Distributed Power Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing Using a Grid-Forming Converter as Power Interface

Steffen Vogel*, Ha Thi Nguyen, Marija Stevic, Tue Vissing Jensen, Kai Heussen, Vetrivel Subramaniam Rajkumar, Antonello Monti

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    This paper presents an approach to extend the capabilities of smart grid laboratories through the concept of Power Hardware-in-the-Loop (PHiL) testing by re-purposing existing grid-forming converters. A simple and cost-effective power interface, paired with a remotely located Digital Real-time Simulator (DRTS), facilitates Geographically Distributed Power Hardware Loop (GD-PHiL) in a quasi-static operating regime. In this study, a DRTS simulator was interfaced via the public internet with a grid-forming ship-to-shore converter located in a smart-grid testing laboratory, approximately 40 km away from the simulator. A case study based on the IEEE 13-bus distribution network, an on-load-tap-changer (OLTC) controller and a controllable load in the laboratory demonstrated the feasibility of such a setup. A simple compensation method applicable to this multi-rate setup is proposed and evaluated. Experimental results indicate that this compensation
    method significantly enhances the voltage response, whereas the conservation of energy at the coupling point still poses a challenge. Findings also show that, due to inherent limitations of the converter’s Modbus interface, a separate measurement setup is preferable. This can help achieve higher measurement fidelity, while simultaneously increasing the loop rate of the PHiL setup.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number3770
    Number of pages24
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • Geographically distributed real-time simulation
    • Remote power hardware-in-the-Loop
    • Grid-forming converter
    • Hardware-in-the-loop
    • Simulation fidelity
    • Energy-based metric
    • Energy residual
    • Quasi-stationary


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