DNV GL has opened a new controller hardware in-the-loop (CHIL) test facility for renewable energy generation plants in Germany.

The facility is designed to connect power plant controllers to a real-time simulator, enabling testing and validation without requiring a physical generation facility or power grid.

The simulator is capable of imitating windfarms, solarfarms, and biomass plants. Master supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems have also been included to simulate the grid operator.

Integrating lab-based testing capabilities with the flexibility and speed of computer simulation, the CHIL facilitates low-cost and low-risk testing under real-time conditions.

"A failure during testing could have far-reaching and expensive consequences."

DNV GL Central Europe and Mediterranean executive vice-president Andreas Schröter said: “Until now, testing controllers meant downtime for the generation farm and huge effort coordinating many different players.

“A failure during testing could have far-reaching and expensive consequences.

"In line with our Power Cybernetics approach, the new CHIL test bench significantly reduces the cost, risk, and effort required to comprehensively test control systems for renewable energy generation farms.

“Besides streamlining certification, the test bench can be used to validate new functionality during development and set-up controllers for individual generation sites.”

The new test bench allows complete testing in line with the latest revisions of the German grid codes, along with the possibility of ISO 17025 accredited measurements.

Image: DNV GL opens new controller hardware in-the-loop (CHIL) test facility in Germany. Photo: courtesy of DNV GL.