Co-Simulation for Joint Analysis and Design of MASbased Electrical Power Protection and Communication


Multi-agent system (MAS) protection is under investigation as a potential method to solve the reliability and survivability issues related to modern power systems. The design of such protection systems relies not only on the intelligence of each individual agent, but also the communication between the agents to accomplish global coordination. As a consequence, power and communication are interdependent in this system. To create a suitable environment for analysis in support of design, we extended the capabilities of our cosimulation platform VPNET, to include the agent operation. As a case study, MAS protection schemes in Medium Voltage DC (MVDC) shipboard power systems were chosen.

  Copyright: © RWTH Aachen MVDC Power System national Scheme

The concept of multi-agent system, (MAS) is appealing because of its autonomous nature, ability to self-reconfigure, accommodate plug&play features, share information, coordinate actions, and be easily extended in capabilities.

The MAS based protection system adopted here as case study operates based on the local measurements available

to each agent and on the information exchanged between adjacent agents. Hence, the communication network is vital to the system performance. The process of designing the MAS based protection requires consideration not only of the dynamic of the power system, but also of the phenomena determined by the communication network, such as communication delays and disruptions. The co-simulation method provides a solution for concurrently analyzing power and communication interactions.

ACS had previously developed a co-simulation environment named VPNET, which has then been recently extended to investigate MAS based protection schemes. VPNET consists of three parts: Virtual Test Bed, for time domain simulation of power systems, OPNET, for the simulation of the communication networks, and the Co-simulation Coordinator, for data exchange and time synchronization between the other two simulators. The Co-simulation Coordinator has been exploited for MAS integration. In fact the behavior of each agent is defined in the modules provided by the Cosimulation Coordinator.

The proposed extended co-simulation platform is being tested on MAS based protection schemes of a MVDC shipboard power system. The proposed method is in principle suitable for supporting the joint design of future smart grids, in presence of distributed control and intelligence and of widearea monitoring systems.