Fig. 1. CEMSolver: a true multicore shipboard power system simulator (under development)
Experiences at the Electromechanics of The University of Texas at Austin (UT-CEM) give clear testimony that the simulation run-times of (large) shipboard power systems are too time consuming to be useful in early stage design trades. A principal reason for lengthy run-times is the single-processor solution approach taken by some commercial simulators.
To accelerate the simulation run-time of shipboard power system models built in SimPowerSystems, UT-CEM is developing a multicore (i.e., parallel) power system solver expected to return speed gains of (at least) one order of magnitude. (The interim name of this solver is CEMSolver: Center for Electro-Mechanics power system Solver.)
Two traits categorize CEMSolver as new: its computational efficiency and its non-existent user-interface. Referring to Fig. 1, CEMSolver’s computational efficiency, CEMSolver’s computational efficiency stems from multicore technology, which unleashes conventional desktop computers as machines capable of simulating complex power system simulation scenarios (i.e., no hardware acquisition is required). The user-interface of CEMSolver is Simulink, a powerful, widely recognized, and user-friendly simulation environment familiar to most students, engineers, and research scientists world-wide. The integration between Simulink and CEMSolver will permit solving existing Simulink models (with SimPowerSystems blocks) at least 10x faster, while maintaining the flexibility of using the MATLAB/Simulink solver when preferred. The results produced by CEMSolver will be .CSV files, which will allow users to resort to the visualization tool of their choice.
Fig. 2 illustrates, as three steps, the integration between SimPowerSystems and CEMSolver. A user opens a simulation model in SimPowerSystems as normal (step 1). (The ability to push the play button and run simulations directly from the Simulink environment is preserved.) CEMSolver imports the Simulink file (step 2) and then discretizes and partitions the power system, and forms all required matrices for simulation. When the simulation matrices are formed, the simulation begins. When CEMSolver completes the simulation, the simulation data is returned to the user as.CSV files (step 3).
A short video has been prepared to demonstrate how CEMSolver performs on a modified version of the 60 Hz system in , . (MVDC ,  and HFAC systems  are currently under investigation.) Although the speedup observed in the video is strongly dependent on the power system under study, results from several studies show that the speedups of CEMSolver typically fall between 20x and 80x for shipboard power systems with ≥ 1,000 state-variables (More information about CEMSolver can be found in , ). The numerical library used by CEMSolver is NMath from CenterSpace Software.