Combined simulation and virtualization approach for interconnected substation automation
The interaction between communication technology and the power grids is a major issue in research studies to investigate the effect of cyberattacks, communication failures and other errors to the physical behavior of the power grid. Especially the interconnected digitalized substations of the modern power grids are of interest due to their high-risk potential and dependence of communication technology. Disturbances and negative influences on these key control entities can affect the entire underlying power supply as a critical infrastructure. Recent publications and research projects are trying to investigate the effects by using simulation tools within co-simulation approaches. In this paper, we present a novel approach using a conventional real-time power grid simulation and to combine it with a container-based virtualization of the communication infrastructure. The communication infrastructure contains all the important and necessary components, hosts, devices, and communication aspects to set the network traffic and interactivity of substation automation setups regarding the IEC 61850 standard. This paper will show the feasibility of combining online real-time grid simulation to a container-based virtualization on the process level. The evaluation is done by analyzing occurred time delays and latency about requirements given by IEC 61850 standard. A validation against these transmission time requirements is presented to provide an indication of the feasibility of our approach.