With high penetration of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), which refer to all controllable loads, storages, electrical vehicles (EVs), and distributed renewable generators, into distribution networks, emerging concepts of smart distribution networks indicate that DERs are effectively monitored and controlled to achieve the autonomous distribution grid with two features: 1. optimizing energy performance of DERs to address stochastic and dynamic challenges, 2. supporting grid services of frequency and voltage regulation. To this end, new control, protection and communication systems are required. As a groundbreaking cyber-physical system, the smart distribution grid is relying more heavily on hierarchical and distributed control systems with greater dependency on a variety of communication systems. However, we lack modeling and simulation capabilities for the industry to understand such distribution and communication interdependency during the process of planning and operating of such smart distribution grid.
To fill this gap, we propose to integrate the Network Simulator NS3 into the High Engine for Large-Scale Infrastructure Co-Simulation (HELICS), a new open-source, cyber-physical-energy co-simulation platform. This project aims to the development and case studies of HELICS-NS3 high performance distribution-communication framework for the DER coordination in the smart distribution grid. The novel integration technique of NS3 and HELICS has been implemented. Both DER monitoring and control use cases will be developed on the proposed HELICS-NS3 co-simulation platform. Case 1 focuses on hybrid communications effects on the DER monitoring by investigating he average latency/throughput/packetlossrate performance. Case 2 is about impact of DER control on distribution system stability indicates through the metrics of convergence and accuracy.