The Microgrid Research Team at PUCMM team has an ongoing program with two lines of research each investigating the impact of microgrids on increasing the resilience of the energy distribution networks in the face of climate-driven events, and the state-of-the-art technologies (Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) Lab), tools (RT-LAB, Matlab&Simulink, OpendSS, QGIS) and techniques (Dynamic Formation of Microgrids, Fault Detection, Multi-Agent Control Strategies) that will be needed in the near future for its implementation.  

To know more download the project’s brief Executive Summary.


FEATURED RESEARCH

OpenDSS-Based Distribution Network Analyzer in Open-Source GIS Environment Implementation in EDENORTE’s VOLG101

In order to assess and study the impact of Distributed Generation, and the design of Microgrid Architecture in the Medium Voltage (MV) and Low Voltage (LV) networks, it is necessary to have advanced simulation tools and detailed models of the Distribution Network and its components. To make these simulations more flexible and accessible, open-source software tools such as OpenDSS (Open Distribution System Simulator) are now frequently used by Utilities and Research Laboratories across the globe.

Simulation results with these tools highly depend on the quality and availability of network data (type, material, size and length of conductors, location and capacity of distribution transformers and capacitors) which is typically stored in the GIS (Geographical Information Systems) of power utilities. Plugins and software packages have been recently developed to create an OpenDSS-based simulation tool powered by an open source GIS software environment, which translates the Geographic Information System (GIS) data into its corresponding network models (QGIS2OPENDSS).

To know more check our blog post the implementation of OpenDSS on EDENORTE’s Technical Management Department of Distribution Network Planning and Study



ONGOING RESEARCH

Power hardware-in-the-loop (PHIL) testbed

Development and testing of MGs control solutions requires detailed modeling of various components that operate on a large spectrum of time constants, from seconds and minutes for DER operations to milliseconds for fault protection. To tackle that challenge we will be using the latest real-time hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation platforms, that will allow for accurate representation of stability and protection-related phenomena. By combining the HIL techniques and computationally advanced real-time systems, the flexibilities of both the MG testbed and its test conditions can be improved significantly. To the best of our knowledge, the hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testbed proposed in this work will be the first one developed in the country.

This real-time simulator environment allows to evaluate several grid topology scenarios. From stability analysis after unplanned MG islanding due to upstream faults to resynchronization reconnection strategies of the MG to the utility grid. Our laboratory testbed takes advantage of the benefits offered by the Power Hardware in the Loop (PHIL) simulation systems. This type of simulation allows the interaction of physical power devices, such as synchronous generators, with virtual controllers or devices. These virtual stages can be model by mathematic modelling tools and implemented on MATLAB / Simulink® environment. PHIL simulation requires a real time processing hardware, capable of interfacing the signals of the real system with the virtual controllers and devices. The proposed methodology requires the following laboratory equipment (See Figure 1) .

 Real time simulation set-up for MGs systems.

To know more check our blog post the Microgrid Power Hardware-in-the-Loop (PHIL) blog on the Purposes, Objectives and Configuration.