High performance computing techniques with power systems simulations
September 25, 2018
Small electrical networks (i.e., microgrids) and machine models (synchronous generators, induction motors) can be simulated fairly easily, on sequential processes. However, running a large simulation on a single process becomes infeasible because of complexity and timing issues. Scalability becomes an increasingly important issue for larger simulations, and the platform for running such large simulations, like the MIT Supercloud, becomes more important. The distributed computing network used to simulate an electrical network as the physical system presents new challenges, however. Different simulation models, different time steps, and different computation times for each process in the distributed computing network introduce new challenges not present with typical problems that are addressed with high performance computing techniques. A distributed computing network is established for some example electrical networks, and then adjustments are made in the parallel simulation set-up to alleviate the new kinds of challenges that come with modeling and simulating a physical system as diverse as an electrical network. Also, methods are shown to simulate the same electrical network in hundreds of milliseconds, as opposed to several seconds--a dramatic speedup once the simulation is parallelized.