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Hello and welcome to the Test Automation course. In this lesson,
we will go over the reasons why you should be automating tests for power electronic devices
and power systems in general. The rest of the course will teach you how to do it.
When developing power electronic converters, a considerable amount of time of is spent on
developing control software. Hence, software development methodologies, such as DevOps, rapid
prototyping, and continuous improvement, must be implemented in order to stay ahead of the market.
The grid is going through a transformation, from centralized energy generation to a more
distributed one. This scattered energy generation adds complexity to the system.
Nearly all these new generation sources are based on power electronic converters,
allowing affordable renewable energy generation to be introduced in several locations on the grid.
Each Distributed Energy Resource, or DER, has to run its own control and remain stable
under a wide range of operating conditions. As these DERs become a more significant portion of
grids and microgrids, it is crucial to pay more attention to it. A great challenge of these Power
Electronic converters is the effect of its lack of inertia, where fast responses can add undesirable
effects to the bulk grid or microgrids. DERs can be designed to help enhance grid stability
and provide inertia to the system, especially with the addition of energy storage systems.
These DERs not only have to comply with strict standards, but also experience
a wide range of events and conditions that are not tested during certification process.
Hence, they need to be tested for all these conditions. On top of that, dynamic interaction
with other DERs and loads also needs to be taken into consideration. This means that power
electronic devices are not the only grid-connected components that need thorough testing.
Similar challenges exist for relay protection, synchronous generators, and finally, microgrid
controllers and distribution management systems.This all means that testing is a crucial aspect
of developing new Power Electronic devices. The large number of tests, and ever-changing standards
and conditions, means manually testing all necessary conditions is unfeasible.
Here we will show you how to make it more efficient by introducing automation.
Test automation lets you run unsupervised tests, at any time, with repeatable steps,
saving you time and helping you standardize your development process.
Modern grids demand new features from power electronic converters.
When adding these new features, it is necessary to check that they don t interfere with any
previously implemented feature. For example, by adding anti-islanding functionality,
we need to make sure the converter will not add undesirable behavior to normal operation
conditions or cause erroneous disconnection.Automating your tests with scripts also allows
for continuous improvement of the test procedure and reports. It can also be
used for automated pre-certification test and be easily updated when grid codes inevitably change.
It is also possible to develop test procedures in such a way that the
same test can be utilized for a wide range of different devices.
After you have a library of tests, adding new tests cases becomes easier.
In order to be able to run these tests without human supervision, it is necessary
to execute it in a safe environment. This is where Hardware-in-the-loop real time simulators shine.
You can safely test you real control hardware under any number of conditions without worrying
about hazards like fire or explosion, thanks to the simulated power stage.
Using HIL and test automation together means you can build a continuous improvement and development
cycle, continuously improving your product and increasing the test coverage.
Test automation for power electronic devices can be used in several places with significant
benefits. Let s name a few use cases which already make use of HIL, so automating
the test procedure is a natural next step.In industry, test automation can be used for:
development, including a very large number of tests, operating conditions, and parameters;
pre-certification, by running certification-like tests as part of the development process;
and commissioning. Different sites might require different parameters.
During commissioning, the new set of parameters can be tested for a wider range of conditions,
other than the ones verified on-site.In Academia, the main use cases can be:
Testing new methodologies for a wider range of conditions, not only for few cases and parameters;
Benchmarking different methodologies, by using the same test procedure and metrics to compare them;
And automatically generating results, such as plots or tables. This allows you
to quickly create and update papers if needed.For laboratories, test automation allows for:
Improving the turnaround for providing certification tests. Combining test automation
with HIL means DERs can be very quickly, safely, and inexpensively tested and fixed.
You can also run the same HIL test automation procedure with laboratory equipment.
Therefore, after a DER has passed the automated HIL pre-certification tests,
the same test procedure can be used in the lab, generating the same test results. This can help
you avoid wasting time running laboratory tests on equipment that are doomed to fail.
In the lesson description, you can find links to a few of the many recordings and material
we have on the topic of test automation.Now let s take a look how Typhoon HIL
approaches this topic, harnessing the power of open-source tools that can be
used in several stages of product development.Typhoon HIL software is developed using Python,
and you can use Typhoon APIs to fully control the model and simulation.
Hence, test automation is based on a widely used Python test framework: pytest.
Visualizing the test results is a critically important step of test automation. Typhoon
Test outputs Allure reports automatically, as Allure is already nicely integrated with pytest.
The TyphoonTest IDE automation tool runs using pytest, adding automatic report generation with
Allure. In addition, it provides several pre-built signal analysis, assertion,
and reporting functions to speed up the test development process.
After developing your tests, they can easily be integrated into CI/CD processes,
using Jenkins for example.
Thank you for watching!