Simulating Cyber-Physical Energy Systems: Challenges, Tools and Methods

Peter Palensky, Edmund Widl, Atiyah Elsheikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

109 Citations (Scopus)


The energy system of the future is expected to be composed of a large variety of technologies and applications. However, the diverse nature of these components, their interlinked topology, and the sheer size of the system lead to an unprecedented level of complexity. Industry is confronted with severe problems in designing interoperable grid components, analyzing system stability, and improving efficiency. This paper describes the main challenges of continuous time-based and discrete event-based models of such cyber-physical energy systems. Using a characteristic test model, the scalability of the two approaches is analyzed. The results show the strengths and weaknesses of these two fundamentally different modeling principles that need to be considered when working with large scale cyber-physical energy systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6623196
Pages (from-to)318-326
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Part A: Systems & Humans
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cyber-physical energy systems
  • hybrid systems
  • modeling
  • simulation
  • software tools


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