June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
Energy Conversion and Conservation
14.226.1 - 14.226.10
Applications of Real Time Digital Simulator in Power System Education and Research
Students often perceive power engineering as an old or established field. This perception lies in the inability to show abstract concepts and new control technologies using hardware in the classroom or laboratory. New ways to effectively present the novel power system operation and control concepts are needed. Real Time Modeling and Simulation (RTMS) can be used as an approach for enhancing power engineering education and research. RTMS gives students and researchers the opportunity to witness first hand how a moderately large power system behaves and can be used to demonstrate modeling, hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) concepts, system disturbances of various types, and proper recovery actions, as well as to explain complex power system concepts. The Real Time Digital Simulator (RTDS) is an effective tool for modeling and simulation of power and control systems. RTDS hardware employs high-speed DSP (digital signal processor) chips, operating in parallel, to compute simulation results with simulation step sizes as small as two microseconds. This paper discusses projects and activities used in both teaching and research activities to provide exposure of the Real Time Digital Simulator (RTDS) for power system applications.
The approach to teaching traditional power system topics needs to be revisited to ensure that the new graduates are equipped with the required knowledge needed in a more competitive industry. Also these new pedagogical approaches need to renew interest in power engineering to match with increasing demands for power engineering graduates in the coming years. Restructuring and deregulation of the power industry, recent blackouts and discussions about smart grids are helping to reinvigorate interest and provide increased attention to careers in power engineering. Investigating new approaches to teach power engineering courses was encouraged by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1997 by soliciting educational research projects targeted at developing innovative teaching tools in this area. Several grants from the funding agency were used to enhance undergraduate and graduate studies and research in energy systems1. Modeling and simulation emerged as one of the preferred teaching approaches based on several educational research studies done in the literature2.
A project aimed at developing computer exercises for use in teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in the power engineering area is described in reference3. An extensive use of the simulation technology to enhance a student’s understanding of the fundamentals including practical solutions has been discussed4,5. The authors have pointed out that current power engineering education has been influenced greatly by the difficulty of fully analyzing the large and complex power system, which is relatively inflexible in terms of adopting new technology developments. Power faculty are faced with a difficult choice between presenting small problems that students can grasp versus larger problems based on simulations which exhibit the true nature of the power system, but tend to overwhelm the student. The solution lies in exposing the
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