A key ingredient for the successful completion of any complex microgrid project is real-time controller hardware-in-the-loop (C-HIL) testing. C-HIL testing allows engineers to test the system and its controls before it is deployed in the field. C-HIL testing also allows for the simulation of test scenarios that are too risky or even impossible to test in the field. The results of C-HIL testing provide the necessary proof of concept and insight into any microgrid system limitations. This type of testing can also be used to create awareness among potential microgrid customers. This paper describes the modeling benefits, challenges, and lessons learned associated with C-HIL testing. The microgrid system used in this study has a 3 MW battery, 5 MW photovoltaic (PV) array, 4 MW diesel generator set (genset), and 3.5 MW combined heat and power generation system (CHP).