Key Features

  • Libraries of application-specific models, including models of common AC and DC electric drives, flexible AC transmission systems (FACTS), and renewable energy systems
  • Discretization and phasor simulation modes for faster model execution
  • Ideal switching algorithm for accelerated simulation of power electronic devices
  • Analysis methods for obtaining state-space representations of circuits and computing load flow for machines
  • Basic models for developing key electrical technologies
  • Ability to extend component libraries using the Simscape language
  • Support for C-code generation
SimPowerSystems model of an asynchronous motor and diesel-generator uninterruptible power supply (UPS)
SimPowerSystems model (left) of an asynchronous motor and diesel-generator uninterruptible power supply (UPS). The Simulink scope (right) shows stator currents and speed of the asynchronous machine.

SimPowerSystems supports the development of complex, self-contained power systems, such as those in automobiles, aircraft, manufacturing plants, and power utility applications. The models you create support your entire development process, including hardware-in-the-loop simulations.

Modeling Electrical Power Systems

SimPowerSystems provides libraries for modeling electric machines, transformers, and power converters. You can connect components, such as generators, transmission lines, breakers, and motors, to model electrical power systems. Application-specific libraries are also provided, enabling you to model electric drives, aircraft power networks, and renewable energy systems. Connecting these systems with control systems modeled in Simulink lets you test integrated electrical power systems in a single environment.

In addition to the traditional input-output or signal flow connections used in Simulink, SimPowerSystems uses physical connections that permit the flow of power in any direction. Models of electrical power systems built using physical connections (or acausal models) closely resemble the network they represent, and are easy to understand and share.

You can define your three-phase connections using individual connections for each phase, enabling you to perform tests such as injecting a single-line-to-ground fault. You can also create single-line diagrams, where the three phases are represented by a single line, making the diagram easy to read. SimPowerSystems components are parameterized using the per-unit system, which is widely used in the power system industry and simplifies the parameterization and analysis of your system.

SimPowerSystems model of a permanent magnet synchronous motor and inverter sized for use in a typical hybrid vehicle.
SimPowerSystems model (left) of a permanent magnet synchronous motor and inverter sized for use in a typical hybrid vehicle. The model includes the electrical connections (single-phase and three-phase) and signal flow connections, and the scope (right) shows the stator currents in the PMSM.

Creating Custom Components

You can add components from other physical modeling products to your SimPowerSystems model. The Foundation libraries in Simscape contain blocks in hydraulic, thermal, magnetic, and other physical domains. Integrating these domains into your SimPowerSystems model using physical connections helps you model other aspects of your system in a single environment.

The Simscape language is an object-oriented language based on MATLAB that enables you to create your own physical modeling components and libraries. You can define custom components complete with parameterization, physical connections, and equations represented as acausal implicit differential algebraic equations (DAEs). Within your component’s Simscape language file, you can use MATLAB to analyze parameter values, perform preliminary computations, and initialize system variables. The Simulink block and dialog box for your custom component are automatically created from the file.

Using the Simscape language, you can control exactly which effects are captured in the models of your physical components. This approach enables you to balance the tradeoff between model fidelity and simulation speed.

Custom Simscape implementation of a permanent magnet synchronous motor, used as a generator.
Custom Simscape implementation of a permanent magnet synchronous motor, used as a generator. The MATLAB editor shows Simscape language source code of the electrical and mechanical equations, and the scope shows the three-phase AC currents and DC current at the load.

Simulating Models

You can simulate your SimPowerSystems models using any of three solution methods for your power system network, as well as an ideal switching algorithm that improves simulation performance for systems with high-frequency switching.

Selecting SimPowerSystems Simulation Mode
Choose simulation mode (continuous, discrete, or phasor) using SimPowerSystems™. Analyze transient effects and magnitudes of circuit voltages.

Continuous methods perform highly accurate simulations of power system models, varying the step size to capture the dynamics of your system. Discrete methods enable you to control the precision of your simulation by selecting the size of the time step. Phasor simulation replaces the differential equations representing the network with a set of algebraic equations at a fixed frequency, making it possible to do transient stability studies of systems with multiple machines.

The ideal switching algorithm in SimPowerSystems enables fast and accurate simulation of systems containing power electronic devices. This algorithm uses an improved method of calculating the state-space representation of the system instead of relying on current sources with high-impedance snubbers to model power electronic devices. This method gives you greater flexibility in selecting a solver and results in shorter simulation times.

SimPowerSystems interface for selecting simulation options.
SimPowerSystems interface for selecting simulation options. Continuous, discrete, and phasor simulation modes are supported, with the option of enabling an ideal switching algorithm for faster simulation.

Analyzing Models

SimPowerSystems provides tools for analyzing models, visualizing simulation results, and calculating advanced block parameters, enabling you to:

  • Display steady-state voltage and currents
  • Display and modify initial state values
  • Perform load flows and machine initialization
  • Perform harmonic analysis
  • Display impedance vs. frequency measurements

The load flow computational engine computes initial currents of synchronous and asynchronous machines. You specify the desired steady-state machine conditions in your circuit, and SimPowerSystems computes the load flow. The resulting rotor position, initial currents, and internal fluxes are automatically entered into the parameters for the machines.

SimPowerSystems lets you analyze the electrical network topology and compute the equivalent state-space model of your circuit without running a simulation. You can link the state-space model to the Linear System Analysis app in Control System Toolbox to obtain time-domain and frequency-domain responses.

The SimPowerSystems FFT analysis tool.
The SimPowerSystems FFT analysis tool. The frequency spectrum of a voltage waveform is displayed, and power quality is measured by calculating total harmonic distortion.

Deploying Models

You can deploy SimPowerSystems models using code generated with Simulink Coder. The generated code lets you:

  • Run hardware-in-the-loop simulations by deploying SimPowerSystems plant models onto real-time processors that interface directly with other hardware
  • Build standalone executables of SimPowerSystems models that can be integrated into C programs or other MATLAB and Simulink models
  • Improve simulation speed by compiling the C code
  • Share models without exposing your intellectual property

Sharing Models

You can share SimPowerSystems models with Simscape users who have not purchased SimPowerSystems. Simscape users can view, simulate, and change parameter values in SimPowerSystems models by leveraging the Simscape Editing Modes. As a result, your team can share SimPowerSystems models with a larger group of engineers who use Simscape.

Working with SimPowerSystems Models
Task Model Developer
(Purchases Simscape and SimPowerSystems)
Model User
(Purchases Simscape)
Log data or change visualization
Change numerical parameters
Generate code with Simulink Coder
Change block parameterization options  
Make or break physical connections  

SimPowerSystems in Academia

You can use SimPowerSystems to teach how theory relates to electrical network behavior. Students can analyze large and complex systems, and the simulation results from SimPowerSystems simulations give students a better understanding of what can happen in a true electrical network. To demonstrate how effects such as hysteresis influence the electrical system represented by your SimPowerSystems model, you can implement equations for these effects in the Simscape language.

Using simulation, students can prototype in a virtual environment, which encourages them to try out new designs and to explore the entire parameter space. Simulation enables them to optimize their designs in research projects and student competitions.

Because SimPowerSystems is used widely across industries such as automotive, aerospace, and robotics, graduating students who have experience with this multibody simulation tool are in demand by employers.

Learn more about engaging students with modeling and simulation.

SimPowerSystems Technologies

SimPowerSystems includes both Simscape Components and Specialized Technology libraries. You can create and simulate systems using either library, and a single SimPowerSystems model can contain components from both libraries.

Simscape Components libraries use the full range of Simscape technology, and the component models are written in the Simscape language. You can directly connect these models with the Simscape Foundation library components and with components from other physical modeling products.

Specialized Technology libraries provide components and technology specifically developed for electrical power systems. Specialized Technology models contain a large number of models that use their own electrical domain. You ultimately connect these blocks to other Simscape elements through Simulink signals.

For more information on the difference between these two technologies, see the SimPowerSystems documentation and Release Notes.

Prototyping SoC-based Motor Controllers with MATLAB and Simulink

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