Thanks to the rapid deployment of smart grid infrastructure, orchestrating distributed energy
resources (DER) to provide services to distribution and transmission networks is becoming an
increasingly plausible concept. Furthermore, instead of being a major source of uncertainty at the
transmission level, a large number of small-scale DER (e.g., residential batteries and PVs) can also be
a source of flexibility such as the capability of providing primary frequency response (PFR) services.
However, before these concepts become a reality, their technical feasibility must be fully demonstrated
To this end, hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation is a powerful technique that allows advanced
schemes to be evaluated in a realistic, real-time, environment. This platform enables demonstration of
distribution-transmission interactions to further the understanding of DER’s impact at the system level
and the benefits of DER providing PFR.
As penetrations of both PV and BES Systems increase, conventional generation’s supply of energy
at a system level is displaced. This displacement also reduces system inertia and the supply of ancillary
services (e.g. PFR), potentially leading to inadequate system resources to stabilize the frequency
following a credible contingency. Inadequate scheduled PFR in the system can lead to severe frequency
excisions (e.g. leading to under-frequency load shedding). It has been shown that both PV and PV+BES
systems are fast acting and capable of injecting power following a fall in frequency. Therefore, if these
DER devices are controlled (e.g. droop), they can autonomously help mitigate the negative system
impacts of PV and BES by supplying PFR.
This presentation introduces a research project at The University of Melbourne that exploits the HIL
capability of the RTDS Simulator to demonstrate advanced concepts for future smart grids. The project
aims to demonstrate the ability to provide primary frequency response (PFR) at the transmission level
from the aggregate response of household PV and BES systems. The required droop setting for
household DER are evaluated dynamically throughout the day, to ensure frequency is stabilized after a
credible generation contingency.
The demonstration employs the RTDS Simulator and the control room-like environment at the Smart
Grid Lab (of The University of Melbourne) to create a realistic testing platform with a commercial SCADA
platform to create a realistic, real-time visualisation experience of the system. Results from the
demonstration show that the coordination of DER will have a vital role in supporting the operations of
future distribution and transmission networks.
Dillon Jaglal, University of Melbourne