Fast Facts

Member Participants:

Real-Time Innovations, Cisco, Wipro

Market Segment:

Electric Utility Smart Grids, especially grids that integrate solar, wind, and storage.


Traditional central-station power grids operate on up to 15-minute output update cycles that force operators to run extra backup power generation plants to compensate for variable renewable power sources or unexpected power loads on the grid. Additionally, they cannot efficiently utilize the distributed, dynamic generation of renewable power sources such as solar panels or wind turbines.


The Microgrid Communication and Control Testbed introduces the flexibility of real-time analytics and control to increase efficiencies in this legacy process - ensuring that power is generated more accurately and reliably, making the grid more resilient and secure in the process.

How It Works:

The Microgrid Communication and Control Testbed re-architected a power grid into a series of distributed microgrids that control smaller areas and support load, generation, and storage. Microgrids operate independently from the main grid but will still interact with existing infrastructure.

Commercial Benefits:

Ensures power is generated efficiently and reliably; Enables efficient integration of solar and wind into the grid; Increases resilience and security of the power grid.

The Testbed

The goal of the Microgrid Communication and Control Testbed is to prove the viability of a real-time, secure databus to facilitate machine-to-machine, machine-to-control center, and machine-to-cloud data communications. It will combine distributed, edge-located processing and control applications with intelligent analytics. It will run in real-world power applications and interface with practical equipment.

Three Industrial Internet Consortium member organizations will be lending their expertise to this project: Real-Time Innovations (RTI) is providing the real-time databus software using their DDS standard based RTI Connext communication platform for IIoT; Wipro is providing their cloud-based distribution management and analytics platform; and Cisco is providing network equipment and security expertise using their Connected Grid Router. The team is collaborating with utilities like Duke Energy, and is liaising with the UCAIug’s OpenFMB users group to ensure an open, standardized architecture results.

The testbed is unfolding in three phases. In April 2015, Phase One commenced as a proof-of-concept that ensured basic security and performance. Phase Two completed in early 2018 with an integrated demonstration of a multi-microgrid control with a lab-based microgrid in Austin Texas and a simulated microgrid. The final phase will demonstrate the testbed in a real-world field system.

Interested in learning more about the Microgrid Communications & Control Testbed? Email us!