The RTDS Simulator is a real time power system simulation tool used worldwide for the closed-loop testing of protection and control equipment, HVDC and FACTS scheme testing, phasor measurement unit (PMU) simulation, power electronics simulation, distributed generation studies, and more.

The RTDS Simulator is the world standard for real time power system simulation. It is used by all of the world’s major protection and control equipment manufacturers, as well as by leading electric utilities, educational institutions, and research facilities around the world.

The RTDS Simulator consists of custom hardware and all-in-one software, specifically designed to perform real time ElectroMagnetic Transient (EMT) simulations. It operates continuously in real time while providing accurate results over a frequency range from DC to 3 kHz.  This range provides a greater depth of analysis than traditional stability or load flow programs which study phenomenon within a very limited frequency range.

The RTDS Simulator’s custom hardware is capable of simulating complex networks using a typical time step of 25-50 µs.  The simulator also allows for small timestep subnetworks that operate with timesteps in the range of 1-4 µs for simulation of fast switching power electronic devices (e.g. VSC bridges with PWM switching).  The hardware is comprised of modular chassis, each containing a powerful multicore processor and allowing scalable access through the licensing of 1 to 10 cores per chassis. Overall system expansion and full connectivity of up to 60 chassis is supported.

Custom Hardware

The current generation of simulation hardware for the RTDS Simulator is called NovaCor. The NovaCor platform is based on chassis, each containing a powerful multicore processor and allowing scalable access through the licensing of cores. Multiple chassis are housed in cubicles. As simulation requirements increase, the user can license additional cores or add more chassis to their system. Many different cores and chassis can be involved in one real time simulation.

RTDS Simulator cubicles include standard DIN rails for the installation of I/O cards and other components. The I/O cards available from RTDS Technologies allow the Simulator to be interfaced with external equipment such as protective relays.

Custom Software

RTDS Technologies’ proprietary software, designed specifically for interfacing to the RTDS Simulator hardware, is called RSCAD®. RSCAD is a user-friendly interface, intended to create a working environment familiar to the power system engineer.

RSCAD is an all-in-one package, containing all facilities that the user needs to prepare and run simulations, and to view and analyze results. This eliminates the need for third-party products. RSCAD is provided with a site license, which means that an unlimited number of users can use it at a given site—there is no per-seat fee.

Since the RTDS Simulator operates in continuous real time, the simulated power system can “operate” in a manner similar to a real power system. As simulation parameters are modified and contingencies are applied, the user can watch the power system respond in real time.

The Advantage of Real Time

The RTDS Simulator operates continuously in real time, meaning that analytical studies can be performed much faster than with offline simulation programs. Complex networks are simulated using a typical timestep of 25-50 μs. Small timestep subnetworks operating with timesteps in the range of 1-4 μs simulate fast switching power electronic devices.