Smart Power Systems and Control Laboratory

The lab with a size of 800 ft2 is focusing on real-time simulation. As shown in Figure 1, this lab currently includes Opal-RT 5700 with 8 cores, which has 5 core-licenses (eMEGASIM) for transient simulations and 1 EHS64 solver for power electronics simulations. The system with eMEGASIM is currently being used to simulate microgrids, power distribution systems, solar farms, and wind farms. The lab is also equipped with SEL relays, GE controllers, and NS-3 simulator. One example project supported by this lab is to develop advanced models and control of the planned 9GW offshore wind farms for grid integration to decarbonize New York’s electricity system in collaboration with NYPA. We have recently acquired a Chroma Power Grid simulator, and are in the process to purchase a photovoltaic array simulator for research and validation of advanced control of solar inverters. We are also working to develop an HMI capability that will allow real-time operator interactions and data display. The lab is shared by the faculty including Profs. Thomas Ortmeyer, Tuyen Vu, Jianhua Zhang, and Y. Leo Jiang. The research facilities will be used to support the following REU projects:

  • Cyber Resiliency: Cyber-Resilient DER Control for Autonomous Distribution Grid Operation
  • Modeling and Control of Offshore Wind Farms
  • Grid Integration Study with Large Photovoltaic Systems

The High Voltage Lab

The lab with a size of 7,000 ft2 is furnished with a variety of systems capable of working at distribution (Figure 2) and transmission (Figure 3) voltage levels. These capabilities include: an Impulse generator (Figure 4) with lightning and switching transient waveforms up to 1.4MV, fully programmable AC test set up to 200kV, programmable current source up to 3kA of continuous operation, NIST traceable measuring systems for voltages and currents, Partial discharge and tan-δ measuring systems, Environmental chambers (Figure 5) for simulating various outdoor conditions, Rotating wheel test system for accelerated aging of materials. Work performed in this lab include: 1) evaluation of prototype materials and designs for outdoor insulation for utilities; 2) types of structures examined encompass, polymer dead end strain insulators, fuse cutouts, and polymer pin type insulators; 3) aging and detection of failure of transmission line insulators; 4) development of super hydrophobic surfaces for outdoor insulation funded by NYSERDA; 5) accuracy of optical sensors for revenue class metering systems; wireless sensors and determination of measurement accuracy funded by Qinetics Corp. Operation; and 6) new materials for wildlife guards for distribution components and designs for improvement of lightning resistance of distribution systems including effects of 5G installations funded by EPRI. The high voltage lab will be primarily managed by Prof. Paul McGrath and will be used to support the following REU project:

  • Electric Grid Asset Hardening with 5G Networks for System Resiliency.

Institutional Infrastructure Used in this REU Site

Clarkson’s Smart Housing Testbed

The smart housing testbed in Figure 6 is equipped with electric meters with one-minute sampling rates at the circuit level (12 circuits) and apartment level (12 apartments). The high-fidelity meter data provides more insight into energy consumption behaviors. A 3-year study for building energy modeling and analysis with human subjects’ experiment showed that various combinations of the interventions resulted in a 21% reduction of electricity use compared to a control group. The smart housing project will be used to support the following REU projects:

  • Cyber Resiliency: Cyber-Resilient DER Control for Autonomous Distribution Grid Operation

Clarkson’s 2MW Solar Farm

Figure 7 shows the Clarkson’s 2MW solar farm. It was commissioned in 2014 and is located near the Potsdam Municipal Airport on 12 acres of land. The 7,704 modules of the array generates approximately 2.8 million kilowatt hours per year, which is close to 10% of Clarkson University’s electricity needs. This project is supported by New York State’s NY-Sun Initiative and administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The solar farm data will be used to support the following REU projects:

  • Cyber Resiliency: Cyber-Resilient DER Control for Autonomous Distribution Grid Operation
  • Grid Integration Study with Large Photovoltaic Systems 

Student Office in Clarkson’s CAMP Building

Figure 8 shows Clarkson’s student office (CAMP 111 and 115) with office space more than 2,000 ft2. These student offices provide space to host REU students for summer research.

CTA Block