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Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering


Electrical Engineering


College of Engineering


Majid Poshtan

Advisor Department

Electrical Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering


Over the last decade, microgrid deployments throughout the world have increased. In 2019, a record number of 546 microgrids were installed in the United States [1]. This trend continues upward to combat extreme weather conditions and power shortages throughout the country. To better equip students with the necessary skillsets and knowledge to advance in the microgrid field, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's Electrical Engineering Department and the Power Energy Institute have invested resources to develop a laboratory microgrid.

This thesis sets to improve the laboratory microgrid's existing automation using the Schweitzer Engineering Laboratory SEL-3530 Real-time Automation Controller (RTAC). The improved automation features a new load-shedding scheme, LCD annunciator and meter panel, and emergency safety shutdown system. The load shedding scheme aims to enhance the grid's frequency stability when the inverter-based power output declines. The LCD annunciator and meter panels provide real-time oversight of the microgrid operating conditions via the RTAC Human Machine Interface (HMI). The emergency safety shutdown enables prompt de-energization and complete isolation of the laboratory microgrid in hazardous conditions such as earthquake, fire, arcing, and equipment malfunction and activates an audible siren to alert help. This safety system provides safety and peace of mind for students and faculties who operate the Microgrid. Lastly, this thesis provides an operating procedure for ease of operation and experiment.