Enhancing renewable power plant control capabilities

Hayley Everett
A plant control room. Photo via Arjan Zoomers/DNV.

The GreenPowerMonitor (GPM) company of risk management and assurance firm DNV has acquired and deployed a hardware-in-the-loop simulator (HILS) that it claims will significantly improve the development of its Power Plant Controller (PPC).

“We believe that digitalisation is key to make the energy transition successful, as energy systems are becoming increasingly complex and operators now have to handle a large mix of technologies as we move towards a cleaner future,” said Juan-Carlos Arévalo, CEO of GPM.

Currently used mainly in aerospace and automotive research facilities, Hardware-in-the-loop simulation verifies that certified components are fit for purpose in particular systems. At present, the capability is not widely available to certify controller performance in the energy sector, which GPM hopes to address with its new HILS technology.

According to the firm, HILS enables DNV experts to connect controllers to simulation environments that can represent any renewable power plant with record accuracy. This significantly improves plant control capabilities, as previously a specific model for each software had to be used to replicate the behaviour of the PPC.

The HILS upgrade is expected to boost GPM’s capacity to deploy robust control solutions for renewable energy plants, and to benchmark real PPC with models generated in its PSSE, PSCAD and Digisilent Power Factory. As a result, grid integration studies in the early stages of projects can be greatly reduced.

“The energy industry needs help to optimise this integration. Our mission is to support a fast and efficient shift to green power, by providing intelligent tools to the energy industry,” added Arévalo. “We offer digital solutions that are designed to be flexible and scalable to collect and manage data from multiple assets and multiple technologies, so we can help customers grow and explore more diverse and greener power sources.”

Equipped with HILS, GPM’s PPC is in the process of obtaining NTS 2.1 certificates in Germany, Poland, and Spain. 

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