CAPER Summer 2018 Research Planning Workshop
July 30 – August 1, 2018

The Center for Advanced Power Engineering Research (CAPER) is a membership driven consortium among several universities and numerous industry partners created to develop and demonstrate a comprehensive and integrated methodology for grid modernization.
On July 30 – August 1, 2018 CAPER held the annual Summer Research Planning Workshop.

Location: StateView Hotel in Raleigh, NC

Attendees (complete list provided upon request)
There were:

  • 44 industry and government
  • 30 university faculty and students

Workshop Highlights
Workshop began at 8:00 am, Monday, July 30, 2018.  Steven Whisenant started the meeting with an Introduction and Safety Moment.

  • Steve stated the Objectives of this Summer Research Planning Workshop and shared recent In the News Headlines concerning the power industry.

 Plenary Session – Grid Simulation Tools

The plenary session presentations are available to the public (above). All following presentations, delivered in the various sessions, are available on the Members-Only Section of this website.

 Session I – Standards and Tools to Ensure Integrity of the Transmission Grid

  • “Tools and Challenges in Steady-State Planning Models and Studies” by Brian Moss, Duke Energy
  • “Tools and Challenges in Dynamic Planning Models and Studies” by John O’Connor, Duke Energy
  • “DEP Tools for System Protection – Transmission” by Scott Nyberg, Duke Energy
  • “EMS – The Engine for Real Time Network Analysis” by Adam Guinn, Duke Energy
  • “Power Flow Studies and Contingency Analysis” by Cale Register, Duke Energy
  • “Tools and Challenges to Comply with TOP Standards RTA/OPA” by Mark Goettsch, Duke Energy

Session II –  Integrity and Validation of System Models

  • “Model Simulation versus Real World Response” by John O’Connor, Duke Energy
  • “Modeling Distribution Systems in Transmission Studies” by Bill Quaintance, Duke Energy
  • “Integration and Monitoring of Distributed Energy Resources in System Operations” by Adam Guinn, Duke Energy
  • “Maintaining Integrity across Different Models” by Kat Sico, Duke Energy
  • “Interoperability of Different Software and Models” by Drew Clarke, Duke Energy

Session III – Modeling Distribution Systems with Distributed Resources

  • “Enabling High Penetration of Distributed Photovoltaics through the Optimization of Sub-Transmission Voltage Regulation” by Nader Samaan, PNNL
  • “Steady-State vs Dynamic Simulations – Why do We Need to Model Load Dynamics?” by Ning Lu, NC State
  • “Software Tools used by Distribution Engineers and Academia” by David Lubkeman, NC State

Reception and Dinner – “Human Factors in Current and Future Control Room Operations” by Rocky Sease, SOS Int’l


The workshop resumed at 8:00 am on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. Steven Whisenant presented Monday’s meeting highlights as well as Tuesday’s agenda.

 Session IV – What’s on the Horizon for Grid Simulation Tools?

  • “Beyond Distribution Modeling” by Priya Thekkumparabath Mana, PNNL
  • “The Evolution of OpenDSS Path and Next Steps” by Davis Montenegro, EPRI
  • “Electrical Digital Twin” by Joe Canterino, Siemens PTI
  • “Microgrids Testing: HIL Modeling and Simulation” by Anil Kondabathini, ABB

Session V New Concepts of High Performance Computing

  • “Parallel Computing for Faster than Real-Time Dynamic Simulation” by Mike Mazzola, UNC Charlotte EPIC
  • “Advanced Computing Techniques to Enhance Grid Resiliency and Flexibility” by Yousu Chen, PNNL
  • “Big Data-Driven Predictive and Scalable Situational Awareness in Power Delivery” by Bert Taube, Southern Research
  • “GridPACK™ – A Shortcut to Parallel Power Grid Simulation Development” by Shuangshuang Jin, Clemson University

 Session VI – 2019 Research Planning Session

  • This session began with an updated on the CAPER-Sponsored Summer Short Course “Fundamentals of Power Engineering” by CAPER Intern Alexander Arzon
  • Afterwards, there were five Breakout Groups , one for each of the five CAPER Research Themes. Each Group took 90 minutes to discuss topics for future research projects in their respective themes.
  • At 3:00 pm each Breakout Group reported on their discussions. Research topics are summarized below:

Power Delivery Infrastructure and Systems – facilitated by Drew Clarke – Duke Energy
       Topics of interest:

Integration of renewables

  • Equipment Integration – How to combine inverters, panels, transformers, power plant controllers, etc.
  • Study Tools – Include dynamics, T&D together, automated for different types of studies
  • Operational Modes – How to control optimally while considering existing equipment
  • Measurements – Micro PMU type data (PQ meters?), optimal visibility and placement

Predictive Analytics

  • Reliability/Resiliency – How to improve with data
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Weather Impacts – Can we combine data to predict impacts.

Energy Policy, Markets and Economics – facilitated by Mesut Baran – NC State
Topics of interest:

  • New business models for utility as new technologies (DER, demand response etc.) emerge.
  • Storage: Business case and regulatory issues
  • Micro-grid:  Business case and regulatory issues
  • Pricing schemes for DER and demand response
  • High Impact low probability events: economic and policy aspects
  • Techno-economic assessment of a product: vendor and utility perspective
  • Transactive energy: Economic and regulatory issues

Data Management, Analytics and Security – facilitated by Klaehn Burkes – SRNL
Topics of interest:

  • Discussion was on why do utilities have some many different software’s for different required simulations and how does this effect engineers in different ways. Duke keeps several working models of their system with different properties for different software models. Discussion on utilities want to keep using software but would like to be able to add results from one software into simulations of another automatically. Would not convert to a new software that does all simulations. It was proposed to develop a data base that holds all data needed from two software platforms and a translator to convert the database into the format to run in a specific software. This can be expanded to multiple translators and a user interface that allows for an engineer to decide what information is needed and which software is it intended to run in. This system would allow for a utility to keep the same software that is reliable but not require the engineer to waste time making one off modifications.
  • The database could then be the next step to an integrated transmission and distribution co-simulation model. This was a big part of the whole CAPER discussion was how to simulate distribution and transmission together and a database holding all of the data would be the first step in feasibly modeling the whole network.

Power Generation, Storage and Integration – facilitated by Johan Enslin – Clemson
Topics of interest:

  • Distributed CHPs
  • PV plus storage
  • Demand Response and Virtual Storage
  • O&M and life cycle concerns of energy storage – SOC, SOH.
  • Control and Operations Center visibility of Distributed Generation and behind meter generation and storage.
  • Modeling of CHP, generation, storage,
  • Integration of storage – location, sizing and performance optimization.
  • Fast resource forecasting
  • Evaluate storage on business case and stacked values
  • SCADA and EMS integration to DG and storage on distribution systems.
  • Alternative to storage – Just in time generation
  • Optimizing stack values – the value stream for energy storage
  • HPC vs Distributed Computing
  • Cyber Security Impacts to all aspects.

Highest Priorities:

  • Sizing, location and best value of energy storage, including pump-storage upgrades.
  • Case study of cost benefit analysis for storage – compare with other technology options.

Power Utilization and Energy Efficiency – facilitated by Ning Lu – NC State
Topics of interest:
Customer participation depends on letting customer understand full benefit they will receive when participating a programs. Their satisfaction depends on comfort, cost-of-participation, and rewards.  Thus, the discussion centers around how to develop a customer oriented tool that can provide the following functions:

  1. Informing customers what is the breakdown of energy use to increase self-awareness and provide immediate feedback to good behaviors.
  2. Predicting what will be expected if a DR or energy efficiency program is implemented.
  3. Suggest preferable programs to customers and best practice for them to lower the energy bill and help the environment while maintaining their comfort.

Research Solicitation Process and timeline were discussed by Steve Whisenant. Deadline for submittal of proposals for the 2018 Research Solicitation is October 19.

Proposals must be in the CAPER Proposal Template which is available through the Site Co-Directors or Crista Hartenstein at . Proposals are limited to 5 pagers and must include at least two Universities and list two industry advisors.

Proposals must be sent to the Center Director, Johan Enslin, by midnight October 19 at

Next CAPER IAB Fall 2018 Meeting – November 15-16, 2018
The next CAPER meeting will be November 15-16, 2018 at Clemson University in Charleston, SC.
Details will follow but please mark your calendar now to attend.

Thank you to everyone for taking our Summer Workshop survey! For the results, please click here.


For questions, please contact CAPER at or call 843-730-5068.