Enhancing PowerFactory Dynamic Models with Python for Rapid Prototyping

Claudio David López , Milos Cvetkovic, Peter Palensky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
239 Downloads (Pure)


DIgSILENT PowerFactory is among the most widely adopted power system analysis tools in research and industry. It provides a comprehensive library of device models and it allows users to define their own. Models for dynamic simulation can be defined in the DIgSILENT Simulation Language (DSL). When the functionality of DSL is insufficient, new DSL functions can be defined in C or C++. However, C and C++ can be challenging for inexperienced programmers. Furthermore, every time the C or C++ code is modified, it needs to be recompiled and PowerFactory needs to be restarted for the changes to take effect, which slows down the workflow, model development, and inhibits rapid prototyping. In this paper we present an open source library that allows users to call Python functions and methods from DSL with minimal effort. Python is a powerful and much easier to use language than C or C++. Additionally, Python programs do not need to be compiled. Furthermore, with this library PowerFactory does not need to be restarted every time the Python code is changed. To illustrate what can be accomplished with our library we present three example use cases related to load modeling, co-simulation, and fault detection based on machine learning. The examples show that it becomes straightforward to enhance DSL with Python and that sophisticated models can be produced with reduced effort using popular open source Python libraries. As a consequence, PowerFactory users gain access to enhanced modeling capabilities and user-friendliness, and a more speedy workflow, which is beneficial for rapid prototyping.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 IEEE 28th International Symposium on Industrial Electronics (ISIE)
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-3666-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-7281-3667-7
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event28th IEEE International Symposium on Industrial Electronics, ISIE 2019 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 12 Jun 201914 Jun 2019


Conference28th IEEE International Symposium on Industrial Electronics, ISIE 2019

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Co-simulation
  • DSL
  • dynamic simulation
  • machine-learning
  • PowerFactory
  • Python


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