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Tour the CAPS Facilities

FSU-CAPS brings unique capabilities to the research and development community, with a specially designed facility and a high-caliber research team recruited worldwide from academic institutions and industry organizations. Members of the Facilities Group support the Center’s research activities. Our four-member team includes highly qualified engineers, designers and technicians with a combined 100 years experience in the fields of electrical power engineering, mechanical engineering, cryogenics, process control, system engineering and data acquisition. They are responsible for carrying out the unique experiments undertaken by FSU-CAPS researchers as well those performed for our industry clients.

Real Time Digital Simulator (RTDS)

The RTDS is a special purpose multi-processor computer system that is optimized for power system simulations. It is designed for real-time simulation, which means that the computation of the simulated system advances one moment in each moment of wall-clock time. In a low risk yet realistic environment, the simulator can test a critical electrical grid without actually turning off the lights around the nation or putting a ship in harms way.

Learn more about our RTDS

5 MW Prototype Test Facility

CAPS offers a state-of –the-art test facility for evaluating prototype electric machines and devices. The facility couples real hardware with the largest Real Time Digital Simulator (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.

Learn more about our 5 MW Test Facility

High Temperature Superconductivity and Dielectrics Laboratories

Electric power devices that use high temperature superconducting materials, instead of copper, offer significant improvements in the capacity, efficiency and reliability of electrical systems. At CAPS, we are aggressively pursuing this powerful science and technology of superconductivity. Our center also offers a high-voltage dielectrics testing laboratory for investigation and testing dielectric characteristics of superconducting power system components at high voltages and under cryogenic temperatures. Our focus is on the research, development, and testing of prototype high temperature superconductive power system applications through industry-led projects.

Learn more about our HTS and Dieletrics laboratories

Power Electronics Laboratory

The Power Electronics Laboratory at FSU-CAPS is equipped with six lab stations, five computers, software (Matlab, Simulink, Mathcard, OrCAD Capture and Pspice). The laboratory is host to state-of-the-art hardware (including low voltage and high voltage DC power supplies, DC electronic load, power analyzer, dynamic signal analyzers, oscilloscopes, current measurement system and current probe, dSPACE, DSP and FPGA digital control boards and other common lab equipment) for the modeling, analysis, simulation, control design and prototyping implementation of power converters.

Thermal Systems Laboratory

This lab provides capabilities for thermal measurements (flow, temperature, pressure, humidity) for a diverse set of configurations relevant to the thermal evaluation of power systems. For flow measurements we have ultrasonic systems, Pitot, rotameters and paddle wheel sensors. For temperature, we have custom data acquisition systems for thermistors and thermocouples readings, infrared devices for non-contact measurements. Additionally the lab has capabilities for fuel cell testing, microalgae growth (including growth monitoring via spectrophotometer and optical microscope), and solar irradiation measures (direct and diffuse) for solar applications.

Energy Conversion and Integration

This low power test bed provides unique opportunities for research in the field of distributed controls and cyber-physical systems. It consists of two major sub-systems. The first sub-system is a set of highly reconfigurable power electronic based sources and loads seamlessly integrated with a set of general purpose (X86) controller boards which can host software code to experiment with truly distributed (i.e. agent based) control approaches. Moreover, the lab is generally integrated with the RTDS environment at CAPS such that it fully supports all types of HIL simulations.

The second sub-system consists of another cluster of (X86) controller boards which, by virtue of a high bandwidth data channel, allow those controllers to communicate local control signals to power electronic sources and loads simulated on the RTDS. The high level control communication between the (X86) controller boards can be either routed through a multi-function switch or through a real-time OPNET environment. The latter allows simulating the behavior and characteristics of the communication between distributed control processes to study the effect of changes on the communication backbone on the power system simulation.

Together, these two sub-systems provide a unique environment where researchers can experiment with reasonably sized systems composed partially in hardware and partially in simulation. It includes the higher level processing/intelligence, communication interface and control layers necessary to study various distributed control algorithms applied to DC (and AC) microgrids. Distributed control nodes (DCN), i.e. intelligent agents, are implemented for each of the sources and loads to provide higher level functionality/controllability and to facilitate node/load centric control strategies. This establishes a standard system platform and architecture for assessing distributed and load centric control objectives, e.g. power and energy management strategies. Note that existing device level control still exists on the dedicated DSPs but the communication/processing requirements for distributed control is not their burden, thus they communicate as needed with the DCN’s.

View the Integrated Distributed Controls and Cyber-Physical Hardware-in-the-Loop Test Bed setup