Evaluation of the communication delay in a hybrid real-time simulator for weak grids

Sisi Pan, Wei Jiang, Ming Li, Hua Geng, Jieyun Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


Real-time Simulation (RTS) is one of the effective means via which to study device level or system level dynamics, such as power converter online testing, evaluation, and control, and power system stability analysis. The RTS -enabled design-chain offers a time -effective, low-cost, and fail-safe development process. As the penetration of renewable energy is becoming higher, the demand in hybrid system real-time simulation becomes imperative, where fast-dynamic device level power converters and slow -dynamic large -scale power systems are simulated at the same time. This paper introduces a novel hybrid real-time simulation architecture based on the central processing unit (CPU) and the field-programmable gate array (FPGA). Compared with the off-the-shelf power system real-time simulation system, it offers both wide time scale simulation and high accuracy. The multi-time scale model can perform electromechanical electromagnetic transient hybrid simulation, which can be applied to the research of power systems penetrated with power converters. In the proposed simulation platform, the communication delay is introduced when different RTS platforms exchange real-time data. The communication delay should be considered in the stability analysis of the grid-connected inverters in a weak grid environment. Based on the virtual impedance characteristic formed by the control loop with and without communication delay, the impedance characteristics are analyzed and inter-simulator delay impacts are revealed in this paper. Theoretical analysis indicates that the communication delay, contrary to expectation, can improve the virtual impedance characteristics of the system. With the same hardware simulation parameters, the grid-converter system is verified on both the Typhoon system alone and the Typhoon-dSPACE-SpaceR hybrid simulation platform. The THD value of grid current in a weak grid environment that works in the Typhoon system is 4.98%, and 2.38% in the Typhoon-dSPACE-SpaceR hybrid simulation platform. This study eventually reveals the fact that the inter-simulation delay creates the illusion that the control system built in the novel hybrid real-time simulation is more stable under weak grid conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2255
Number of pages16
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2022


  • hybrid real-time simulator
  • communication delay
  • virtual impedance characteristic


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