Distributed Control of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) and Cyber Attack Modeling Testbed

  • Khazaei, Javad (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) have widely been deployed in smart grid systems over the past decade and traditional centralized control approaches do not provide flexibility nor security in control of these inherently distributed DERs. In addition, cybersecurity is a serious challenge in cyber-physical systems, including naval microgrids and smart grids. This work proposes the acquisition of a high-performance distributed control testbed to facilitate distributed control implementation, hardware tests, and cyber attack modeling and analysis in power systems and naval microgrids. The testbed includes a real-time simulator and a power amplifier to be connected to the existing facility for hardware validations. The testbed, currently unavailable at any of Penn State campuses, will enable new research areas in development and testing of distributed controllers for DERs using communications between neighbors, linear programming modeling of cyber attacks in cyber-physical systems, big data analysis application to naval power systems, and Hardware-In-the-Loop (HIL) 1 tests of a microgrid resembling naval power system for platform level energy storage application and modular control algorithm design.Current support from the DURIP program helped the Pennsylvania Power and Light (PPL) microgrid laboratory at Penn State Harrisburg (PSH) to develop a plug-and-play 45kW microgrid system, which facilitates integration of new components/technologies to the system with minimum modification of the system. The existing system resembles a naval micrgorid system, except the propulsion system and its controller does not exist in the existing micrgorid laboratory. Therefore, the research capability of the existing system in the area of interest of DoD is limited. Acquisition of the proposed testbed will build upon the existing facility and enables exploring new research areas, which not only align with the naval power systems technology development roadmap, but also will eventually enhance the research quality at Penn State.The proposed instrument will also enhance the research-related education by designing new courses and incorporating the testbed in laboratory components of the existing courses in power systems area. Also, the remote accessibility of the proposed testbed provides opportunity for wide range of users in various locations. Considering the fact that a real-time smart grid simulator is not available at any Penn State University (PSU) campuses, the new instrumentation will provide opportunities for multidisciplinary collaborations between researchers at several state and regional universities and industry partners.Since the existing structure of the PSH microrgrid laboratory supports the plug-and-play feature, the proposed instrument is interfaced with the existing facility without a need for extra components. Finally, as the proposed testbed integrates multiple hardware/software components, the componentscan be updated as needed. Therefore, the proposed instrument will be useful for a long time.

Effective start/end date6/1/20 → …


  • U.S. Navy: $111,699.00


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