Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) Simulations for Smart Grid Impact Studies

Bethany Sparn, Dheepak Krishnamurthy, Annabelle Pratt, Mark Ruth, Hongyu Wu

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

17 Scopus Citations


Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulations are increasingly employed in power engineering as more inverter-based generation and smart appliances are connected to the electric grid. HIL techniques allow for the co-simulation of analytical models with actual devices whose complex behavior is computationally inefficient or difficult to model. They also allow for testing the behavior of these devices under adverse conditions that rarely occur in the field but are important to evaluate. This paper provides an overview of how HIL simulations have been used to date and proposes that HIL simulations should play an important role in evaluating new control strategies, especially at the distribution level, that are being proposed to allow for continued affordable and reliable operation of the electric grid. We present a new capability that was developed to evaluate the interactions between residential loads and the smart grid: smart home hardware-in-the-loop. The paper includes results from an HIL experiment that incorporates multiple technologies and controls.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 21 Dec 2018
Event2018 IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting, PESGM 2018 - Portland, United States
Duration: 5 Aug 201810 Aug 2018


Conference2018 IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting, PESGM 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5500-70409 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-73339


  • Demand response
  • Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation
  • Home energy management system (HEMS)
  • Power system simulation
  • Smart grids.


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