Development of a geographically distributed real-time test facility

Avras, A and Jennet, K and Syed, M H and Smailes, M (2022) Development of a geographically distributed real-time test facility. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 2362 (1). 012002. ISSN 1742-6588 (

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Europe's electric power network is entering a period of extreme flux as we move to an era where it is dominated by non-linear, asynchronous generation such as wind power plants. The rapid rise of new technologies in this space has led to increasingly complex interactions within the power network that are difficult to cover through traditional test regimes. Existing facilities are not fully equipped to address these new system orientated challenges and while investing in new sites and facilities is one way forward, this is likely to be prohibitively expensive and runs the risk of only being applicable to niche applications. This work presents the first stage in an alternative approach which seeks to address these challenges through the pooling of existing resources. In this concept, geographically distributed test facilities are combined virtually to create new capabilities and perform complex system level validations. This can be done through a Geographically Distributed – Power Hardware in the Loop (GD-PHIL) setup. To achieve this, each site requires a PHIL setup allowing the Device Under Test (DUT) to interact in real time with a simulation. This work will present the outcome of the first step towards the development of such a network, developing and demonstrating the stable communications interfaces necessary to link geographically distributed real time simulators from two different manufacturers.