This research topic focuses on creating a robust and flexible platform for testing, evaluation, and demonstration of cyber-physical power distribution systems (CPPDS). CPPDS consists of the physical system (such as transformers and lines) tightly integrated with cyber systems (control, information, and communication functions). A key challenge to facilitate the implementation of cyber-physical systems in real distribution grids is the development of these test platforms to test the different layers of functionalities. The testbed should be able to replicate and accurately capture realistic cyber and physical subsystems in a controlled environment for distribution system operations, control, and security.

CINELDI has worked extensively on developing a platform that can test new operational functions, emerging control methods and monitoring technologies using the National Smart Grid Lab. For example, the implementation of an Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) is presented in [1], The testbed is used for cybersecurity assessment of smart power distribution grid operation use case of TSO-DSO coordinated reactive power management. The testbed is further extended to characterize the opportunities and challenges of near-to-real-time data exchange for TSO-DSO operational coordination as documented in [2]. Other control algorithms, such as in [3], are tested in simulation and are in the pipeline to be validated in this testbed for its resilience against cyber security intrusions.

A real-time power hardware-in-the-loop platform for testing control on microgrids was presented in [4]. The platform can integrate power converters with simulated grids. This can be used to test the performance of control strategies under realistic grid conditions. A test platform for testing smart meters in the context of power quality was done in [5]. This platform uses smart meter data that can be connected to the National Smart Grid lab.

In [6], a combination of Cloud-Native software to build an on-premises Platform as a Service for a security lab is proposed. A smart grid cyber-physical testbed for protection systems is presented in [7] consisting of power system applications deployed on OPAL-RT, a real-time platform, and a 5G communication network modelled in ns-3.

The most significant result within the research area is the implementation of a cyber-physical testbed integrating emulators, simulators, and real devices in two layers: one physical, that can exchange power and energy, and one cyber that exchange information. The platform can be easily reconfigured to represent realistic distribution systems. The result can help to accelerate the deployment of new technologies and provide data collection, visualization, evaluation, and testing in a controlled environment before new technologies are deployed in real environments [1]–[5].

Selected publications from CINELDI:

  1. M. Z. Degefa, S. Sanchez-Acevedo, and R. Borgaonkar, "A Testbed for Advanced Distribution Management Systems: Assessment of Cybersecurity," presented at the ISGT, Espoo, FInland, 2021.
  2. M. Z. Degefa, H. Lundkvist, S. Sanchez-Acevedo, and K. N. Gregertsen, "Challenges of TSO-DSO Voltage Regulation Under Real-Time Data Exchange Paradigm," IEEE Open Journal of the Industrial Electronics Society, 2023.
  3. J. R. A. Klemets, and M. Z. Degefa, "A Distributed Algorithm for Controlling Continuous and Discrete Variables in a Radial Distribution Grid," IEEE Access, 11, pp.2488-2499, 2023.
  4. R. E. Torres-Olguin, T. T. Mguyen, and S. Sanchez-Acevedo, "Development of Real-time Power Hardware-in-the-loop microgrid simulation platform", CINELDI Internal (memo), Aug. 2020.
  5. H. Taxt and K. Ljøkelsøy, "Laboratorietest av måling av overharmoniske spenninger med AMS-måler", CINELDI Internal (memo), 2020.
  6. H. Teppan, L. H. Flå, and M.G. Jaatun, "A Survey on Infrastructure-as-Code Solutions for Cloud Development," in 2022 IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing Technology and Science (CloudCom) (pp. 60-65). IEEE.
  7. C.M. Adrah, M.K. Katoulaei, T. Amare, and D. Palma, "A real-time cyber-physical testbed to assess protection system traffic over 5G networks," In 2022 IEEE International Conference on Communications, Control, and Computing Technologies for Smart Grids (SmartGridComm) (pp. 71-75). IEEE.