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Opnet - Riverbed


University Research Program

Network Simulation (Riverbed - OPNET Modeler Wireless Suite)


University: Università di Bologna - Bologna - Italy

Professor: Dr. Carlo Alberto Nucci and Dr. Alberto Borghetti

PhD Student: Eng. Riccardo Bottura

Department: Department of Electrical Engineering (DIE) - Power Systems Engineering Laboratory  (LISEP)

Main Research Project Title: Telecom Architecture and Solutions for Linking the Elements of the Smart Distribution Grid

The main research project focus on optimizing communication networks for Smart electrical distribution Grid. The research involves modeling and analyzing how the different protocols, network devices and technology in a power system communication network behave and what is the effect on performance.

PhD-Level Project Using OPNET

Engineers working on Smart Grid initiatives are modeling communications networks to gauge their ability to support next-generation power system applications. Progress has been made using analytic models and bulk traffic estimates based on Smart Grid use cases. However, event-driven simulation is required to model dynamic system behavior, and to probe the limits of network performance at “utility scale” under challenging conditions. It would also be desirable to link communication system modeling with simulation of emerging Smart Grid applications on actually deployed power systems.

Such a co-simulation environment would allow engineers to assess the feasibility of using a given network technology to support communication-based Smart Grid control schemes on an existing segment of the electrical grid; and conversely, to determine the range of control schemes that differing communications technologies and protocols can support.

According to the initial goal of doctoral project, was built a co-simulation platform by linking, with the assistance of the Socket, the Electromagnetic Transients Program - Restructured Version Simulator (EMTP RV Works v2.6) with a Telecommunication Network Simulator OPNET Modeler Wireless suite v17.5. This software tool, it will be used to study a plausible deployment of distributed energy resources (DERs) on a model of an actual energy distribution circuit.

In these conditions, different communications network and technology (GSM, UMTS, WiFi, SRD, ZigBee, etc.) will be model in order to provide real-time sensing and control. OPNET modeler simulator will examine the aggregate behavior of the communication (wired and wireless) network and demonstrates the available capacity to support different applications in term of connectivity, latency and throughput requirements. Then an event model it will be used to focus on a different power interruption events, and perform a detailed analysis of device-to-device communication and the resulting effect on performance and mitigation of voltage (or frequency) variation in the time domain.

Related Publications

R. BotturaD. Babazadeh, Kun Zhu, A. Borghetti, L. Nordström, C. A. Nucci, "SITL and HLA Co-simulation Platforms: Tools for Analysis of the Integrated ICT and Electric Power System", IEEE EuroCon, 2013 (10.1109/EUROCON.2013.6625092)


R. Bottura, A. Borghetti, F. Napolitano, C.A. Nucci, "ICT-power Co-simulation Platform for the Analysis of Communication-based Volt/Var Optimization in Distribution Feeders", Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference (ISGT), IEEE PES, 2014 (10.1109/ISGT.2014.6816425)


R. Bottura, A. Borghetti, "Simulation of the Volt/Var Control in Distribution Feeders by Means of a Networked Multi-Agent System", IEEE Transaction on Industrial Informatics (Volume:PP, Issue:99), June 2014 (10.1109/TII.2014.2331025)