This research topic focuses on creating a robust and flexible platform for testing, evaluation, and demonstration of cyber-physical distribution power systems (CPDPS). CPDPS 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 emerging control 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. Furthermore, a real-time power hardware-in-the-loop platform for testing control on microgrids was presented in [2]. 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 [3]. This platform uses smart meter data that can be connected to the National Smart Grid Lab.

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]–[3].

[1]          M. Z. Degefa, S. Sanchez-Acevedo, and R. Borgaonkar, ‘A Testbed for Advanced Distribution Management Systems: Assessment of Cybersecurity’, presented at the ISGT 2021, Espoo, FInland, 2021.
[2]          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.
[3]          H. Taxt and K. Ljøkelsøy, ‘Laboratorietest av måling av overharmoniske spenninger med AMS-måler’, SINTEF Energy Research, 2020.