Real-Time Coupling of Geographically Distributed Research Infrastructures: Taxonomy, Overview, and Real-World Smart Grid Applications

Mazheruddin Syed, Efren Guillo-Sansano, Yu Wang, Steffen Vogel, Peter Palensky, Graeme Burt, Yan Xu, Antonello Monti, Rob Hovsapian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus Citations


Novel concepts enabling a resilient future power system and their subsequent experimental evaluation are experiencing a steadily growing challenge: large scale complexity and questionable scalability. The requirements on a research infrastructure (RI) to cope with the trends of such a dynamic system therefore grow in size, diversity and costs, making the feasibility of rigorous advancements questionable by a single RI. Analysis of large scale system complexity has been made possible by the real-time coupling of geographically separated RIs undertaking geographically distributed simulations (GDS), the concept of which brings the equipment, models and expertise of independent RIs, in combination, to optimally address the challenge. This article presents the outputs of IEEE PES Task Force on Interfacing Techniques for Simulation Tools towards standardization of GDS as a concept. First, the taxonomy for setups utilized for GDS is established followed by a comprehensive overview of the advancements in real-time couplings reported in literature. The overview encompasses fundamental technological design considerations for GDS. The article further presents four application oriented case studies (real-world implementations) where GDS setups have been utilized, demonstrating their practicality and potential in enabling the analysis of future complex power systems.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number71
Pages (from-to)1747-1760
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Smart Grid
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5C00-79633


  • distributed laboratories
  • geographically distributed research infrastructures
  • Geographically distributed simulations
  • multi-site simulations
  • power and energy systems validation
  • real-time coupling of geographically distributed research infrastructures
  • real-time simulations
  • remote coupling


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