Intelligent Electrical Power Grids
The Control Room of the Future
The Control Room of the Future (CRoF) was developed by the Intelligent Electrical Power Grids (IEPG) research group within the Electrical Sustainable Energy Department at the faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Science, TU Delft.
The IEPG group conducts research on the generation, transmission and distribution of electrical energy, and a characteristic is a system-oriented approach. They investigate the theoretical and technological limits of current and future power systems and components, considering the changing operating environment. This includes the large-scale introduction of renewable energy sources and the application of state-of-the-art digital technologies.
CRoF and OPC UA
The Control Room of the Future is a unique, future-ready, and multidomain experimental setup used as a hub for research, development, and demonstration of cyber secure, future-proof power grid technologies and system operator training. It has been developed based on state-of-the-art control centres for power system operation using real-time digital twins and industrial-grade operational technologies. They develop the technology for next-generation power grid operation and cyber secure functionalities for operators of the future. At the CRoF lab, our research team has developed a Cyber-Physical System (CPS) of power grids and communication networks. The CPS comprises of simulated power system, emulated power grid communication networks, and a SCADA/HMI interface.
The CRoF team looked for a sustainable, flexible, and cross-platform solution to interconnect the power grid and communication layers. The OPC UA protocol, with its industrial-grade nature, met all the requirements while offering advantages such as interoperability, cybersecurity, etc. It also allowed reading variables, method calling, retrieving historical values, and even subscribing to them, granting complete control over the system. Among the numerous solutions, Prosys’ OPC UA Simulation server met all of our functional requirements. Hence, it was used to interconnect the simulated power system and emulated communication network. This test setup allows us to conduct state-of-the-art research to assess and improve the resilience of the CPS to cyber-attacks and major disturbances such as natural disasters.
Prosys OPC UA Simulation Server is a versatile software for OPC UA that has been a great match for our research requirements. Its support of importing custom xml node-sets based on the OPC UA standard is a major plus for us. An active community and responsive support team is an added advantage.
Dr. Alexandru Ștefanov
Intelligent Electrical Power Grids, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
What is OPC?
OPC and OPC UA (Unified Architecture) are industry standards that enable software to connect devices, machines and systems from different manufacturers using same interface.