The Microgrid Testbed

Controller Hardware in the Loop testing of Microgrid Control Systems.

What is a microgrid?

Microgrid is a collection of distributed energy resources (DER), such as solar inverters, wind turbines, battery inverters, diesel gensets, etc., that can operate both in the grid connected and the islanded mode. DERs insure high power quality and can also provide ancillary services to the grid, such as frequency and voltage regulation.


Why HIL Microgrid Testbed?

A Microgrid Testbed is a collection of HIL devices with integrated protection relays, microgrid controllers and controllers of solar inverters, battery inverters, diesel gensets and fuel cells.


What is the purpose of the Microgrid Testbed?

The main purpose of the Microgrid Testbed is to comprehensively test controller’s hardware, firmware, software and communications under all operating conditions including faults in both the islanded and grid-connected mode.

Moreover, Microgrid Testbed can perform all its tests and generate its test reports also in the fully automatic mode, thus boosting the productivity and improving test coverage even further.


How does the C-HIL Microgrid Testbed work?

DER and distribution system hardware models comprising smart inverter hardware, PV panels, batteries, transformers, generators, switches, cables, active and passive loads etc. are running inside a HIL device with a 1 μs time step. Smart inverter controllers control the operation of smart inverter models. Relays control the protective switches and microgrid controllers provide the overall supervisory control.

In other words the Microgrid Testbed has identical control system as a real microgrid, only the power hardware is digitized within the HIL devices.

A new benchmark in protection testing

Shortest time to the most complete test coverage

The real Microgrid Testbed magic starts when you connect your actual hardware relays to your Microgrid Testbed. Then you can really put your microgrid or distribution grid through its paces. With Typhoon HIL API and Python scripts, you can fully automate testing against short circuits, phase losses, overvoltages, low and over voltage ride throughs and component failures. If that is not enough, the Microgrid Testbed allows you to conduct a sensitivity analysis of the whole network in real-time. With protection relays and all control components being real and with the unparalleled accuracy of Typhoon HIL’s industry-proven advanced numerical modelling algorithms, you can check if your microgrid is safe and protected while it is still on the drawing board, giving you ample time to make your microgrid control software 100% safe for the final handover to the client. Alternatively, if you are a utility company, you can also use the Microgrid Testbed to check if a microgrid is going to be safe for use in your network. Of course, all in real time.

From a nano-second to a minute time scale

With multi-rate execution and scalability, no microgrid is too large and no test scenario is too complex

Multi-rate execution

HIL simulators in your Typhoon HIL Microgrid Testbed can be configured on-the-fly to work either as ultra-high-fidelity simulators with a 1 µs time step to simulate the highly dynamic parts of your circuit or with, for example, a 10 µs time step to simulate the less dynamic parts of it. Each HIL simulator can be configured independently of the others and each HIL simulator can be assigned a specific part of the circuit. This means that you can simulate extremely complex microgrids. Additionally, this also allows you to optimize your simulation to make the best use of the processing power available in your Microgrid Testbed.

Scalability: power in numbers

The modular Microgrid Testbed allows your microgrid model to grow in size. Simply daisy-chain HIL simulators and run them in parallel when you need to model large microgrids. Whether you need to model a single customer microgrid, a partial feeder microgrid, a full feeder microgrid or even a full substation microgrid, you can rely on the Typhoon HIL Microgrid Testbed to get the job done.

We speak your language

The Microgrid Testbed supports all major communication protocols, such as ModBus and IEC 61850.

Integrating different protocols allows you to easily optimize your microgrid control software algorithms for integration with the existing substation communication protocols. However, the support for the most important communication protocols also opens up a whole world of new possibilities. Namely, given that each HIL simulator in the Microgrid Testbed can interface with a number of different hardware controllers and given its communication capabilities, Typhoon HIL Microgrid Testbed can also be used as a backend for other forms of testing.

For example, your Microgrid Testbed can be the bedrock for smart grid security testing in real-life conditions where different controllers interact with the grid as they are subject to penetration testing: this is something that goes well beyond software-only ethical penetration testing scenarios which focus on a single device, because the Microgrid Testbed allows you to assess the impact of penetration on the operation of an entire microgrid, relevant substations or even the grid as a whole.

Monitor your microgrid operation via SCADA

The Microgrid Testbed has an integrated HIL SCADA which allows you to monitor all functions of your simulated microgrid, to interact with hardware control components and to use their communication infrastructure.

With Typhoon SCADA even the most complex test environments can be monitored with only a couple of mouse clicks, as the test environment is 100% customizable thanks to a wide selection of drag-and-drop gauges, meters, trace graphs, and monitors. If the screen is too small for all the UI elements which you need, simply undock HIL SCADA window and move it to another monitor in a multi-monitor setup, or stretch it across multiple monitors.


To top it off, each UI element in HIL SCADA can be programmed through Python scripts and controlled through Typhoon HIL API, allowing you an unparalleled control of your test process, as well as automated capture of the data in the simulation run and automatic generation of highly-detailed test reports.

Wanna heat some cables while HIL testing? We invite you to try the industry leading P-HIL solution.

One microsecond HIL and ultra-high bandwidth switching power amplifiers from SPS bring the next-level power hardware in the loop performance (P-HIL) to the converter testing and to the microgrid testing market.

Safe and scalable power.

When switching from emulated to real power, you do not have to scale-down the device(s) under test. Whether you need 110 Vrms or 240 Vrms, 10 kW or 400 kW, 150 ARMS or 1200 ARMS, the scalable SPS power amplifier will meet your requirements.