Real Time Simulation

The Real Time Simulator is a parallel computer system with multiple input/outputs allowing it to be connected to and control external hardware and equipment directly from the simulation. A typical application of such a system is the testing of “hardware in the loop”. This typically involves the connection of real power systems hardware to a simulation of the power system running on the real time simulator. Signals can be exchanged between the simulation and the hardware in real time, i.e. the simulation can send signals to the hardware to control its operation and the resulting response of the hardware can be fed back to the simulation, thus changing the simulation. This is all achieved in real time, i.e. as if the hardware were connected to an actual power network.

In this way the operation of power systems hardware and its interaction with the grid can be investigated and tested in a controlled environment before actual connection to the grid. Examples of applications might include the testing of protection equipment, the testing of power hardware controllers and control of power converters.

The ERC intend to use the system as a platform for investigation of the interaction between proposed power system hardware and the grid. The system also comes with a scaled hardware version of a DFIG wind turbine which can be used as a basis for studying the interactions between the turbine and the grid.

If you would like more information on this project or if you are interested in collaborating with us please email

The Opal RT equipment was funded through an SFI Research Infrastructure Award SFI/12/RI/2341 (4).