Power Equipment Models

Grid Representations and Power Equipment
Grid Models
  • Meshed and radial AC systems with 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-phases
  • Meshed and radial DC systems
  • Combined AC and DC system modelling
  • Model validity from LV up to ultra-high voltage
Phase Technologies
  • Single phase with/without neutral
  • Two-phase with/without neutral
  • Bi-phase with/without neutral
  • Three-phase with/without neutral
  • Simple terminal models to be used for “node and branch” representation, marshalling panels, terminal blocks, terminal strips, clamping bars, joints and junctions
  • Complex substation models with the provision of various standard busbar configurations such as single- and double busbars with/without tie-breakers, bypass busbars, 1½ busbar systems and flexible busbar configurations according to user-specific needs
  • Secondary Substation object which provides templates with a broad variety of predefined secondary substation configurations
  • Templates for holding any type of user-specific busbar configuration, including pre-configured protection schemes
Generators and Sources
  • Synchronous and asynchronous generator
  • Doubly-fed induction generator
  • Static generator (for PV, fuel cell, wind generator, battery storage, etc.)
  • External grid
  • AC voltage source
  • AC current source
  • 2-terminal AC voltage source
  • PV system
  • Impulse source
  • General load model (for HV and MV-feeders)
  • Complex load model (for feeders with a large number of induction motors)
  • Low voltage load (can be assigned across line and cable sections)
  • Medium voltage load, representing a distribution transformer together with a reduced load/generation model
  • Synchronous and asynchronous motor load
Reactive Power Compensation
  • Static Var Compensator (SVC)
  • Shunt/Filter (RLC, RL, C, RLCRp, RLCCRp)
  • Series RLC filter
Branch models
  • Overhead line and cable models (p-models and distributed parameter models)
  • Circuits and line sub-sections
  • Mutual data, line couplings, tower geometries
  • 2-, 2-N-winding transformer and auto transformer
  • 3-winding transformer, booster transformer
  • Series reactor, series capacitor and common impedance
DC Models
  • 1-terminal and 2-terminal DC voltage source and DC current source
  • DC/DC converter
  • Inductive DC-coupling
  • DC machine
  • DC battery
Power Electronics Devices
  • Thyristor/Diode converter models
  • Self-commutated converter models (VSC-converter)
  • DC valve (for building individual converter topologies)
  • Softstarter
Switches and Substation Equipment
  • Circuit Breaker and Disconnector
  • Load-Break-Disconnector
  • Load-Switch
  • Grounding Switch
  • Fuse
  • NEC/NER, grounding devices
  • Surge arrester
Composite Models
  • Composite node models, e.g. representing complex substations
  • Composite branch models
  • Template library for handling composite models
Parameter characteristics
  • Time characteristics and discrete characteristics
  • Scalar, vector and matrix characteristics
  • File references and polygons
  • Continuous and discrete triggers
  • Frequency and time scales
  • Station controller, secondary controller (SCO), virtual power plant
  • Tap controller, shunt controller
  • User-definable capability diagrams and controllers
Organisation and Grouping
  • Site, station, substation, area, zone
  • Feeder, branch, bay
  • Operator, owner
  • Boundaries
Operational Library
  • Substation running arrangements
  • CB ratings
  • Thermal ratings
  • Library of faults/contingencies
  • Library of (planned) outages
  • Protection relays with over 30 basic protection function blocks
  • Manufacturer-specific relay library with relay models from all major manufacturers
  • CT, VT and various measurement transducers (P, Q, f, etc.)
  • Fourier source, harmonic source, FFT
  • Clock, sample & hold, sample & hold noise generator

Data Management

Standard Data Model
Arrangement of Data in Project Folders

All data required for grid modelling, project organisation and project execution are arranged in project folders. Project data are structured into Libraries, Network Models, Operation Scenarios and Study Cases.


  • Libraries contain equipment types, special operation information, DPL scripts, templates and user-defined models
  • The Equipment Type Library can store manufacturer and standard data for cables, conductors, circuit breakers, transformers, motors, generators, protection devices, PV panels, converters, wind turbines, etc.
  • Operational Libraries help organise standard settings and operational structures of grids. Typical entries include specific device Mvar limits and capability curves, outages, fault conditions and sequences, specific thermal ratings, running arrangements, etc.

Network Models:

  • All network data are organised and stored in various folders such as grid- and area folders, folders for boundaries, circuits, feeders, routes, zones, etc.
  • Comprehensive network topology handling defining: Nodes, Substations, Sites, Boundaries, Circuits, Routes, Operators and Owners
  • Graphical information such as overview diagrams, simplified single line diagrams and detailed single line diagrams are automatically organised in a separate diagram folder
  • Grid Variations are linked to the original grid data, allowing non-redundant grid variation management
  • Easy and non-redundant handling of grid expansion alternatives
  • Planned grid expansions are organised by time-stamped Expansion Stages which are considered depending on the selected Study Time. Expansion Stages are stored in Variations and handled via the Variation Scheduler. In other words, variations can be seen as expansion plans composed of different stages which are activated chronologically

Operation Scenarios:

  • Definition of operation and dispatch conditions, grid loading, ambient temperature, daily load variation pattern, etc
  • Organisation of characteristics to generate ranges of values such as daily load curves, temperature dependencies, wind conditions, solar radiation pattern, etc
  • Definition of triggers for easy selection of certain conditions to be analysed
  • Comparison of Operation Scenarios

Study Cases:

  • Grid configurations, operation conditions, trigger settings, calculation options, fault sequences, results and DPL scripts to be executed are all stored in Study Cases
  • Study Cases can be activated to reproduce any grid condition and its associated calculation results
Study Time

PowerFactory extends grid modelling into the dimension of time. The model may span a period of months or years considering network expansions, planned outages and other system events. The period of validity of a project therefore specifies the time span that the of the model’s validity.

  • The Study Time automatically determines which expansion stages of a variation will be considered.
  • Selection of Study Time along with the operational conditions will automatically create grid expansion scenarios.
Data Organisation

Simultaneous use of grid data takes place when two different parties work with the same project. This kind of situation occurs most frequently in larger companies where software-based teamworking capabilities are a basic requirement.


  • Project Versions constitute a snapshot of a project at a specific point in time
  • Project versions are under full control of owner rights
  • Rollback functions allow a controlled “Undo” of a project’s execution steps, thereby “rolling back” to a specific stage of the project
  • Reporting facilities for Derived Projects which depend on a certain version

Derived Projects:

  • Master Projects can be published in a public area of the database
  • Derived Projects are “virtual” copies of a Version of a Master Project that can be developed by any number of users simultaneously. Only the differences to the original version are stored
  • Derived Projects are always linked to their original Master Project
  • The users will be automatically notified if a new version of their Master Project is available
  • Comprehensive tools for merging several derived projects and/or their versions into a new project via the Merge Tool; this allows the consolidation of independent and parallel model modifications introduced by different users

Network Diagrams & Graphic Features

Categories of Network Diagrams
  • Simplified Single Line Diagrams with various options for a schematic view of substation topology and switching status
  • Detailed Single Line Diagrams showing all switches (circuit breakers and disconnectors)
  • Intelligent Overview Diagrams providing a node and branch representation of the network; can be schematically, geographically or semi-geographically arranged
  • Visual representation of the network by using GPS coordinates to generate geographic diagrams
General Features
  • Handle mixed representations of Detailed Single Line Diagrams, Simplified Single Line Diagrams and Overview Diagrams
  • Access equipment editing menus in the single line diagram via cursor selection of the appropriate element, region or composite model
  • Zoom-in or zoom-out of area networks or composite model graphics
  • Initiate calculation events directly within the graphical environment, including circuit breaker switching, fault implementation and other data changes
  • Option to immediately reflect any editing activity on the graphical level
  • Display any calculation results immediately in result boxes in single line diagrams. All program variables and signals can be displayed according to a highly flexible user definition for various object categories and analysis functions
  • Display any calculation result to be defined on various functional levels and categories for any object
  • Insert freely-configured result displays
  • Provision of auxiliary graphics editing for enhanced documentation
  • Perform copy/paste operation on single objects and groups
  • View and operate several graphic windows with different layers and grid sections simultaneously; utilise several graphical representations of the same system simultaneously
  • Spread large diagrams over several pages
  • Support of pre-defined and user-defined graphical layers
  • Support the use of multiple layers, which can be reorder, hide and move offering a high degree of flexibility; import/export annotation layers is possible
  • Graphical representation of protection devices and neutral connections
  • Placement of user-definable icons as buttons for executing DPL scripts; this way users can create custom panels of frequently-executed DPL-initiated commands
Colouring of Network Diagrams
  • Provision of various colouring modes according to topology criteria such as areas, zones, owners, operators, routes, station connectivity, energizing status, boundaries/interior regions, isolated grids, etc.
  • Colouring options to display voltage levels, equipment loading and operation ranges
  • Define colouring based on AC/DC equipment category and phase technology
  • Display of grid modifications and variants, recording of expansion stage modifications, missing grid connections
  • Provision of feeder colouring and path definitions
  • User-defined filters based on complex equations or DPL scripts
User-definable Symbols
  • Support of user-definable symbols based on standard graphical formats (.wmf,.bmp). E.g. use your own symbols for wind turbines, PV panels, hydro units, etc.
  • Define specific graphical representations for transformers, shunts, circuit breakers, isolators to fit individual needs
Composite Graphics
  • Elements can be grouped together and stored as Composite Graphics. Typical applications are standard busbar arrangements, switchboard configurations, HVDC structures, PV panels, typical wind turbine configurations or complete wind parks
  • Composite Graphics can be easily handled via the Template Manager. Templates can be populated with type and element data. For drawing Composite Graphics, the Template Manager is operated as Drawing Tool Box
Virtual Instruments
  • DIgSILENT PowerFactory applies the concept of Virtual Instruments (VI) as a tool for displaying any calculated result or variable
  • Results may be displayed in the form of bar graphs, plotted curves, or even tables of values, with all of these representations being completely user-definable
  • VIs are used to display protection curves, harmonics analysis results or to view electrical variables from any location in the network single line diagram, and any model variable during RMS and EMT simulations
  • Many VIs provide additional built-in functionality such as curve labelling and measuring, scaling, curve fitting, filtering and digitiser functions
Typical Virtual Instruments Available
  • x-t, x-y and 2y axis plots
  • Bar diagrams, harmonic distortion diagram
  • Overcurrent-time-diagrams, distance-time diagrams
  • Vector and path diagram
  • Relay plots
  • Voltage sag diagram, waveform diagram
  • Eigenvalue and phasor diagram and FFT plot
  • Scales and measurement diagram
  • Bitmaps, buttons, DPL-command buttons, digital display
  • Curve-digitising diagram
  • Text label

Results and Reporting

Text Reports

Automatic reports for calculation results, such as load flow, short-circuit, harmonic calculations, contingency calculation, reliability analysis, etc.

  • Numerous predefined reports for all key calculation functions
  • Flexible selection of elements for reporting
  • Reports can be user-configured allowing user-definable formatting

Automatic reports for documentation of network components, such as transformers, lines, generators, relay settings, etc.

  • Flexible selection of network components for documentation
  • Flexible selection of calculation module, e.g. report only input data required for load flow and short-circuit
Spreadsheet Reports (Tabular Views)
  • Numerous predefined spreadsheet reports for all key calculation functions via “Flexible Data Pages”
  • User-definable setup of “Flexible Data Pages”. Tabular view of any combination of input parameters/ calculation results
  • Several “Flexible Data Page” definitions (variable selections) may exist concurrently
  • Independent variable selections for every calculation
  • Sorting facilities for tabular views
  • Automatic statistical summaries for values in tables
  • Flexible filters for selecting elements for output
  • Output facilities to: Output window, clipboard and clipboard with column headers for use in spreadsheet programs such as MS Excel
Reporting in Network Diagrams
  • Concept of “result boxes” in network diagrams to flexibly display any element/type parameter, as well as any calculation result
  • Easy-to-configure “result box” format on both component and calculation levels
Result File Management

More complex calculation results can be stored in “Result Files”, e.g. for calculations such as transient stability results, harmonic analysis results, contingency results, etc.

  • Allows easy configuration of outputs (plots, reports, etc…)
  • Accessible by post-processing through DPL
  • Export functionality to export result data to:
    • Output window
    • Clipboard (compatible with spreadsheet programs such as MS EXCEL)
    • Text file (compatible with spreadsheet programs such as MS EXCEL)
    • COMTRADE (for transient data)
    • PowerFactory measurement file (ASCII)
Plots and Diagrams
  • DIgSILENT PowerFactory applies the concept of Virtual Instruments (VI) as a tool for visualising calculation results as plots and diagrams
  • VIs are used to display (for example):
    • Results of RMS and EMT simulations (any pre-selected monitoring variable/signal)
    • Protection configurations and results (R-X diagrams, automatic time-distance diagrams, relay characteristics, etc)
  • Harmonic analysis results
  • Many VIs provide additional built-in functionality such as curve labelling and measuring, scaling, curve fitting, filtering and digitiser functions.
Selected List of Most Common Virtual Instruments:
  • Plots for simulation results
    • Monitored variables/signals over time
    • Trajectories
  • Harmonics
    • Harmonic distortion diagram
    • FFT diagrams
    • Waveform plots
  • Protection
    • Time-overcurrent diagrams
    • Time-distance diagrams
    • Relay characteristic diagram
  • Additional diagrams for results of load flow, short-circuit, harmonics, etc.:
    • Bar diagrams
    • Vector diagrams
    • Path diagram
    • x-y diagrams
  • Voltage sag diagram
  • Eigenvalue calculation
    • Eigenvalue diagram
    • Phasor diagrams and bar diagrams (controllability, observability, participation)
  • Measurement VIs
    • Digital display
    • Metering device (vertical/horizontal scales)
    • Combination of both
  • Picture box for displaying graphic files. Supported file formats are:
    • Windows metafiles (*.wmf)
    • AutoCAD graphic file (*.dxf)
    • Bitmaps (*.bmp)
  • Curve-digitising diagram
Additional Features

The PowerFactory graphic windows such as the single line graphic, plots, and block diagrams, offer the following functionality:

  • Printing or plotting to any device supported by the Windows Print Manager to produce high quality graphical documents from within the program.
  • Export to standard file formats such as:
    • Windows Metafile (*.wmf) with high precision coordinates
    • Bitmap (*.bmp)
  • Conversion of graphic files between several file formats such as *.png, *.dxf, *.gif, *.tiff, *.eps, etc. This is achieved via an external tool which is shipped with PowerFactory.

Network Representation

  • Support of any kind of meshed/radial 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-wire AC and DC networks with combined AC and DC modelling for all available analysis functions
  • Single-phase, two-phase, bi-phase and three-phase technology with/without neutral
  • Detailed primary and secondary substation models (single/double busbars w/o tie breaker, 1-1/2 busbar, bypass busbar), extendable for user-specific busbar configurations incl. protection schemes
  • Switches and substation equipment such as CB, fuse, disconnector, load break switch, grounding switch, NEC/NER, surge arrestor, CT, VT, CVT, etc.
  • Running arrangements and switching rules for substation automation

PowerFactory Modes of Operation

Standard Windowing Mode

The Standard execution of DIgSILENT PowerFactory is via the classical windowing mode operated via mouse and keyboard.

Engine & Hybrid Execution Mode

When operated in “Engine Mode” PowerFactory is executed as a background process featuring a number of additional application options:

  • Bi-directional, high-speed exchange of data via “DIgSILENT Shared Memory Interface” or via “OPC” (OLE for Process Control). When using OPC, PowerFactory is executed as an OPC-Client.
  • Remote-execution of any PowerFactory command including activation of projects, modification of data, execution of analysis functions and DPL scripts, generation of output and reports, etc.
  • Temporary activation/popup of the “Windowing Mode” featuring interactive windowing operation until the windowing mode is closed and the engine mode resumes (“Hybrid Operation Mode”).

In principle, a number of additional application features may be operated as background processes in situations where it is integrated into GIS/NIS or SCADA systems or linked with other simulation tools such as Matlab/SIMULINK, ASPENTECH’s process simulation tool or other software systems requiring interaction with network analysis procedures. The engine mode also features parallel processing with other PowerFactory processes.

The “Engine Mode” permits the remote control of all PowerFactory functions with fast data and execution command exchange.

Hybrid operation mode is supported by activating the Windowing Operation mode for combined operation.