PECI 2019 Tutorials

PLECS and In-the-Loop Testing of Power Electronics Systems

Vitalik Ablaev

Thursday, 10:00-11:15am

An overview will be given of the electrical engineering software PLECS, a complete power conversion system simulation package that yields robust and fast results. PLECS features a comprehensive component library, which covers not only the electrical, but also the magnetic, mechanical, and thermal aspects of power conversion systems and their associated controls. Design processes for power converters and their associated control systems using advanced tools will be discussed. Later-stage testing can be difficult due to cost, resource and safety concerns. "In-the-loop" methodologies such as Processor-in-the-Loop (PIL) and Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) allow for tying prototype software and hardware subsystems into a high-fidelity, complete system test environment. With PIL, embedded code can be executed on the actual embedded processor and co-simulated with a plant model. With the HIL approach, a real-time simulation platform allows for the complete control system for the device under test as a precursor or replacement for experimental prototype hardware development. Several applications, including dc/dc converters, solar inverters, and motor drives will be explored via offline and real-time simulation examples.

Power System Analysis and Visualization (with PowerWorld Simulator)

Scott R. Dahman

Thursday, 10:00-11:15am

PowerWorld Simulator is a transmission analysis software platform with a powerful load flow calculation engine at its core. Originally conceived in the early 1990s as a visually-oriented educational platform, it has evolved into a suite of advanced tools for assessing operational reliability and market optimization of large-scale power systems. Such tools include contingency analysis, sensitivity analysis, available transfer capability, static voltage stability limits, transient stability, geomagnetic induced current, optimal power flow, and more. This tutorial shows how these tools can be applied to transmission planning and visualized with feature-rich one-line diagrams. The examples used are publicly available synthetic grids that may be downloaded in various formats from Texas A&M University at

The visual characteristics of PowerWorld have been continually refined to enhance the interpretation of power system state and behavior. This provides value in communicating analysis both to the software user and to stakeholders with varying degrees of technical proficiency. PowerWorld Simulator's user community includes not just engineers, but those with economic, financial, and regulatory backgrounds. PowerWorld's founders include distinguished current and former power systems professors and graduate students at the University of Illinois. Many remain actively engaged in the creative and strategic direction of the company.