A Power Hardware-in-the-Loop Platform With Remote Distribution Circuit Cosimulation

Bryan Palmintier, Blake Lundstrom, Tess Williams, Kevin Schneider, D. Chassin, Sudipta Chakraborty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus Citations


This paper demonstrates a novel cosimulation architecture that integrates hardware testing using power hardware-in-the-loop (PHIL) techniques with larger-scale electric grid models using off-the-shelf non-PHIL software tools. This test bed for distributed integration enables utilities to study the impacts of emerging energy technologies on their system and manufacturers to explore the interactions of new devices with existing and emerging devices on the power system, both without the need to convert existing grid models to a new platform or to conduct in-field trials. This paper describes an implementation of this architecture for testing two residential-scale advanced solar inverters at separate points of common coupling (PCCs). The same hardware setup is tested with two different distribution feeders (IEEE 123 and 8500 node test systems) modeled using GridLAB-D. In addition to simplifying testing with multiple feeders, the architecture demonstrates additional flexibility with hardware testing in one location linked via the Internet to software modeling in a remote location. In testing, the inverter current, real and reactive power, and PCC voltage are well captured by the cosimulation platform. Testing of the inverter advanced control features is currently somewhat limited by the software model time step (1 s) and tested communication latency (24 ms). These limitations could be overcome using faster modeling and communication within the same cosimulation architecture.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number6971120
Pages (from-to)2236-2245
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5D00-61697


  • co-simulation
  • distributed power generation
  • power hardware-in-the-loop (PHIL)
  • power system simulation
  • solar power generation
  • testing
  • voltage control


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