This presentation describes Hardware in the Loop (HiL) testing use cases implemented at an electric power utility. With the impact of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) becoming increasingly more complex to evaluate, new tools are required. The use of Electro-Magnetic Transient (EMT) tools are able to evaluate some of the impacts, however since those tools do not utilize closed loop feedback, test/validation of solutions is limited to a single device’s response. This is sufficient for many applications however with the implementation of utility scale Inverter Based Microgrids the analysis, testing, and validation of the system become paramount. It was identified that Hardware in the Loop testing was needed to capture the full impact and validate the settings of the inverters, the system protection, and the automation programming.
After the initial investment for DERs/Microgrids we started looking at the other uses cases we could test. The presentation will cover some of those other uses cases, and go into depth on an advanced Fault Isolation Restoration Scheme that was developed and tested in the lab. The Fault Isolation Restoration Scheme required testing 10 switchgear relays, two automation controllers, and network equipment as a system. This presentation will cover the results and lessons learned during testing. The testing has negated the need for extensive field testing and allowed the construction team to install and commission-in-place a pre-tested system. Benefits of this testing include finding deficiencies in the lab vs. the field, reducing unexpected impacts to customers during field testing, improving the scalability and visibility of how these systems operate, and reducing the amount of time required for testing, commissioning, and SCADA integration of these systems.
Babak Bryan Hosseini, Duke Energy