Students Create Large Scale Power Testing System

Achievement date: 

Students from Arizona State University, Missouri University of Science and Technology, and Florida State University developed a new, large-scale system simulation (LSSS) testbed that mimics an actual electric power distribution network. The collaboration was a project of the Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Systems (FREEDM) Center. FREEDM is an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) headquartered at North Carolina State University (NC State), with partner institutions including those above.


Basing a testbed on a standardized system such as this one allows alternative designs to be studied without actually building a physical system. In addition, the impact of unexpected events, such as power outages, can be studied without the adverse effects upon customers of an actual outage.


Testbeds are commonly used in power engineering to evaluate the performance of systems under a wide range of system conditions. The model developed is used to test how various FREEDM-engineered features perform. Controls, utilization of renewable energy, customer energy delivery, and cost of energy can be calculated accommodating all the features of the FREEDM system. 

FREEDM students met in Tallahassee in November 2011 and March 2012 and developed their unique testbed based on a well-established model known as the Roy Billinton Test System (RBTS).  The FREEDM ERC’s website hosts the student-created LSSS, so that all researchers can work with it. This will result in a standardization of tests and the ability for researchers across organizations to make useful comparisons of their work. The use of the RBTS as part of the LSSS testbed will also allow researchers in venues outside FREEDM to evaluate their work from a common baseline with that of the ERC.