The complexity of the power grid, in conjunction with the ever increasing demand for electricity, creates the need for efficient analysis and control of the power system. The evolution of the legacy system towards the new smart grid intensifies this need due to the large number of sensors and actuators that must be monitored and controlled, the new types of distributed energy sources that need to be integrated and the new types of loads that must be supported. At the same time, integration of human-activity awareness into the smart grid is emerging and this will allow the system to monitor, share and manage information and actions on the business, as well as the real world. In this context, modeling and simulation is an invaluable tool for system behavior analysis, energy consumption estimation and future state prediction. In this paper, we review current smart grid simulators and approaches for building and user behavior modeling, and present a federated smart grid simulation framework, in which building, control and user behavior modeling and simulation are decoupled from power or network simulators and implemented as discrete components. This framework enables evaluation of the interactions between the communication infrastructure and the power system taking into account the human activities, which are at the focus of emerging energy-related applications that aim to shape user behavior. Validation of the key functionality of the proposed framework is also presented.
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