Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Renewable Alternative Power System Simulator - RAPSim

An open simulation software for Micro Grids

It is not necessary to stress all the challenges that come allong with wide range integration of renewables into the power grid at this article. You easily find this somewhere else, in this blog or at another source in the web. But I want to focus your attention on a tool that can help to deal with this challenges and work torwards solutions. It is a lot on matching climate dependent production with the personal demand which is currently noticed only in average. The various influences on residential load profiles are diverse and include weather conditions, availability of other resources, personal habits and also social phenomenas. This variaty is a reason why Marija Ilic speaks of just-in-time and just-in-place services in the conntext of Smart Micro Grids. 

Developing of or researching on such services requires a flexible simulation tool with possibly high usability. This is exactly what RAPSim is aiming at. RAPSim has been developed at the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt within the Lakeside Labs project Smart Microgrid and was presented in front of interested audience at the ISGT Asia - 2014 conference in Kuala Lumpur in May 2014. Since then the software project is downloadable for free at

Connected Smart Grid Objects 

The simulation field is a lattice where the user designs a scenario by placing different "grid objects", e.g., houses, wind turbines, PV panels, etc. Each of the objects can have a model which does all the inner-object calculations. Algorithms handle grid-wide interactions. User-defined models can extend  algorithms for the grid and/or models for the grid objects. RAPSim provides the interface with following functions:
  • A graphical interface to create the intended scenarios and to control the simulator functions.
  • Functions to save and load simulation scenarios in a generic xml format.
  • A time thread that models time of day and day of the year and handles up to minute resolution.
  • Generation of output files in csv-format. Object parameters can be selected to be written into a file at each time step.
  • Weather simulation which can be done via stochastic models or simulated by measured data.
  • Topological grid analysis that collects objects of the same bus in a list and aggregates their parameter values.
  • Administration of algorithms for grid-wide calculations.
  • Administration of object specific models that can be easily implemented by the user.
The software is written in Java and provided with the source code so that it can be imported into a Java IDE such as eclipse. The development of the software is still ongoing. Try it out and give us feedback by adding a comment or sending a ticket to helps us to further improve it. Please spread the news about the tool, while we will do the best on our part so that onces RAPSim may become a synonym for rapid simulation in the field of mirco grids.
Once more here the link to the sourceforge page.

Publications on RAPSim (with links to fulltext PDF):

M. Pöchacker, T. Khatib, and W. Elmenreich. The microgrid simulation tool RAPSim: Description and case study. In Proceedings of the IEEE Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Asia (ISGT-ASIA'14), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2014. IEEE.

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