Reconfigurable Real-Time Power Grid Emulator for Systems with High Penetration of Renewables

Leon M. Tolbert, Fred Wang, Kevin Tomsovic, Kai Sun, Jingxin Wang, Yiwei Ma, Yunting Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Novel power system control and new utility devices need to be tested before their actual deployment to the power grid. To assist with such a testing need, real-time digital emulators such as RTDS and Opal-RT can be used to connect to the physical world and form a hardware in the loop (HIL) emulation. However, due to the limitations of today's computational resources, the accuracy and fidelity suffer from different levels of model reductions in purely digital simulations. CURENT has developed a reconfigurable electric grid hardware testbed (HTB) to overcome the limitations of digital emulators. The HTB has been used to develop measurement, control, modeling, and actuation techniques for a national grid with a high penetration of renewables. The power electronic-based system includes emulators for synchronous generators; photovoltaics with grid-interfacing inverter; wind turbines; induction motor loads, ZIP loads, power electronic loads; batteries; ac and dc transmission lines; short circuit faults and grid relay protection; and a multiterminal HVDC overlay including power electronics interfaces. The system contains real elements of power flow, measurement, communication, protection, and control that mimic what would be seen in an actual electric grid. This paper presents an overview of the HTB and several scenarios that have been run to determine control and actions needed for the future power grid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9220900
Pages (from-to)489-500
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Open Access Journal of Power and Energy
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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