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5 MW Advanced Prototype Test Facility

FSU-CAPS’ on-site resources include a hardware testbed able to test prototype motors, power electronics converters, control systems and other power system components at ratings up to the 5MW level. The facility couples real hardware with the largest RTDS in any University and one of the largest capabilities for real-time digital power system simulation and modeling available anywhere in the world. This marriage of hardware and simulation provides a unique, hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) test capability unmatched by other research facilities.

At FSU-CAPS, simulation and testing are integrated, offering unique testing and demonstration opportunities. RTDS’ large-scale computational capabilities enable our Center to provide accurate and detailed models of distribution architecture, components and control systems that are either not available or practical to assemble for component testing. Our ability to integrate actual hardware into RTDS models is the heart of HIL testing positions FSU-CAPS as a world leader for testing electrical equipment and components.

Our test facility includes a 5MW dynamometer and a 5MW variable voltage converter designed for high-power wave form generation. These devices, in tandem with the RTDS, allow FSU-CAPS users to test their machinery in any environment that can be simulated. In 2011 we added to our test facility a 5MW two-stage gear box to facilitate the testing of electric machines up to 24,000 RPM. 

 See a PHIL experimental test setup for the PMM machine connected to the VVS

AC Variable Voltage Frequency Converter

The advanced power systems test bed consists of a highly flexible, re-configurable 4.16kV distribution system with a stiff connection through a dedicated 7.5 MVA service transformer to an adjacent utility substation 115:12.5kV distribution transformer. This provides, for the first time, the ability to conduct power hardware-in-the-loop (PHIL) experiments, with electrical equipment interacted with high-fidelity simulation, at power levels up to 5 MW. This concept fully integrates the device under test, which is connected to the VVS bus, into a simulated system environment at an unprecedented high level of fidelity.

5 MW Dynamometer and Gear Box

The dynamometer and gear box system together gives us flexibility to test a wide range of rotating machines in the 5 MW power rating and speed ratings up to 24,000 RPM. One of the recent projects was to test a MW range novel design 1,000 RPM permanent magnet machine. The test plan required testing the machine in both operating modes, first as a generator then as a motor. The machine was coupled to the dynamometer and powered by the variable voltage source converter controlled by the RTDS. This was the first MW scale experiment which required the dynamometer, power converter and device under the test to work together under the control of the RTDS. Other novel machines tested were a 5 MW 230 RPM HTS propulsion motor and a 15000 RPM 1.5 MW compact high speed generator.


The EMS/SCADA (energy management system/supervisory control and data acquisition), Process Information and Protection Facility is integrated with the realistic power systems research and test environment provided by the FSU-CAPS real-time simulation and hardware-in-the-loop capabilities, including commercial real-time control, information and protection systems. This facilitates research and education activities involving collection and analysis of large amounts of measured data, investigations into power system protection and control schemes (including wide area protection or use of synchrophasor measurements in control) and investigation into the human interface and visualization aspects of grid operation and control. Industry partners providing software licensing or equipment to outfit our facility for these purposes include OSISoft, Areva (now Alstom Grid), Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) and Beckwith Electric.

5 MW MVDC Power Amplifier

In 2013 FSU-CAPS test facility received another valuable addition to our infrastructure, a 5MW 24,000 V DC medium-voltage power amplifier, manufactured by ABB based on our specifications. The installation consists of four power converters each rated at 6,000 kV DC and 210 A. Parallel and series configuration of the converters makes it possible to test complex DC distribution systems at 6, 12 or 24 kV in the MW range, depending on the system requirements. The system can work in floating mode or with the positive or negative bus grounded. Also midpoints of two converter configurations can be grounded to create a bipolar operation (i.e. +/- 12 kV DC). The converters are built using Modular Multilevel Converter (MMC) technology and were manufactured for FSU by ABB as a technology demonstrator and to be used for future electric power distribution research and development.