What is PSCAD?
PSCAD is the professional's
simulation tool for analyzing power systems transients. It is also
known as PSCAD/EMTDC. EMTDC is the simulation engine, which is
now the integral part of PSCAD. PSCAD is most suitable for simulating
the time domain instantaneous responses, also popularly known as
transients of electrical systems.
The PSCAD Graphical Interface
greatly enhances the power and efficiency of your simulation. It
allows the user to schematically construct a circuit, run a simulation,
analyze the results, and manage the data in a completely integrated
The following are some of the
common components found in systems
studied using PSCAD:
Fixed and variable
(R), inductors (L) and capacitors (C)
Mutually coupled windings,
such as transformers and saturable inductors
transmission lines and cables
Current and voltage sources
Switches and breakers with
optional pre-insertion resistance
IGBTs, and other power electronic switching devices
Analog and digital control
functions, Laplace functions and signal generators
AC and DC machines, exciters,
and inertial models
Meters and measuring functions
Most commonly used relay
Generic DC and AC controls
and Power Electronic Converters and their control circuits
Typical Studies Conducted
The PSCAD/EMTDC users'
spectrum includes engineers from utilities, manufacturers, consultants,
and research and academic institutions. It is used in planning,
operation, design, commissioning, preparation of tender specifications,
teaching and research. The following are samples of types of studies
routinely conducted using PSCAD:
Find over-voltages in a power
system due to a fault or breaker operation. Transformer non-linearities
(i.e. saturation) are a critical factor and are represented. Multiple
run facilities are often used to run hundreds of simulations to find
the worst case when varying the point on wave of the fault, type of
fault, or location of the fault.
Find over-voltages in a power
system due to a lightning strike. This simulation would be performed
with a very small time step (nano-seconds).
Find the harmonics generated
by a SVC, HVDC link, STATCOM, machine drive (virtually any power
electronic device) using accurate models of thyristors, GTOs, IGBTs,
diodes, etc. along with the detailed control systems, analog or
Find the maximum energy in a
surge arrester for a given disturbance.
Tune and design control
systems for maximum performance. Multiple run facilities are often used
here as well to automatically adjust gains and time constants.
Sub-Synchronous Resonance (SSR) effect when a machine and a multi-mass
turbine system interact with series compensated lines or power
electronic equipment. Control systems can also be modified to
investigate possible SSR mitigation methods.
Modeling of STATCOMs or
Voltage Source Converters with their detailed control models.
Study interactions between
SVCs, HVDC and other non-linear devices.
Investigate instabilities due
to harmonic resonance or control interactions.
Investigate the pulsing
effects of diesel engines and wind turbines on the electric network.
Variable speed drives of
various types including cycloconverters and transportation and ship
Industrial systems including
compensation controllers, drives, electric furnaces, filters, etc.
Feeds to isolated loads.
Study the transient effects
of distributed generation such as wind and micro-turbines on the grid.
Effect of transmission line
imbalances on the system performance during contingencies.
Click here for lists of
publications using PSCAD.
What is New in PSCAD V4?
PSCAD V4 is a completely
redesigned Windows application built on our decades of experience in
delivering previous versions of PSCAD on UNIX and Windows
platforms. The following is a list of some of the major features
in PSCAD V4:
PSCAD Graphical User
Multi-platform: PSCAD V4 is available for use on all the latest versions
of MS Windows.
Totally Integrated: You can put run-time plots alongside the circuit or
arrange them on a separate page. Circuits, plots and descriptive
comments can all be printed together.
Modular: Electrical systems can be split into different modules
(or pages) without having to connect them using transmission lines.
Control systems can be modeled in separate modules as in earlier
Hierarchical: Circuits assembled using basic building blocks can be
contained inside modules (also called pages), which can in turn contain
more such modules. Simply double-click on one these modules to see the
Online Information: Point to any circuit component and you will get useful
information about such topics as; the circuit connection, short
component help, simulation data such as node voltage if the case is
running, etc. - all in a concise context sensitive window called a
Online Help: All the detailed online help is available in native
windows help format. It is fast and easy to use.
Graphical Component Design
Tool: You can design your PSCAD
components in a completely graphical environment called the
Component Workshop. This is the tool used to write/edit all of the
components in the Master library.
Multiple Libraries and
Cases in a Project: Now you can easily
build cases that depend on multiple libraries and simultaneously load
multiple cases. Thus, you can copy circuit components from one case and
paste them into another easily.
Multilevel Zoom Views: You can zoom in on the entire circuit as well
as selectively zoom in on selected plots.
: You can now monitor and control a sequence of events
easily using the library of Sequence Components. They can be used to
set up complex sequences to control the application of faults,
opening/closing of breakers, and waiting for events (such as a zero
crossing). The sequences visually indicate their progress during
Single Line Diagrams: You an draw the circuit either in single line or three
phase view. You can mix these modes on a page as well.
Global Constants: Now you can define global constants such as system
frequency, MVA base. These constants are available to all pages within
PSCAD Numerical Solution
Faster Solution and Memory
Efficient Storage: Computationally
intensive parts of EMTDC are rewritten to maximize the speed. Network
branch models and transmission line models are internally reorganized
to provide memory efficient storage.
Dynamic Dimensioning: EMTDC is written in a FORTRAN 77 and FORTRAN 90
compliant model. When used in FORTRAN 90 mode, it dynamically
allocates network dimensions to exactly fit the simulation
requirements. This enables you to model much larger cases
compared to FORTRAN 77 mode before you run out of computer memory.
Ideal Branches: You can model infinite voltage sources, infinite
transmission lines and cables, ideal ammeters and zero resistance
switches. There is no restriction on how many such elements you
can have in series and parallel.
Instantaneous Switch Algorithm:
EMTDC interpolates the solution between two time steps to find the
solution at the exact instant of the event. The Instantaneous
Switch algorithm virtually eliminates losses due to interpolation,
producing very accurate results.
Many New Models: There are many new models and improvements to existing
models. See the online help for a list of available models and features
after you install PSCAD.
MATLAB Interface: You can simulate all or part of the controls in MATLAB
and interface it to the rest of the system simulation in
PSCAD/EMTDC. You can process or plot EMTDC results in MATLAB
C Interface: In addition to the standard FORTRAN interface, users can
now write custom models in C and interface them to PSCAD. This opens up
the possibilities of using controls written using other simulation
programs such as MATLAB and Saber, which have the ability to export the controls in C.
Extensive Online Help
PSCAD includes an extensive
context sensitive online help system. The PSCAD Installation and
Setup document from Start=>PSCAD V4 menu is useful in answering most
of the frequently asked questions. The online help system has extensive
information on the PSCAD interface and EMTDC simulation engine. You
should also use the context sensitive online help while you are working
within the PSCAD environment. Right click on any component and select
help to view information related to that component.
The PSCAD/EMTDC software
comes with an excellent collection of example cases, which can be used
as the starting point for many of your projects. They are also
used as example cases to illustrate the usage of certain complicated
models, which are described best using a working example. You can also
copy parts of these examples to quickly assemble your own circuits. For
details on available templates see the online help system. These
cases are available in your PSCAD installation directory under
Examples. There is also a set of Tutorial examples in this directory.
You will find example cases illustrating the following:
exciters, governors, stabilizers
Multiple run and parametric
optimization for batch processing
Frequency scanning methods
for harmonic analysis
HVDC and FACTS (SVC, ASVC,
TCSC, UPFC, etc.)
Power electronic drives (PWM,
vector control drives, etc.)
Steep front studies
MATLAB, FORTRAN and C
FREE PERSONAL EDITION
More product information and
a free PSCAD Personal Edition download can be found at
**For a price quote and further
information please contact