Read the full story from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
A decent maxim for systems engineering would be “there is no substitute for the real thing”—there is nothing like testing a new device or idea on a real system, at absolute fidelity. But for obvious reasons, this is not usually possible on energy systems: No utility is going to play with the power it serves to thousands, if not millions of customers.
Rather than the real thing, an National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) team and external collaborators have invented the next best thing: near-replicas of electricity grids—realistic down to individual devices, and up to long-distance power transmission. Since its application in several groundbreaking research projects, the team’s creation, Synthetic Models for Advanced, Realistic Testing: Distribution Systems and Scenarios (Smart-DS), is set to become the new standard in full-scale modeling and simulating energy system scenarios.