Power Standards Lab Inc. (PSL) Grid Thumper™ is a breakthrough solution for testing the stability of microgrids, distribution grids, and back-up power systems.
When subjected to stand-alone certifications, individual pieces of grid equipment like generators, inverters, UPS, transfer switches, etc. almost always operates correctly. When they’re connected together as a system, exactly how their control loops will interact is unknown
Grid Thumper rigorously tests complete, connected systems, including active distribution grids, detecting harmful instabilities that would otherwise be invisible.
It uses patent-pending technology to briefly connect large, time-synchronized resistive and reactive loads – up to a megawatt, often for a tiny fraction of a second – then ultra-precise PSL PQube 3 and microPMU sensors record the grid’s system response.
CHARACTERIZE T&D GRIDS SUSCEPTIBILITY TO UNDAMPED FORCED OSCILLATIONS
• Use Grid Thumper to create precisely controlled forced oscillations
• Use fleets of new and existing PMUs and microPMUs across each grid to characterize the observed behavior
• Results could indicate mitigation strategies to increase grid stability and resilience
MEASURE ACTUAL CONTROL LOOPS & DAMPING OF POPULATION OF DG INVERTERS AND LARGE ELECTRONIC LOADS
• Solar inverters, battery storage, fuel cells
• EV chargers, VFD’s, etc.
• Goal: understand population response to transient grid conditions, enhance grid stability, avoid oscillations in DG population while increasing penetration and stability
DISTRIBUTION GRID VULNERABILITIES TO SOPHISTICATED CYBER ATTACK
• Entire distribution grid is vulnerable to low-energy cyber-attack on customer loads
(not on utility controls)
• Goal: demonstrate, reproduce, and understand the attack and develop utility
MICROGRID AND DIESEL GENERATOR TESTING
• Pre-programmed load profile customized for each system
• Documented performance under controlled adverse conditions
• Assure reliable operation during mission-critical events
Researchers at U.S. National Labs have plans using Grid Thumper to examine PV system stability and detect sophisticated grid cyberattacks.
Utilities are discussing how to use Grid Thumper to map out distribution grids, and even to increase the amount of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), such as solar PV, that is permitted on a given distribution line. Operators of island grids have plans to use Grid Thumper to measure actual control loop response and damping in a large population of installed inverters. Military suppliers, hospitals and data centers will rely on the non-disruptive Grid Thumper stability tests on mission-critical live grids.
See the Grid Thumper in action on:
To learn more about Grid Thumper, and the innovative power quality solutions offered by PSL, please contact C.N. Rood, PSL partner for the BeNeLux and Nordics.
C.N. Rood – Rudy De Winter
Phone: +32 475 60 88 49