Electrical Engineering students restore Opal-RT simulator

A group of Electrical Engineering students have successfully restored a dormant piece of simulation technology to aid future research and innovation at Staffordshire University.

HVDC project team

The Opal-RT simulator helps to design, test and optimise control and protection systems used in electrical power grids, power electronics, motor drives, automotive, trains, aircraft and various industries.

The project was the work of the HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) research team, made up of Azharul Islam and Nuwan Adhikari (MSc Electrical and Renewable Energy) and Jashandeep Kaur, Huda Fatima (BEng Electrical Engineering).

Their supervisor, Dr. Manilka Jayasooriya said: ‘Our team initiated the process by installing the necessary software and calibrating the required hardware components.

We successfully re-established the lost connections of the simulator, ensuring the data flows seamlessly through to its core components. This allowed us to run complex simulations on the OPAL-RT, gaining a first-hand experience of how they would behave in real world scenarios.

The team then ran HVDC systems, simulating different fault conditions to evaluate the systems response. This allowed them to assess how this could be applied to the real world and look at improvements.'

Electrical Engineering student Huda Fatima said: 'My experience working on the OPAL-RT was incredibly rewarding, as I witnessed the theoretical concepts come to life in the real world.

Our teams’ mission to revive the dormant simulator sharpened our creativity and problem solving abilities with every challenge, underscoring the significance of collaborative effort. Gaining hands-on experience by running my own HVDC model on the simulator deepened my conceptual understanding, and ignited my enthusiasm for the real time breakthroughs that lie ahead.'

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