Cyber-Physical Test Platform for Microgrids: Combining Hardware, Hardware-in-the-Loop, and Network-Simulator-in-the-Loop

Austin Nelson, Qiang Cui, Pawan Singh, Siddharth Suryanarayanan, Dexin Wang, Liuqing Yang, Sudipta Chakraborty

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

27 Scopus Citations


This paper presents a cyber-physical testbed, developed to investigate the complex interactions between emerging microgrid technologies such as grid-interactive power sources, control systems, and a wide variety of communication platforms and bandwidths. The cyber-physical testbed consists of three major components for testing and validation: real time models of a distribution feeder model with microgrid assets that are integrated into the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) power hardware-in-the-loop (PHIL) platform; real-time capable network-simulator-in-the-loop (NSIL) models; and physical hardware including inverters and a simple system controller. Several load profiles and microgrid configurations were tested to examine the effect on system performance with increasing channel delays and router processing delays in the network simulator. Testing demonstrated that the controller's ability to maintain a target grid import power band was severely diminished with increasing network delays and laid the foundation for future testing of more complex cyber-physical systems.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2016
Event2016 Power and Energy Society General Meeting (PESGM) - Boston, Massachusetts
Duration: 17 Jul 201621 Jul 2016


Conference2016 Power and Energy Society General Meeting (PESGM)
CityBoston, Massachusetts

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5D00-65433


  • cyber-physical
  • distribution feeder
  • microgrid
  • network-simulator-in-the-loop
  • OMNeT++
  • Opal-RT
  • power hardware-in-the-loop
  • real time
  • testbed


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