Appendix: Smart Grid Simulation Tools

The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

— John Kenneth Galbraith

It does not take long for a person new to the smart grid, particularly those with a communication networking background, to begin asking, “Where can I find smart grid simulators?” The goal of this appendix to help answer this question. The danger in attempting to answer this question is that any answer written now will undoubtedly be out of date by the time you read this, given that simulation tools, particularly public-domain tools, are rapidly evolving. Both power systems and communication researchers have developed simulation tools, including real-time and hardware-in-the-loop simulation tools, for many decades. There are a myriad of tools available in each field. The problem has been that, until the smart grid concept came along, very few simulation tools combined both power grid and communication simulation capability in one package; just as these two fields have progressed independently from one another, so too have their tools been developed in isolation from one another.

However, progress is being made in the development of joint power system and communication simulation tools. A caution is in order: it is generally a good idea to read this book first and understand the fundamentals as well as perform the appropriate analysis before attempting any serious simulation activity. Relying solely on a simulation to provide solutions is never ...

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