Smart Microgrid and Renewable Technology (SMRT) Lab

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The Smart Microgrid and Renewable Technology (SMRT) lab is a power converter based microgrid testbed. The facility consists of four types of subsystems, i.e., two real-time simulators (RTS), two microgrid testbeds, two modular multilevel converters (MMCs), and one multi-agent system (MAS). The RTS (OP5700 and OP4200) are both from OPAL-RT®. The cross-platform MAS, the microgrid testbeds, and MMCs were all developed by in-house, mostly with basic components, such as inductors, capacitors, semiconductor ICs, and sensors, switches, etc.(footnote: Detailed introduction of the test-bed can be found in a recently published journal paper: W. Liu, J. Kim, C. Wang, W. Im, L. Liu, and H. Xu, “Power converters based advanced experimental platform for integrated study of power and controls,” IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics, vol. 14, no. 11, pp. 4940-4952, November 2018. LINK)

Diagram explaining the SMRT lab

Control of this microgrid testbed is done via a dual-core System on Chip (SoC) based control board. The system-level algorithms can be implemented with the ARM core and the component- level algorithms can be implemented with the DSP core. Since the MAS can be implemented with the ARM core and the control structure can be flexibly customized, all kinds of control schemes can be investigated with the microgrid testbed. A power system or a microgrid can be simulated by real-time simulator, emulated through power hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation, or hardware experimentation. The testbed can also support a wide range of power electronics studies by reconfiguring the modular converters. Future plan is to develop a new medium voltage hybrid (5,000 V DC and 4,160 V 60/240Hz AC) microgrid testbed with the new wide bandgap (silicon carbide and gallium nitride) devices. By performing tests with the facilities, we can significantly improve the technology readiness level (TRL) of our research on power and energy systems