Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

First Advisor

Reinaldo Tonkoski

Second Advisor

Robert Fourney


CAN busenergy management system, hardware, microgrids, OPAL RT, renewable energy sources


Today the world population has reached 7.5 billion, and this number is expected to grow at the rate of 1.13% every year [1]. With this increase in population, the total demand for electricity has also increased. More people means the need for more power: electricity to power homes, schools, industries, hospitals, and so on. In today’s world, where most of the daily activities are dependent on electricity, demand for electricity, therefore, continues to rise. Currently, managing this growing need for electricity is one of the challenges the world is facing. In addition to this, approximately 1.2 billion people live in remote parts of the world where the electricity supply is either limited or non-existent [2]. Providing an affordable and easily available source of electricity to this population is another challenge. In response to these challenges, a significant number of countries are investing in the integration of renewable resources for energy production. Renewable resources such as the sun, wind, and water are free, clean, and readily available. Remote and poor parts of the world can also benefit by utilizing these available energy sources for electricity generation. The use of renewables helps to decrease the overall cost of electricity generation as well. This need for clean and safe energy has contributed to creating and promoting the concept of microgrids around the world. Microgrids are defined as small-scale power distribution networks with distributed energy sources, loads, and storage. They can operate in either grid-connected or islanded mode. Renewable sources are intermittent in nature, and uncertainties are always present in the microgrid operation when using these resources. The Energy Management technique is required for the coordination of these resources in order to mitigate the potential risks. Some studies have been conducted in the area of microgrid operation, stability, and control, and various types of laboratory-based microgrid test beds have been developed. A microgrid test bed allows testing of scaled down systems in order to test and simulate large real-world microgrid projects. The objective of this study is to develop a reconfigurable microgrid test bed. This test bed is created on a laboratory scale and is capable of testing energy management algorithms to validate real-time operation. A novel approach to automatic microgrid operation is proposed with the use of commercial off-the-shelf equipment and the Controller Area Network (CAN) protocol. The OPAL-RT 5600 real-time simulator is used as a central controller for controlling and scheduling microgrid sources to supply the load, charge the battery and, read a state of charge values. The CAN communication protocol is used by the controller to control and coordinate different components. Different cases are studied in order to support the reconfigurability, automatic operation, and energy management in the microgrid test bed using the CAN bus.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Microgrids (Smart power grids)
Electric power systems -- Management.
Renewable energy sources.
Distributed generation of electric power.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 89-94)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright