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Distributed real-time model of the M3C for HIL systems using small-scale simulators

Authors: Philippe Bontemps, Stefan Milovanovic, Drazen Dujic

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Hardware-in-the-loop systems are an essential tool to verify controllers and deployed control algorithms in a risk-free environment. The inaccessibility of the converters used in applications such as pumped hydro storage power plants due to their high ratings, require the development of a hardware-in-the-loop platform to perform the validation of the deployed control structures and algorithms. This paper presents the modeling and splitting of the model of the matrix modular multilevel converter to allow the usage of small-scale simulators, such as the RT Boxes, to deal with the complex system exceeding capabilities of a single unit. To achieve an acceptable simulation step-size, this paper demonstrates the splitting of the model into multiple independent instances using the concept of virtual capacitance implementation. The verification of the proposed concept is done on a hardware-in-the-loop system compromising ten RT Boxes, where the physical model of the matrix modular multilevel converter is deployed, and control algorithms are implemented on the ABB PEC800 industrial controllers.