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Power Systems Modeling

Photo of a man in front of various computer screens.

The Energy Systems Integration Facility enables power hardware-in-the-loop testing to evaluate advanced technologies at utility scale.
Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL

NREL conducts modeling and simulation of distributed energy power systems to simulate distributed energy components in a grid-tied environment.

Additionally, NREL researchers develop models of the electric power distribution system in order to develop and optimize strategies for effectively interconnecting power electronic connected renewable resources with the existing electric power system.

Distribution System Modeling and Simulation

NREL models electrical distribution systems to determine power flow and quality, voltage drop, short-circuit characteristics, protection coordination, and stability. Modeling capabilities include:

  • Steady-state analysis (single point or time-series)
  • Dynamic analysis
  • Transient.

Modeling Integration

NREL's modeling integration capabilities include:

  • Coupling of measured distribution system data with a model in order to provide real-time capability and validate and improve models
  • Power hardware-in-the-loop integration of distribution system models with simulations of related systems such as power electronic devices and photovoltaics in real time
  • Real-time visualization of measured and modeled distribution systems
  • Web application-based user interfaces for visualization and control of models.

Modeling Applications

NREL develops modeling applications for use in the following:

  • Distribution system planning:
  • Placement of generation
  • Optimal dispatch and control of assets
  • Studies of high-penetration renewables scenarios
  • Validation of individual power system components in a distribution system:
  • Rapid prototyping of new power system components
  • Smart Grid interoperability testing.

Learn about NREL's recent power systems modeling project.