June 20, 2004

DIgSILENT Real-Time Training Simulator for NamPower

NamPower, the national utility of Namibia, has awarded DIgSILENT GmbH the contract to install a Real-Time Training Simulator at their National Control Center in Windhoek. Following negotiations between Manfred Manchen (National Control specialist from Nampower) and Christoph Schmid (expert from DIgSILENT GmbH) with the participation of Alexander Dierks (from DIgSILENT South Africa (Pty) Ltd), the formal contract was placed in early May 2004. The DIgSILENT Training Simulator is a PowerFactory Engine application integrated to NamPower's ABB MicroSCADA.

The objective of the Real-Time Training Simulator is to:

  • train operator personnel to precisely and efficiently respond to abnormal system conditions preventing further deteriorated conditions.
  • learn and investigate operating conditions which are not secure as well as to find the required security margins.
  • allow the operator to understand phenomena such as basic system dynamics, system control, stability and protection, which normally is too fast to be observed by the operator.

The Real-Time Training Simulator will consist of the following components and features:

  • A trainee workstation, which will run the ABB MicroSCADA application, will present the trainee with a near-normal SCADA environment. On the SCADA system the complete transmission system of Namibia (66kV to 400kV) is represented.
  • The trainer workstation will run a standard PowerFactory application, which will model the NamPower system as well as an adequate system equivalent for the ESKOM network in South Africa. In addition the dynamic plant performance as well as simplified network protection and control is modeled.
  • All operator commands from the trainee workstation will be fed to the trainer workstation. PF then simulates the dynamic response of the power system within a one second time step. The simulated measurements are then fed to the ABB MicroSCADA system via virtual RTUs.
  • A link from the active ABB MicroSCADA to the Real-Time Training Simulator will be available, to retrieve system snapshots, which can be used to define starting scenarios for the operator training sessions.
  • During an operator training session typical system disturbances such as system faults or load changes can be simulated and prepared prior to a training session.

The implementation of an ABB MicroSCADA compatible PowerFactory State Estimator (SE) and an Operator's Load Flow (OLF) also forms part of the project. The SE will be linked to the 'hot' SCADA system to enable the operators to make better decisions on the integrity of the measured data. The OLF will enable operators to simulate operator actions 'off-line'.

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