Frequently Asked Question
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Hello and welcome to our introduction to communicationprotocols in the Typhoon HIL toolchain.
In this lesson, we will review the main protocolsthat can be implemented with HIL devices to
properly test your setup.
It is necessary to have the Communicationtoolbox package to use communication protocols
in the HIL device.
Each individual protocol is a toolbox andtogether they form the Communication toolbox
Protocol support is also determined by whathardware device you have.
Please check the specification of each HILdevice to check the availability of your required
Nearly every modern engineering system employssome sort of critical, digital communication
Typhoon HIL simulators implement industry-standardcommunication protocols, enabling you to perform
the highest-fidelity real-time simulationson the market, meaning your control system
under test will interact with your model thesame as it would with real devices on the
Testing communication protocols is importantto verify interoperability between devices,
especially in microgrid projects, where protocolsare standardized.
In addition to that, it is an important stepto interface the real time model with external
devices to evaluate and certify the systemsfunctionality and control.
Applications that require communication testingextend to several industry fields, such as
automation, energy generation transmissionand distribution, automotive, aerospace, and
In academic research, communication protocolsare also used to implement co-simulation interfaces
and integrate different laboratory equipment.
Here we have the protocols included in TyphoonHIL Control Center organized by the application
where they are most commonly used in HIL tests.
As of the 2021.4 software release, TyphoonHIL software supports tests using Modbus TCP
(client and server), Modbus SunSpec, CAN bus,J1939, CAN FD, Ethernet Variable Exchange,
Serial, SFP aurora, IEC 61850 MMS server,GOOSE publisher and subscriber, Sampled Values
publisher and subscriber, DNP3 outstation,OPC UA, PROFINET, and EtherCAT.
We will have a chance to look at how to usesome of the more common protocols in detail
in the next lessons.
Meanwhile, you can check the link in the Materialstab in order to access detailed documentation
for every supported protocol.
All these protocols are used in real lifeapplications and each one plays an important
role in the communication hierarchy of thesystem.
To help understand and choose where each protocolis suitable for an application, some requirements
must be considered.
Common requirements are flexibility, criticality,determinism, number of devices, standards,
robustness, data types, security level, remoteor local access, speed, and hardware setup.
Now let's look into some of the characteristicsof these protocols, to better understand when
we might encounter them or use them in tests.
One way to cluster the protocols implementedin the Typhoon HIL toolchain is into bare
metal and Linux operating system based protocols.
Bare metal protocols are characterized bya higher transmission speed and better sending
or receiving period precision when comparedto operating system protocols.
Usually, these protocols are applied in theprocess level of an industry automation plant,
where higher speed and period precision arerequired but the complexity of messages is
With the 2021.4 release of Typhoon HIL software,supported bare metal protocols include: Sampled
Values, Ethernet Variable Exchange, CAN bus,CAN FD, and J1939.
Linux Operating System based protocols arecharacterized by higher flexibility and can
exchange more complex data types.
These protocols usually are applied at thebay and station level in an industrial plant,
for instance, performing protection, control,and remote monitoring at the process level.
With the 2021.4 release of Typhoon HIL software,supported Linux OS based protocols include:
DNP3, Modbus TCP, MMS, EtherCAT, IEEE C37.118,PROFINET, CANopen, and GOOSE.
Another way to group protocols is by theirrequirements for use.
For this, we can classify the protocols implementedin the Typhoon HIL toolchain as either Industrial
or user-defined protocols.
Industrial protocols are those that are connectedwith standards, which may be required for
Naturally, the use of industrial protocolsfollows strict standards and has a predefined
message specification, making them ideal forinterfacing devices from different vendors.
With the 2021.4 software release, Modbus,SunSpec, DNP3, GOOSE, MMS, Sampled Values,
PROFINET, EtherCAT, and OPC UA are supportedindustrial protocols.
On the other hand, user-defined protocolscan be customized depending on the message
This is useful when interfacing with devicesthat use proprietary protocols.
With the 2021.4 release, supported user-definedprotocols include Ethernet Variable Exchange,
Serial, and SFP.
To implement protocols for your testing modelin Schematic Editor, open the Communication
folder in the Library Explorer, and drag anddrop the desired components as shown here.
It is simple as that!
You can also see here a list of the currentlysupported protocols based on the physical
communication interface of the HIL devicethat they use to send and receive messages.
These are: Ethernet protocols over RJ45, CANbased protocols over DB9, Serial protocol
over RS232, and SFP over Fiber Optics physicalconnector.
Thank you for joining us on this brief introductionto communication protocols in the Typhoon
In the following lessons, we will give a shorttheoretical introduction to Modbus, CAN bus,
Ethernet Variable Exchange, and Serial protocolsand show you how to implement and configure
them for every supported HIL device.