Remote Hardware-in-the-Loop Laboratory and its Application in Engineering Education
Addressing the challenges associated with integrating renewable energy resources and smart grid solutions to advance the energy transition requires new and progressive education and training to give young engineers the tools for innovative solutions at an early age. This paper presents a Hardware-in-the-Loop laboratory designed for remote access, to increase the advantages for practice-oriented teaching and to open the floor for new educational trends, as e-learning and blended learning. It was applied to online engineering courses during the pandemic period, but the benefits may include an increase in student learning afterward as well. The method based on three main steps is presented in detail. First of all, an online class stage is performed. Following this, models for offline simulations are developed. Finally, the developed simulation models are integrated into a real-time remote Hardware-in-the-Loop emulation process as the experimental part of the engineering course. The hardware and software components of the remote Hardware-in-the-Loop lab are presented, and two examples of real-time lab exercises are described to provide insight into the method.