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NetPower DemoLab

With the DERlab network of excellence, NetPower DemoLab is hosting and supporting RTD activities contributing to the security and reliability of distributed generation in the power grid, especially addressing component reliability and security, distributed systems reliability and security and communication security on the control, supervisory control and integration levels.

DERlab's intention is to provide reference-lab support for the sustainable integration of distributed renewable energy resources (DER) and distributed generation (DG) in the European electricity supply by describing common requirements, developing quality criteria, and supporting international pre-standardisation activities. The network is elaborating and proposing test and certification procedures concerning connection, safety, operation and communication of DG components and systems, being present in more than a dozen European and International standardisation committees.

Distributed energy generation, particularly from renewable energy sources (RES), is more and more becoming an integral part of the European power grid. In the frame of active energy balancing and supply of reactive power to the grid, their components are supporting grid stability, quality and reliability, being able to maintain critical infrastructure partgrids during power blackouts. The reliable and failure-free operation of the power grid in general and of selfsustaining partgrids, requires that on the one hand, components connected to the grid must operate seamlessly in all rated conditions and be tolerant to grid state changes and harmonics and on the other hand they must not disturb other grid components by injecting flicker, harmonics, unrequested reactive power or control interferences.

In the emerging smart grid scenarios, most diverse components communicate in order to exchange grid state and internal information and meta data through Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. These data streams must contain reliable data and must be secured against data loss, intrusion and manipulation to guarantee a safe operation of the energy- and informationwise interconnected grid components. Affiliation to the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust SnT offers a number of synergies with ongoing and targeted research on critical infrastructures in general.

The NetPower Demolab structure for embedding constructive solutions in the computer aided engineering process is combining real and virtual testbeds progressing from offline to online testing. For both hardware in the loop and software in the loop testbeds, realtime simulations up to Mhz scanrates are employed to engineer failproof signal processing and constructive solutions, e.g. in power electronics, in their systems context. The NetPower DemoLab equipment covers realtime software simulation backed up by fast FPGA-signal processing hardware, extended to real-physics electrical power in the 100kVA range. This allows for close reproduction of grid dynamics, electricity storage, electromechanical conversion and power electronics units as well as of the major realtime fieldbus protocols, thus allowing for safety, security an reliablity testruns of networked SCADA systems in realtime in complex virtual environment and failure scenarios. Verification of prototypical solutions is a key barrier in engineering multidisciplinary construction of hard- and software to become reliable in given varieties of complex system environments.

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