Teaching of electrical energy systems is challenging, in that it is not possible for students to directly experience their phenomena, so much so that electrical engineering is normally perceived as rather abstract and heavily based on mathematical modelling.
Digital computer simulation has been in this respect a great step forward because it allows the translation of complex phenomena and their mathematical representation in a visual experience.
Currently, the energy system is undergoing a significant transformation, in Germany identified with the term “Energiewende”. As this transformation is making the system more complex, understanding phenomena and interactions is coherently getting more challenging for the students. On top of that, a real experimental activity is not possible because it is unthinkable to play with the real electrical grids for obvious reasons of security and safety.
One way to improve the situation, while making the learning a more engaging experience for the students, is the application of real-time simulation, which allows interacting with a model of the infrastructure that acts on the same scale of time of reality. Unfortunately, though, commercial real-time simulators are very expensive and it is not possible to make them available to the students.