The test bench allows complete testing according to the latest revisions of the German grid codes, with the possibility of ISO 17025 accredited measurements. Image: Belectric

The test bench allows complete testing according to the latest revisions of the German grid codes, with the possibility of ISO 17025 accredited measurements. Image: Belectric

DNV GL has launched the first control hardware in loop (CHIL) test facility for renewable energy generation plants. The facility connects physical power plant controllers to a real-time simulator, allowing the controller to be fully tested and validated without the need for an actual generation facility or power grid. This enables cost-effective, low-risk testing under realistic conditions for all forms of renewable energy control systems.

Problem

Since 2016, Germany has updated its medium- and high-voltage grid codes to require certification of all wind farm controllers before the wind farm can start supplying the grid. Similar guidelines are expected to follow elsewhere in the world, both nationally and internationally and embrace solar PV power plants. Until now, testing controllers meant downtime for the generation farm and huge effort coordinating many different players. What’s more, a failure during testing could have far-reaching and expensive consequences.  

Solution

The CHIL test bench, the physical controller is connected to a real-time simulator that emulates the solar farm as well as the grid connection. Furthermore, a communication layer is included for the master SCADA simulating the grid operator. This setup allows the controller’s behaviour in any situation it may face in service to be explored, and any unwanted interactions to be identified. The new CHIL test bench significantly reduces the cost, risk and effort required to comprehensively test control systems for renewable energy generation farms. Besides streamlining certification, the test bench can be used to validate new functionality during development and set-up controllers for individual generation sites

Applications

PV power plant control hardware can be rigorously tested under real-world conditions without connection to actual generating plants and energy grids.

Platform

The test bench allows complete testing according to the latest revisions of the German grid codes, with the possibility of ISO 17025 accredited measurements. DNV GL will make it available for customers including controller manufacturers, and renewable energy generation site developers and operators through testing and measurement services. 

Availability

September 2017, onwards.

Tags: dnv gl, pv power plants, o&m, germany

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