Power System Testing

Power systems are developing into cyber-physical systems where major aspects of the decision-making and dynamics become based on digital solutions and rely on communications. The SIRFN-Power System Testing task brings together a range of international laboratories with an interest in devising strategies for testing of systems aspects of digitized, renewables-based, cyber-physical power systems.

Research Context

The energy transition is bringing a massive number of renewable resources into power systems. As a consequence, fundamental power systems dynamics are increasingly reliant on digitally controlled electronics, interacting with conventional components. However, the state of the art lacks methodologies, test systems and benchmarks to assess solutions to these major challenges.

Test procedures serve as a detection method aimed to stimulate possibly pathological situations and identify a system response on a predefined and observable metric. Historically, a physical power system first had to exhibit these phenomena, such that test procedures and conditions would be derived. Upon analysis of such phenomena, explanations and trigger conditions were found, which then gave rise to suitable test conditions.

With power systems facing the the above named challenges, the Power System Testing Task seeks to accelerate this process of understanding and testing by identifying gaps and proposing test systems and methods to study emerging and complex test cases.

Figure : Left: Emulation Test-bed for large-scale power systems interaction (ratio: 1.000:1;  FZHAW, Switzerland)
Right: Exemplary HIL configuration of a system test for interacting (UCD, Ireland)


In the scope of this technical task are emerging test cases for intended and unintended interactions of control structures, considering horizontal (cross-functional), vertical (cross-layer), and multi-faceted (cross-domain) interaction phenomena.

The group is organised in technical clusters considering the following technical areas:

  1. Coordinated Control Systems
    – Distributed control with communication dependency
  1. Microgrids and Inverter-dominated Distribution networks
    – Testing of multiple control levels and inverter-control interactions
  1. Distribution Grid Protection & Reconfiguration
    – Reconfiguration & stability; resilience benefits for networked microgrids
  1. Stability of Low-inertia transmission interconnections
    – Wide-area control systems with converter-based and demand-side resources

Figure: Organization of the Power System Testing Task


The work approach, as illustrated on the right includes the following steps:

  • Collection, specification and classification of relevant “power system test cases”.
  • Collection of existing benchmark and creation of new cases for such power system test cases.
  • Development & replication of testing procedure.

The work is coordinated in online and physical events; we share expert knowledge in internal seminars and participate in public events.

Important references are collected and shared via the publications list below.

Planned Deliverables

  • Taxonomy for Power System Testing (publication).
  • Test Case Inventory (website).
  • Test Case Harmonisation (report).
  • Integration-Test procedure & harmonisation (report).



Kai Heussen
Technical University of Denmark
Department of Electrical Engineering


Related Publications:

Power system Testing needs and methodologies

T. Strasser, E. de Jong, M. Sosnina (ed.): “European Guide to Power System Testing: The ERIGrid Holistic Approach for Evaluating Complex Smart Grid Configurations”; Springer Nature, Cham, Switzerland, 2020, ISBN: 978-3-030-42274-5; 141 pages.

K. Heussen, C. Steinbrink, I. Abdulhadi, V.H. Nguyen, M.Z. Degefa, J. Merino, T. Jensen, H. Guo, O. Gehrke, D. Morales Bondy, D. Babazadeh, F. Pröstl Andren, T. Strasser: “ERIGrid Holistic Test Description for Validating Cyber-Physical Energy Systems“; Energies,12(2019), 14; 2722.

T. Strasser, F. Pröstl Andren, G. Lauss, R. Bründlinger, H. Brunner, C. Moyo, C. Seitl, S. Rohjans, S Lehnhoff, P. Palensky, P. Kotsampopoulos, N. Hatziargyriou, G. Arnold, W. Heckmann, E. Jong, M. Verga, G. Franchioni, L. Martini, A. Kosek, O. Gehrke, H. Bindner, F. Coffele, G. Burt, M. Calin, J. Rodríguez-Seco: “Towards holistic power distribution system validation and testing-an overview and discussion of different possibilities”; e & i Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik,Volume 134(2017), Issue 1.

Benchmarks and Test Systems

Alam, M.N., Chakrabarti, S., and Liang, X., A Benchmark Test System for Networked Micro-grids, IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRIAL INFORMATICS, VOL. 16, NO. 10, 2020.

Baltensperger, D., Dobrowolski, J., Obushevs, A., Sevilla, F. R. S., & Korba, P. (2020, June).Scaling Version of Kundur’s Two-Areas System for Electromechanical Oscillations Representation. In 2020 International Symposium on Power Electronics, Electrical Drives, Automation and Motion (SPEEDAM) (pp. 243-249). IEEE.

Exemplary Test Cases for Power System Testing

Wang, Y., Nguyen, T. L., Syed, M. H., Xu, Y., Van Hoa, N., Guillo-Sansano, E., Burt, G., Tran, Q. T., & Caire, R. (2020). A distributed control scheme of microgrids in energy internet and its multi-site implementation. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics, 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1109/TII.2020.2976830

Hong, Q., Karimi, M., Sun, M., Norris, S., Bagleybter, O., Wilson, D., & Booth, C. (2020). Design and validation of a wide area monitoring and control system for fast frequency response. IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid.

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