Architecture of a network-in-the-Loop environment for characterizing AC power system behavior

Andrew J. Roscoe, Andrew Mackay, G.M. Burt, J.R. McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Citations (Scopus)
149 Downloads (Pure)


This paper describes the method by which a large hardware-in-the-loop environment has been realized for three-phase ac power systems. The environment allows an entire laboratory power-network topology (generators, loads, controls, protection devices, and switches) to be placed in the loop of a large power-network simulation. The system is realized by using a realtime power-network simulator, which interacts with the hardware via the indirect control of a large synchronous generator and by measuring currents flowing from its terminals. These measured currents are injected into the simulation via current sources to close the loop. This paper describes the system architecture and, most importantly, the calibration methodologies which have been developed to overcome measurement and loop latencies. In particular, a new "phase advance" calibration removes the requirement to add unwanted components into the simulated network to compensate for loop delay. The results of early commissioning experiments are demonstrated. The present system performance limits under transient conditions (approximately 0.25 Hz/s and 30 V/s to contain peak phase-and voltage-tracking errors within 5. and 1%) are defined mainly by the controllability of the synchronous generator.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1245-1253
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • calibration
  • digital control
  • electric variable measurement
  • power-system protection
  • power-system security
  • power-system simulation
  • power-system stability
  • real-time systems

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