Center for Energy Systems Research

Smart Grid Lab

Simulated Electric Grid Testbed with Hardware in the Loop

At the Smart Grid Laboratory, the Electrical Substation Testbed (Figure 1) allows real-time simulations of power systems with hardware in-the-loop, such as protective relays and communication devices. The Electrical Substation Testbed is based on the state-of-the-art digital signal processing technology, by non-real-time and real-time simulators. In the computer real-time simulation, the power system is carried out with digital real-time simulation of the electric power system, reproducing the voltage and current waveforms, with the desired accuracy that are representative of the behavior of the real power system being modeled.

The Electrical Substation Testbed has five rack panels with a computer real-time simulator, satellite synchronize clock, communication processor, protective relays, and relay test systems (Figure 2). Smart grid applications are explored by using protection, control, communication and measurement functions of protective relays. Protection, control and communication systems for electrical substations can be evaluated for large power systems by using the computer real-time simulator. Actually, an adaptive overcurrent protection for a microgrid based on programmable logic and math operators has been performed, by validating the selectivity, speed and reliability. In the future, we want to upgrade our Electrical Substation Testbed with a Synchrophasor and SCADA system that will be applied in power system control and monitoring activities for research and education.


  • RTS – Computer Real-time simulator
  • HVIP – High voltage interface panel
  • SSC – Satellite synchronize clock
  • CP – Communication processor
  • GPSA – Global positioning system antenna
  • PR – Protective relay
  • RTS – relay test system

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