Power Standards Lab, a leader in grid instruments, announced Grid Thumper, a breakthrough solution for testing the stability of microgrids, distribution grids, and back-up power systems. When subjected to stand-alone certification testing, individual pieces of grid equipment (generators, inverters, UPS, transfer switches, etc.) almost always operate correctly. When they’re connected together as a system, exactly how their control loops will interact is unknown.
Grid Thumper rigorously tests complete, connected systems, including active distribution grids, detecting harmful instabilities that would otherwise be invisible. It uses patent-pending technology to briefly connect large, time-synchronized resistive and reactive loads – up to a megawatt, often for a tiny fraction of a second – then ultra-precise PSL PQube 3 and microPMU sensors record the grid’s system response.
Grid operators, data centers, hospitals, military bases, sports and entertainment venues, can all gain peace of mind that their critical power systems will perform as expected when needed most. Grid Thumper can test sophisticated power scenarios to validate system reliability and availability, providing objective evidence that tactical radars will identify threats, and assure national television networks that major sporting events will remain on-air.
Researchers at U.S. National Labs have already shown interest in using Grid Thumper to examine PV system stability and detect sophisticated grid cyberattacks. Military suppliers, hospitals and data centers will rely on the non-disruptive Grid Thumper stability tests on mission-critical live grids. Utilities are discussing how to use Grid Thumper to map out distribution grids, and even to increase the amount of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), such as solar PV, that is permitted on a given distribution line. Operators of island grids have plans to use Grid Thumper to measure actual control loop response and damping in a large population of installed inverters.
For more information visit www.powerstandards.com