Keywords: hardware-in-the-loop, HIL, distributed generation, fuel cells, virtual test bed, VTB, LabVIEW, power generation, real-time simulation
Hardware-in-the-Loop testing platform for distributed generation systems
The rapid validation of the expected performance of distributed generation installations is a critical step in the design process. However, the plethora of distributed generator types and the uniqueness of the load characteristics make the testing quite challenging. This paper introduces an original approach to Hardware-in-the-Loop simulation aimed to evaluate the performance and suitability of distributed generation installations. The approach is based on the Virtual Test Bed real-time simulator and enables rapid evaluation of the capability of a power source to match the power demand and dynamic properties of the local load by testing the actual power source in a synthetic load environment. The same platform can also be used to validate a simulation model of the fuel cell power source. The procedure is illustrated by a specific example of a fuel cell power source.