PSS®SINCAL – simulation software for analysis and planning of electric and pipe networks
PSS®SINCAL is used in over 100 countries by transmission and distribution planning engineers, protection engineers, consultants, power plant and industrial network operators, operations planning engineers, IT professionals, researchers, and more.
Independently or simultaneously analyze the impacts of low, medium, and high-voltage networksThrough its modular design, PSS®SINCAL is highly flexible and customizable. It offers a wide variety of analysis functions for the planning, design and operation of power systems, allowing you to simulate and study: power quality, frequency stability, distributed generation interconnection, protection coordination, restoration of supply, economic driven design decisions, and more.
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Key features and highlights at a glance
Graphical user interface
- Geographical visualization capability that reflects the interactiveness of a GIS application
- Interactive web-based overlay of online and offline background maps
- Integrated network editor and report generator (List & Label) to simplify the presentation of data / analysis
- Network models can be maintained in multi-dimensional view (schematic, geographic) for different tasks with comparison options
- Expert mode (ExpMode) for the dynamic and transient engine PSS®NETOMAC
- Interactive visualization of network models in schematic, geographic or multi-layer diagrams
- Extensive data modeling of all types of equipment including smart grid data models
- Open architecture for easy data exchange and IT integration including: Geographic Information Systems (GIS), SCADA, Distribution Management Systems (DMS), and Meter Data Management Systems (MDMS)
- Advanced algorithms with multiple modules i.e. Power Flow and Fault Analysis, Contingency Analysis/Probabilistic Reliability, Network Optimization, Transient Stability, EMT and Eigenvalues, Harmonics and Flicker evaluation, Protection simulation & coordination, Grid Code Compliance
- From a simple bus-branch to a full substation model PSS®SINCAL can run various co-simulations off of a single network model
- Network modeling can be done within a simple balanced up to a full four wire system or complete transposed system
- Large network model can be simulated with timestamps, variants, scenarios, and can be split into separate models via the “include network” option
- High-level algorithms that are optimized for precision and performance
- As the complexity of the data is adapted to the task, the program works targeted-oriented, with high-speed including parallel processing
- Modeling options are not limited in network structure, phases or frequency
- Fully integrated modular structure allows users to customize their license according to their needs
- Model management is based on standard databases (i.e., SQLite, Microsoft® Access®, ORACLE® or SQL Server)
- Users can perform and track various analysis by working off a single master database
- Changes can be tracked and users can reference the initial case
- Distributed databases can be temporarily linked together and reconfigured via “include networks”
New features and enhancements
New concept for user-defined scripts / programs (plug-ins)
The extensive APIs and open data structures of the PSS®SINCAL Platform offer the possibility to write flexible user-defined scripts and programs (“plug-ins”). With the latest release, the steps are simplified to integrate and execute those scripts and programs, enabling a more user-friendly experience. You can now directly manage and execute those from the project explorer. Furthermore, the default interpreter can be defined within settings. With more flexibility, you can also create your own toolbar buttons and short keys to execute the linked scripts or programs and interact with them in the interactive window. This enables a better user experience allowing you to start simulations, adapt model parameters, evaluate results, and much more directly in the PSS®SINCAL Platform user interface.
Extensions in the protection functions
The protection modeling capabilities have been strengthened! You can now use the extended models for Distance Protection, Overcurrent Time Protection, and Teleprotection/Signal Transmission. Further, many new Overcurrent Time Protection and Distance Protection devices were added. The latest release also includes a new Protection Settings Report, covering all the protection functions in one field of a substation. This comes with an update of the report system.
Preview on Revisited and Enhanced Module Optimal Branching (OT)
To reduce losses and CO2 emissions, the function Optimal Branching plays a key role in selecting the optimum separation points in the network.
That is why the Optimal Branching module will soon be released with a new algorithm to support you in the determination of the optimal separation points! The new algorithm will cover especially networks with high penetration of converter-driven plants, networks that are highly meshed, and networks with multiple infeeds.
Would you like to beta test the preview version of OT released with version 19.0?
The preview version covers most of the planned use cases, and your feedback would be extremely valuable to further enrichment of the functionality. Please contact us via our support email address: email@example.com
Preview on Revisited Contingency Analysis (CA) Module
Partnering with users, the PSS®SINCAL’s contingency analysis (CA) module is being rewritten to better fit your requirements from adding higher controllability of the workflow to implementing more sophisticated evaluation capabilities. The module is planned to be released with PSS®SINCAL 19.5 in April 2023. It will then replace the existing functionality while enriching your use case.
The improvements are focused on:
- orienting the workflow to HV/MV/LV networks in grid planning, grid operation planning, and connection request evaluation
- definition of contingencies and measures
- extending contingencies by switchable areas
- representation of contingency sequences
- analysis area and result evaluation
- accessibility of input data and results.
Would you like to beta-test the preview version of the CA released with version 19.0?
The preview version covers most of the planned use cases, and your feedback would be extremely valuable to further enrichment of the functionality. Please contact us via our support email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
New Module: Thermal Destruction Analysis (TDA)
The operating equipment of the network must be designed to withstand short-circuits. Until now, this required extensive manual short-circuit calculations for the entire network area, considering the clearing times of the network protection.
The new module Thermal Destruction Analysis enables both the network planning and the protection department to perform an automated check for thermal destruction for all lines, transformers, busbars and breakers in the network.
As a result, the user receives a clear representation of all the checked equipment with simulation results showing thermally destroyed elements. A detailed analysis in the network is directly accessible from the results view. Based on the results, measures regarding network protection or network reinforcement can be derived and their effectiveness can be checked by the Thermal Destruction Analysis.
Wide range of UX and UI improvements based on user and internal ideas
Thanks to all our PSS®SINCAL users who submit & review ideas through the PSS® Ideas Portal. We are thrilled to highlight four of many ideas which are implemented:
- Click and drag for labels in protection documentation diagrams: View in Portal
- Deleting network data without graphics: View in Portal
- Creation of heatmaps based on the bus voltage angle: View in Portal
- Point clouds in diagrams for individual data sets: View in Portal
Along with the PSS® Ideas Portal ideas, the upcoming release will include several UX/UI improvements based on your direct feedback to the PSS®SINCAL team, including:
- Direct link from graphical elements to settings dialogues or network element data
- Autodetection and opening of network graphic views containing the element to select in network browser, tabular view, etc.
- Simplified functionality to switch between network graphic evaluation filters in the UI
- Revisited and restructured input data dialogs for controllers (transformer tap changers and shunt elements) according to the user workflow.
Extension in short circuit calculation
It is getting increasingly important to consider the short-circuit current contributions from converter driven plants. The extensions in the short-circuit calculation standard G74 Issue 2 shows exactly this.
With PSS®SINCAL 18.5, this new standard is supported.
Furthermore, the short-circuit current contribution capabilities of converter driven plants are extended to reflect the real converter behavior as realistic as possible. This can be used to extend other short-circuit calculation standards like the IEC 60909 and all calculation methods making use of short-circuit calculations (e.g. protection simulation).
Line modelling as with synchronized segments or graphical containers
The handling of large and complex network models generated from the import of GIS data demand a high level of detail, control of the model order and in addition views with reduced complexity on the model.
The new synchronized line segments enable a permanent reduction of the model for improved calculation performance along with full access to the segments in the input data and enable line segment replacement.
The new graphical element containers reduce complexity in network graphic views (for example in schematic single line diagrams) by easily accessing and synchronizing containers with full accessibility to input data and results of their containing elements.
Extensions in protection with focus on compensated distribution networks
With the introduction of the admittance method for the earth fault detection and the extension of the earth fault compensation data determination, the analysis capabilities of PSS SINCAL for compensated and isolated networks are strengthened.
Strengthening Dynamics and EMT Capabilities
The increase of DER generation goes along with some challenges related to power system stability, control, and protection. Different analysis methods address these challenges. For general grid planning, in most cases steady-state methods are utilized., any further and deeper technical aspects require the analysis in time and frequency domain. In PSS®SINCAL 18.5 we strengthen these capabilities by introducing new DER models for stability simulation and enhance the external analysis options in EMT simulation (protection device specific COMTRADE export). For classical aspects of stability and EMT, the new version provides new functions related to rotor angle reference, automatically finding critical fault clearing time, and a completely revised example for transformer energization.
New API functions
Massive performance improvement of data handling in scripting PSS®SINCALs simulation engine. Access to input data and results as arrays out of the virtual database increases performance with up to 30 times faster of fetching data via the API.
Additionally, the access to input data and results as arrays out of the virtual database can now also be done using SQL queries to select, join and filter data before transmitting it over the API as array. This unlocks SQL for data access which can increase the flexibility and performance.
Extension for pipe network models
To reduce the size of gas network models generated from the import of GIS data, the consumer connections can now be modelled in containers along with maintaining the mapping of IDs to other systems (as CIS or billing system).
The modelling of gas pressure regulation stations is extended with flow dependent output pressure characteristics to model technical flow limitations.
Valves can be switched interactively, showing their status in the graphic, imported and synchronized from other systems via API or file based
Power System Analysis in Multiple Monitors Mode
For the extended simulative analysis of complex power systems users typically apply various tools in PSS®SINCAL as the main or substation views in the network graphic, but also the result, tabular and diagram views. With PSS®SINCAL 18.0, users can leverage multiple monitor environments by decoupling the tabs from the main window and arranging these on the available screens. By that, an extensive analysis system evolves, which synchronizes all input data, results, and evaluations for a common data basis on all available monitors.
New Module: Thermal Destruction Analysis (TDA)
The operating equipment of the network must be designed to withstand short circuits. Until now, this required extensive manual short-circuit calculations for the entire network area, considering the clearing times of the network protection.
The new module Thermal Destruction Analysis enables both the network planning and the protection department to perform an automated check for thermal destruction for all lines and transformers in the network.
As a result, the user receives a clear representation of all the equipment with simulation results showing thermal destruction. A detailed analysis in the network is directly accessible from the results view. Based on the results, measures regarding network protection or network expansion can be derived and their effectiveness can be checked by the thermal destruction analysis.
Supporting COMTRADE Data Format in Export and Import
The COMTRADE data format, which is defined in IEC Standard 60255-24, enables users to exchange information of instantaneous values for analysis of transients after faults or other events. On the one hand, this data can be used to validate network models and to compare with simulation (EMT). On the other hand, the combination of simulation (EMT) and digital analog amplifiers provides testing capabilities of for instance protection devices and their algorithms. To cover these use cases, PSS®SINCAL 18.0 delivers a completely revised COMTRADE export function for several standard versions as well as the possibility to import COMTRADE data from recorders. With the Signal Explorer, these can visualize and evaluated in PSS®SINCAL.
New result configuration approach for tailored internal, external or signal result creation
The simulation of large networks in many scenario cases, operating point, snapshots or over time periods may create extensive amounts of results for later analysis. The new configuration approach for result storage in the network database (internal), open result databases (external) or signal databases (for the usage in the diagram view) enables a flexible and tailored result storage process and management depending on the desired use case. This enables both granular and highly detailed studies as well as automatic post-processed aggregated network level or area result sets. Simulation times are reduced, results are provided in user-defined scope depending on the use case and results are available as an open accessible source for external big data analysis tools and dashboards.
New example networks with focus on protection and industry
Five new example networks (Example OC, Prot, PSA, Industry and TDA) are delivered with PSS®SINCAL 18.0. Based on the example networks, users can get an introduction to the functions for network protection, starting with the modeling, the setting of the protection devices, the simulation, and the evaluation of the results. In addition, typical protection concepts for different protection functions such as overcurrent protection, distance protection, differential protection and signal comparison are stored in the application examples. This enables the user to quickly familiarize themselves with the way network protection is modeled in PSS®SINCAL. An example regarding the protection analysis function shows how the viability of the entire network protection can be checked fully automatically, considering various conditions. The example networks for users at industries as plants or refineries get a descriptive presentation of the analysis capabilities in PSS®SINCAL. It focuses on investigations of steady-state and dynamic phenomena such as disconnection from the grid after faults, load shedding in island operation, motor start and dynamic voltage profile.
Another example network for thermal destruction analysis introduces this new module. The different modes, which are tailored to network planning and the protection department, are explained and it is shown how the thermal short-circuit current capability of the equipment can be tested fully automatically.
New Model Samples for Multi-Terminal HVDC Systems and Automatic Generation Control (AGC)
The representation of the enormous complexity of future energy systems gains growing importance. These systems contain beside couplings of sectors as well as of AC and DC networks also hierarchical control structures for new and conventional equipment, which can be extensively modeled in PSS®SINCAL. The new model examples serve as implementation proposals as starting point for user-defined modeling of such complex systems in the frequency range of power system dynamics for stability analyses.
Official Support of Windows 11
In October 2021 Microsoft officially released the new operating system Windows 11 as successor of Windows 10. Therefore, PSS®SINCAL Platform 18.0 has been extensively tested during the development phase in the new environment. It supports the new operating system Windows 11 completely, and you are well prepared for the future requirements of your IT landscape. Operating systems for Windows 8 & 10 are still supported.
Scenario Support for Protection Settings
Bidirectional power flows, caused by renewable energy resources and different operation status, can require changing protection settings. Therefore, a fast and flexible adjustment of the parameter set is needed.
The network data file (.xml file) now supports the complete protection settings to be imported and exported. This is in order to manage several parameter sets of the same protection device (can be used in variants and scenarios) or transfer settings from one device to another. This function can also be used to create type parameter sets for recurring protection settings.
Dynamic Voltage Support
The increase in short circuit contribution of converter-based generation requires a simulation model that reflects a voltage dependent reactive current injection for short circuit calculation and protection analysis. For example, such an action is required by VDE-AR-N 4110 and Engineering Recommendation G74 Issue 2.
The dynamic voltage support function allows engineers to simulate the short circuit contribution of the converter by a reactive current injection dependent on the voltage drop at the connection point. As such, the dynamic voltage support characteristic can be adjusted and the positive and the negative sequence system are supported.
New Diagram System for all Simulation Methods
The new diagram system in PSS®SINCAL is characterized by additional functions, higher flexibility and performance, as well as lower storage requirements. This system is now applied on all simulation methods and replaces the previous approach. All relevant input data, results or external source data can be represented graphically by manual creation from Signal Explorer or, for specific calculation methods (in protection, harmonics, motor start etc.), automatically by assistants employing pre-defined templates. This saves users time and effort and enable a more efficient way of handling the network model. By utilizing the built-in evaluation functions and a higher accessibility of data in open databases, users gain additional value in the analysis part of their network planning process.
Time Series Data Interface (TSDI)
The new Time Series Data Interface (TSDI) offers an interface to an open generic time series database. This facilitates the cooperation between operation, metering and planning teams by integrating time series data (like measurements, forecasts or schedules and switching events) into the initial condition for all power flow based analyses or into a complete time series simulation. This leverages the investment in metering, SCADA and forecast systems for grid analysis and planning use cases.
“simbench” Network Model Repository & pandapower Import
Demonstration, prototyping, testing, research and development require benchmark network models. The simbench repository provides high, medium and low voltage networks for PSS®SINCAL based on the simbench data set publicly available. In addition, a pandapower model to PSS®SINCAL model converter (py-library) is available on request.
Representation of input values and results in per unit [pu]
The visualization of input data and results in per unit [pu] is now possible in network graphic, data masks and tabular view as network model specific option.
In addition to the handling of network models with the absolute values for impedance [Ω] of input data, or results, the representation can now be done in per unit [pu] based on each assigned network voltage level and the common reference power.
Strengthening Modeling Capabilities in Graphical Model Editor (GMB)
Modeling autonomous and coordinated operation of power systems in steady-state and dynamic simulation is crucial for future network planning and operation. PSS®SINCAL provides the possibility to implement different concepts of modern operation by simplified central and decentral model communication. New functions, blocks and a completely revised functional documentation support users in creating user-defined models in GMB.
Improvement in Handling of Line Couplings and Extensions for Disconnected Lines
If parallel coupled lines are disconnected by events or for maintenance purposes and are optionally earthed at the terminals, it may have an impact on operation and protection of the active line. Furthermore, induced currents and voltages occur in the switched-off lines, which have to be observed. By considering couplings (defined by zero phase coupling or coupling data) as well as using the new earthing disconnector PSS®SINCAL provides new network modeling options for isolation and protection coordination.
Protection Analysis - Pickup Security (PSA)
The operating currents occurring in the network must not lead to the pickup of the protection systems, the protection devices must therefore be able to differentiate reliably between load and short-circuit current. By checking the pickup security in the protection analysis, it can be ensured that operating currents that occur, taking into account a security factor, certainly do not lead to the pickup of the protection devices.
Improved Excel import
With the Excel import functionality in PSS®SINCAL , you can import network or protection data into PSS®SINCAL. The Excel import dialog has been improved and adapted to the users workflow.
Extension of the Multi-User Master Database (PM)
When working with multiple users or teams on complex network models, certain requirements must be fulfilled in order to manage a common network model to track the changes of individual users and keep the network model consistent. In the current version, the Multi-User Master Database is extended so that the administration can be opened directly without loading the network data and graphics, client users are automatically informed about updates in the Master Database when they open their network, and users can change their password without the intervention of the administrator. In addition, the administrator is supported in managing the master network in such a way that changes in the publications of the users are highlighted in the preview of the network graphic. These enhancements lead to a significantly increased efficiency in sharing a common network model.
*New module* Network Stress Test
Stochastic simulation and interactive visualization of the impacts of rising EVs or DERs on your system.
With the increasing development of electromobility, electric vehicles (EVs) will start to have a large impact on the distribution grid. The grid will become more unpredictable as the connection points and magnitude of the e-car charging stations or DER are unknown, and the network load varies by time and location. Standard load flow studies will no longer be enough to ensure reliability. Distribution utilities will need to leverage state-of-the-art technologies in order to prepare their grids for the future.
With the new PSS®SINCAL Network Stress Test module, distribution grid planners can easily simulate the current and future impacts of e-mobility or DER on their networks. This means that utilities can now understand how their networks will be affected over-time by the increasing penetration of EV charging stations or DER and identify future requirements for network enhancements. Through this stochastic approach, grid planners can save time through no longer needing to rely on trial and error approaches with hundreds of what if scenarios.
Seamlessly link and manage external network equipment documents
Easily manage all your documents related to network equipment such as transformers or protection devices. This new feature enables you to link external documents, such as PDF files or Word documents, to network elements, store/manage the links, and view the most up-to-date linked document directly within the PSS®SINCAL GUI.
Efficiently build user specific solutions with the new Python™ automation documentation
Python™ is an increasingly important language for user-defined programs. With the new documentation of PSS®SINCAL COM-Server architecture, users can speed up the usage of this programming language to automate user interface access, GUI development, calculation automation, and data management. Save scripting time by leveraging copy and paste program snippets, and ready to use examples for programmed features.
Highly detailed load modelling and split trimming from Feeder
Utilize forecast data that in general is split between load and generation PSS®SINCAL meter devices which were already handling real-time and historian data can now trim two different elements groups with profiles in parallel. In addition, users can select between various scaling or trimming algorithms to quickly adjust loads and distributed generation during long term (e.g. year) evaluation to speed up the simulation time.
Simulate user-defined contingencies and Remedial Action Schemes by scenarios
Utilize the already existing scenarios which can contain any kind of network changes for Contingency Analysis. Easily set-up, simulate, and evaluate user-defined contingencies and Remedial Action Schemes (RAS) which support your daily operation planning actions or reflect your company-specific planning criteria.
Innovative evaluation and documentation of thermal damages and new backup protection schemas in the Protection Security Assessment
With the new matrix overview, you can quickly get an overview about the reliability of the networks concerning the thermal damage of elements caused by short circuits. Define protection backup strategies or have user-defined backup protection devices for each protection location.
Support unbalanced networks also in Feeder Evaluation
Automatically detect, build, evaluate, and highlight the feeders within your unbalanced distribution network. This new feature enables you to quickly evaluate the network configuration, get an overview of the key parameters of large networks, and review reconfiguration/restoration options in case of feeder outages.
Extended modeling of dynamic network elements
With the increase of DERs in the distribution grids, planners need to consider the resulting impacts on the analyses of steady-state and dynamic power system behavior. This is possible with the new concept of Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) models which enable users to model modern and future system concepts. Users can adequately model DERs representing each phase individually to provide a more realistic view.
New elements to support the Russian Market
Users can now model completely new (3-node connected) elements including dual reactor and split winding transformers based on name plate values and without the need to recalculate input data. This element modelling also supports the already existing GOST Standard in a more detailed way.
Achieve network layout compliance with Short Circuit and Arc Flash
PSS®SINCAL v15.5 supports you to achieve network layout compliance when working with standards for Arc Flash Hazard and Short Circuit Analysis. The new version will support - in addition to the already supported standards - the new standards IEEE1584 2018 (with NFPA 70E), IEEE C37 2016, and IEEE C37 initial load.
Improved functionality and efficiency of Harmonic Analysis
Run detailed harmonic analysis with the new automated contingency simulation capabilities. This enables you to get a better understanding of harmonic distortions with all elements in service and during contingency situations. Automatically create resonance networks.
*NEW Module* Efficiently automate sizing and placement of Energy Storage
With the Energy Storage Sizing and Positioning Module, simplify simulation of Non-Wired Alternatives (NWA) to mitigate reliability concerns within your volatile network. By using a simple workflow support wizard, this new feature will automatically generate the required location and size of energy storage. No longer rely on a time-consuming trial and error approach when modeling batteries.
Reduce simulation time and increase focus of Hosting Capacity Analysis
With just one simulation, you can now quickly determine the maximum DG capacity for multiple or single nodes at once. This module was further enhanced with the ability to automatically determine critical operating points – allowing you focus on time periods that matter.
Utilize enhancements to the Protection Security Assessment (PSA) module
Utilities need to run many simulations when checking the accuracy of protection device settings. The PSA module enables you to check the full network with different fault types and view the results in a comprehensive graphic visualization. With v15.5, PSA now includes breaker outage, thermal destruction time with switching sequence consideration, and pickup safety margins.
Experience higher model flexibility and validity for Torsional Analysis
Utilizing the expert mode of the dynamic engine of PSS®SINCAL platform (PSS®NETOMAC) users have new possibilities in handling of various generator masses on drive shafts. With the enhanced capabilities of air-gap torque distribution as well as park transformation control, users immediately achieve value by experiencing a higher degree of flexibility in modeling and inturn achieving higher grid utilization.
New user-defined models for GMB to quickly create subsystems and reuse control functions
Graphical Model Builder (GMB) is our graphical modeling tool for the entire PSS® Portfolio with the focus on user-defined models. Newly extended model types (FCT) now allow a way of creating subsystems and the ability to efficiently reuse of control functions. This also includes enhancements to the linking and set-up options of DLLs. In addition, several minor improvements have been made to this tool to create a better user experience.
PSS®SINCAL Grid Expert Support Services
Are you looking for a reliable partner to support you with processing urgent requests, performing complex grid analyses or keeping your PSS®SINCAL grid model up to date? With our Grid Expert Support Services you receive fast support from a Siemens power grid expert who acts as a direct contact person for your distribution network.