SEL Power System Model

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Communication Flow Chart
Sponsors Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

University of Idaho, College of Engineering

Team Name Industrial Power Psychiatrists
Duration Fall 2013 - Spring 2014
Faculty Advisor Dr. Brian Johnson
Mentor Scott Manson
Students Adel Al Mater, David Eldredge, Chris Foiles, Ann McConnell
2014 IPP UofI Logo.jpg

This project will create a mathematical model of an industrial facility's electrical power system. Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories will donate equipment to this project. The SEL control hardware in conjunction with a Real Time Digital Simulator (RTDS) will simulate faults and load shedding for this industrial power model.

Design Task

Create an industrial power system model with utility inter-tie using RSCAD and Runtime software. Utility and generators will be connected to buses with various loads. The model will be limited by the size and processing power of the Real Time Digital Simulator (RTDS).

The power system will be comprised of the following components:

  • Combustion Gas Generator
  • Steam Turbine Generator
  • Utility Power
  • Variable Speed Drive (VSD)
  • Synchronous Motor
  • Induction Motor
  • Exciter
  • Governor
  • Transformer

Each component will be validated then simulated with RTDS. Once everything is validated, the components will be connected into one system. The system will be validated and controls will be added.

An SEL Real-Time Automation Controller (RTAC) will be used for the control algorithms. This piece of equipment will be connected to the RTDS and RSCAD equipped computer.

Detailed Solution

Industrial Power System

2014 IPP Facility One Line Diagram.jpg
This single line diagram was created in RSCAD 4.0. The RSCAD library had some built-in models we used for components. We had to modify parameters to make the components fit our needs. Other components had to be created by modifying built-in models.

System Monitoring and Manual Controls

2014 IPP System Control diagram.jpg
This single line diagram is used in RSCAD Runtime 4.0 to control breakers throughout the system. There are various gauges that monitor frequency, voltage, and real and reactive power.

Control Algorithm

2014 IPP Controls Algorith.jpg
This diagram illustrates the control algorithm for the power system. Voltage, frequency and power are monitored at designated breakers. When either parameter falls below a threshold value, the control system checks the values again. If it is still below threshold, then the breaker trips and the rest of the load shedding is engaged. The controls algorithm measures six system parameters:
  • Imported power
  • Power consumed by the loads
  • Utility breaker status
  • Voltage amplitude
  • Phase angles
  • System electrical frequency

These analog signals are fed into functions that output a binary signal to indicate if the system might need to shed load to maintain stability. There are two paths that can trigger load shedding. If the utility breaker opens or imported power goes below a certain threshold, the system checks to make sure that adequate local generation is available to carry the loads. If there is not enough local generation the load shedding algorithm is triggered. This path can act very rapidly, but does not measure all possible failure modes. The second path to trigger load shedding measures voltage, phase balance, and system frequency and triggers load shedding if any are outside normal operating parameters. This second branch typically has a much slower response time than is necessary to prevent system failure in the case of a sudden loss of power.


Validation reports for each synchronous and induction motor can be viewed at this link [[1]]. This link will connect you with a dropbox folder where the files are kept.

Team Members

2014 IPP Team.jpg
Ann, David, Adel, Chris

2014 IPP David.jpg
David Eldredge Experience: Mechanical Engineering student specializing in instrumentation and controls.

Hobbies and Interests: David enjoys a wide variety of games such as board, card, video and table top games.

Plan for Future: Obtain a job that will pay well enough to pay for his expensive hobbies.

Mechanical Engineering Student
Hometown: Idaho Falls, Idaho
2014 IPP Chris.jpg
Chris Foiles Experience: Electrical Engineering student specializing in power. Interested in being an engineer who works to bridge the gap between engineering design and business implementation.

Hobbies and Interests: Chris enjoys hiking, camping, skiing, wake-boarding, and swimming.

Plan for Future: Work on the marketing and sales side of engineering at a company involved in electric power distribution. Learn Spanish, Japanese and hopefully additional languages.

Electrical Engineering Student
Hometown: Moscow, Idaho
2014 IPP Ann.jpg
Ann McConnell Experience: Electrical Engineering student specializing in power and energy systems. Gained research experience with superconductive power leads and fault current limiters through an internship with University of Idaho.

Hobbies and Interests: Ann enjoys swimming, knitting, scrapbooking, and hanging out with her daughters.

Plan for Future: Begin building a career in electrical engineering upon graduating.

Electrical Engineering Student
Hometown: Potlatch, Idaho
2014 IPP Adel.jpg
Adel Al Mater Experience: Electrical Engineering student specializing in energy systems, and power protection and automation.

Hobbies and Interests: Adel enjoys soccer, hiking, and spending time with his family.

Plan for Future: Build a career in power protection and automation in his home country, Saudi Arabia.

Electrical Engineering Student
Hometown: Alkhubar, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia


Team Meetings:

Tuesdays at 4:00, GJ 218

Team Workshops with Sponsor: Thursdays at 6:00, BEL G10

Meeting minutes [[2]] and Design Review notes and Presentations [[3]] available on dropbox.