- freely available
Energies 2019, 12(14), 2722; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12142722
1.1. Challenges in Testing of Cyber-Physical Energy Systems
1.2. Possible Harmonisation
1.3. Scope and Approach
- How can experiments be framed to account for the multi-disciplinary setting and wide variety of employed experimental platforms?
- To what extent can a template-based approach to experiment description enhance the quality of experiment planning, experiments, and reporting?
2. Background and Related Work
2.1. Related Work
2.2. Test Purposes: Testing in a Technical Development Context
2.3. The Relation between Testing and Energy System Semantics
- The energy system semantic: It represents the behaviour and the semantic relations among the different actors of the system. Depending on the considered energy system and the information models, this semantic represent the application relevant purposes, components and structures of the system (i.e., the “real world application”).
- The testing semantic: It is the purpose and content of a single or set of tests. It relates the real-world motivation for a test to the concrete system configurations and functions to be included in an experiment.
2.3.1. Energy System Semantic
2.3.2. Testing Semantics
2.4. Testbed Technology
- Co-simulation is the concept of composing coupled simulators that cooperate with each other while running on their own solvers and models. Co-simulation is particularly useful for coupling models with different time scales (transient/steady state) or with distinct natures (continuous/discrete event), in eventually different domains (e.g., power and ICT, electric and thermo) [31,32,33].
- Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) is the experimental technique in which a Hardware under Test (HUT) is coupled with a real-time simulation to test under realistic conditions. HIL supports throughout study of transient and steady state operation of the HUT under realistic, yet safe and repeatable, conditions; testing of a HUT in faulty and extreme conditions without damaging laboratory equipment [34,35].
- Remote laboratory coupling and integration of HIL and co-simulation in a holistic framework [36,37,38,39,40,41,42] enables a more complete and realistic consideration of CPES, and coupling of existing physical labs with simulated environments in an integrated and consistent manner. Architectures have been proposed as supports for such cross-infrastructure deployment: using real-time database as the common interchange point , dedicated message bus [37,40], Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) as a service , and direct peer-2-peer streams  using a real-time protocol. Besides providing the required technical base for implementation, these architectures also pave the way to international collaboration by combining several infrastructures and/or replacing non-available components/systems by simulation, increasing the realism of validation and demonstration environments.
2.5. Test Design, Sampling and Evaluation Methodology (Design of Experiments)
3. Guideline to Holistic Test Description
3.1. Overview of HTD Elements
- Test Case (TC)
- Qualification Strategy (QS)
- Test Specification (TS)
- Experiment Realisation Plan
- Experiment Specification (ES)
- Results Annotation
- Experiment Evaluation
3.1.1. Test Case
3.1.2. Qualification Strategy
3.1.3. Test Specification
3.1.4. Experiment Realisation Plan
3.1.5. Experiment Specification
3.1.6. Results Annotation
3.2. Key Aspects in Developing a Holistic Test Description
3.2.1. Formalising Test Objectives: From PoI to TCR, to Evaluation Metrics
- Validation tests: Functional requirements and passing criteria are provided as abstract measures, where experiment results are subject to some expert interpretation to decide upon pass/no-pass.Implication for Test Case: Test criteria are formulated qualitatively; a qualitative passing criterion is required (consider who is the expert qualified to pass the judgement).Example: Is a controller ready for deployment in the field? Relevant experts here: development or field engineer.
- Verification test: Tests where requirements are formulated as quantitative measures and thresholds of acceptable values are quantified.Implication for Test Case: Test Criteria are formal and quantified. A passing threshold is defined.Examples: (i) Standard conformance testing; and (ii) passing the set of tests (test harness) applied in software unit-testing.
- Characterisation test: Here, a measure is given without specific requirements for passing the test. Implication for Test Case: Test Criteria are quantified, typically given key metrics or performance indicators. A passing threshold is not defined, but a metric for expected result quality can be provided (validity of experiment, not of OuI).Examples: Characterising performance of a system; characterising the physical parameters of a component for developing an equivalent simulation model.
3.2.2. Configuration for Experiments: Abstract System Concept to Experiment Configuration
3.2.3. Experiment Realisation Plan
- precise: The respective system aspect has to be matched 1:1 (e.g., exactly the same model of electric vehicle, the exact grid topology, the same communication protocol, etc.).
- equivalent: The respective aspect has to be matched equivalently (e.g., an electrical vehicle with the same charger and battery size, a grid topology with the same number of nodes, a communication protocol with the same or a better fidelity, etc.).
- nominal: The respective aspect can be matched with some deviations, but they should only lead to marginal influences on objective and results (e.g., a controllable load simulating an electrical vehicle, a grid connection providing similar load/voltage characteristics, some means of communication without regard for the specifications, etc.).
- irrelevant: The respective system aspect does not influence the test objective and results.
3.2.4. Systematically Quantified Test Results: Design of Experiments and Qualification Strategy
4. Application of Holistic Test Description
- reproducibility of experiments in different laboratories, as flexibility in the experiment realisation can be achieved;
- self-contained sharing of test requirements across different test organisations, directly based on HTD documentation;
- supports the scoping of simulation models as part of a test system;
- traceability of the experimental procedures, enabling, for example, reproduction and round robin testing as a pre-cursor to developing standardised test procedures;
- repository creation and streamlining of similar and repeated the test processes, retains domain expertise embedded in the repository;
- creation of modular test specifications, which in turn enables re-use of test components, and supports test automation; and
- plan and coordinate complex tests involving multiple experiments.
4.1. Illustration Example
- Enabling repeatability of the test using different HIL implementations: Characteristics of different HIL setups between involving a digital grid simulator and control system under test are examined, particularly to understand the impact on test repeatability.
- Enabling the execution of the test in different research infrastructures using different test setups: Focus bise on how a unified approach to the test requirements specification facilitates independent, yet complementary experiments.
4.1.1. Enhanced Frequency Control Capability (EFCC) Performance Verification
- Verification that that the EFCC control scheme is capable of identifying grid frequency events correctly and deploying an appropriate amount of response to contain the frequency deviation: Verifying scheme sensitivity to frequency events and stability against non-frequency events (e.g., faults) are the focus here.
- Quantification of the enhancement of frequency containment using the EFCC control (i.e., compared to relying solely on primary frequency response): Speed and extent of frequency containment are the focus here.
4.1.2. EFCC Test Case Description
- OuI: Although a wide-area control scheme is being tested, it is the LCs which deploy the energy resources during grid frequency disturbances that are the focus of the test.
- FuI/FuT: Following on from the OuI definition, the LCs ability of determining and deploying the appropriate amount of energy resources in response to a detection of a grid frequency disturbance is the functionality that is being investigated. Note that other functions are present and operational during testing (e.g., the RA aggregation of PMU measurements). These are referred to as the functions under test (FuT), which are an essential part of the SuT, but are not the focus of the test (i.e., a direct verification of their performance is not performed).
- Verify that the LC successfully detects grid frequency disturbances necessitating a response.
- Verify that the LC remains stable against grid frequency disturbances not requiring a response (e.g., over-frequency resulting from a short circuit).
- Verify that the LC deploys the expected amount of resource with reference to the severity of the disturbance.
4.1.3. EFCC Test Specification
- amount of grid frequency containment following a genuine grid frequency event; and
- amount of resource deployed in relation to the event severity and LC settings.
4.1.4. EFCC Experiment Specification
- Semantic demarcation between the test objectives and the implementation of the experiment: so long as the test objectives (i.e., OuI) and the ensuing performance criteria to be evaluated are defined, flexibility in the experiment realisation can be achieved. Thus, reproducibility in different HIL setups is possible. This is evidenced by achieving the verification of controllers’ performance connected to physical resources as well as simulated resources. On a larger scale, interfaces in the experiment could span across multiple laboratories.
- The HTD documentation is a practical means of sharing the test requirements across different test organisations or experiment implementations. By extension, traceability of the experimental procedure to the OuI is achieved, which would enable round-robin testing as a pre-cursor to developing standardised test procedures. As presented above, conducting a CHIL experiment paved the way to a more comprehensive PHIL verification for the control system.
4.2. Challenges Addressed and Application Experience
- Difficulty of interpreting component connectivity from experiment descriptions
- Difficulty of replicating sequentially the target metrics and the variability attributes
- Shared understanding of test purpose across domains (e.g., what level of detail is relevant from one domain to cause a relevant influence in another domain)
- Lack of clarity on the domain boundaries
- Lack of comprehensive recording of the domain specific target metrics (e.g., measuring voltage level but not the communication delay during the execution of control system)
- Simulation models are abstract in nature, but abstraction levels vary
- Identification of suitable model-components for a co-simulation setup
- Re-use of simulation components/models
- Proper description and inclusion of all the relevant components to be characterised and validated
- Tracking changes that occur between multiple interdependent experiments
- Misunderstandings between expert groups from different locations
- Lack of full understanding of results in earlier stages with their related uncertainities
- Incompatibility of resolution and type of measurement data and control signals
- Black-box test setup on the other end without mutual test description procedure
- Lack of full understanding on how and where the measurements from a real-time experiment in the other RI is conducted
4.3. Collected Application Evidence
- The HTD concepts are in part new and not fully in line with common usage; for example, “system under test”, “function under test/investigation”, and “object under investigation” all relate to the often used terms “system under test” (ETSI-TDL), “Device under Test” (frequently used in hardware testing), “Hardware under Test” (used in HIL context), etc. This creates communication challenges, which may be alleviated by improved training materials.
- Lack of guiding questions: Essentially, it is difficult to fill out the template ad-hoc, only based on the abstract HTD concepts, and not all fields are equally relevant. For example, the “precision of equipment or uncertainty measurement” may not always be part of the experiment planning. Additional guidelines may facilitate the learning process further, and establishing a community of experienced HTD users for knowledge sharing may be practical.
- An HTD-planned experiment may never have been carried out as documented in the templates: as plans change, experiment designs get updated along the way. While this situation cannot be changed, the HTD documentation process may be improved by a systematic versioning or referencing system to facilitate revealing the final experiments.
- Lack of tool integration: The system configuration annotation suffers from being a graphical dead-end. Tooling integration, e.g., between test system SSC and result evaluation, would also encourage detailing and updating test system and experiment descriptions.
Conflicts of Interest
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|SC Type||Generic SC||Specific SC||Experiment SC|
|Described in||Test Case||Test Specification||Experiment|
|Topology||Domain-coupling||SuT components||Testbed and OuI|
|Parameters||NO||Partial, preferred values||YES|
|System Aspect||Precision Level|
|Communication channel properties|
|Available LC 1|
|Available LC 2|
|0.1||1 GW||Region 3||None-control case|
|1.1||1 GW||Region 3||Region 1||300 MW||Region 3||300 MW|
|2.x||1.32 GW||Region 1||Region 1||1 GW||Region 3||1 GW|
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