The complexity of power system operation, has increased over the past few decades, also due to sector liberalization and market introduction, and requires a growing level of training and responsiveness to control room operators. In this framework, the role of a Dispatcher Training Simulator (DTS) is essential. Its purpose is to replicate, with a suitable accuracy, the behavior of the power system, seen from the same SCADA environment used in control room, in such a way to re-create, as much as possible, the same atmosphere where the dispatcher (trainee) is required to face changes in operating conditions or system events. Similarly, when the operator responds to an event or system condition by acting on the usual networks’ controls, the simulator will have to respond by adjusting power system parameters in the same way the actual power system would.
The DTS can be used to train operators in normal, emergency and restoration phase of operations.
The simulation allows greater exposure of operators to critical situations which arise infrequently on the normal job. In fact it is possible to have operators with many years of experience who have not had much practice in operating the system during emergency or restorative conditions. Using a simulator it is possible to expose operators to these critical conditions so frequently that they gain practice and experience in operating the power system under stress and strain.
In this paper the new Italian power system DTS, under joint development by Transmission System Operator TERNA and CESI, is described, with particular attention to the architecture, the link with the actual on-line environment, the functions for the control room operator assistance and the functionalities implemented for the educational sessions.
This integrated DTS has the advantage of replicating quite exactly both the operating network and the usual operator interface, using the original process database, operational terminology and application programs. This also gives the trainee confidence in using own Man Machine Interface (MMI) to handle incidents. The skills in using the MMI in the training room can then be directly applied in the real control room.