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Architecture of a network-in-the-Loop environment for characterizing AC power system behavior

Roscoe, Andrew J. and Mackay, Andrew and Burt, G.M. and McDonald, J.R. (2010) Architecture of a network-in-the-Loop environment for characterizing AC power system behavior. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, 57 (4). pp. 1245-1253. ISSN 0278-0046

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This paper describes the method by which a large hardware-in-the-loop environment has been realized for three-phase ac power systems. The environment allows an entire laboratory power-network topology (generators, loads, controls, protection devices, and switches) to be placed in the loop of a large power-network simulation. The system is realized by using a realtime power-network simulator, which interacts with the hardware via the indirect control of a large synchronous generator and by measuring currents flowing from its terminals. These measured currents are injected into the simulation via current sources to close the loop. This paper describes the system architecture and, most importantly, the calibration methodologies which have been developed to overcome measurement and loop latencies. In particular, a new "phase advance" calibration removes the requirement to add unwanted components into the simulated network to compensate for loop delay. The results of early commissioning experiments are demonstrated. The present system performance limits under transient conditions (approximately 0.25 Hz/s and 30 V/s to contain peak phase-and voltage-tracking errors within 5. and 1%) are defined mainly by the controllability of the synchronous generator.