controls without having the actual control hardware present.

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