The Smart Grid is drawing attention from various research areas. Distributed control algorithms at different scales within the grid are being developed and deployed; yet their effects on each other and the grid's health and stability has not been sufficiently studied due to the lack of a capable simulator. Simulators in the literature can solve the power flow by modeling the physical system, but fail to address the cyber physical aspect of the smart grid with multiple agents. To answer these questions, we have developed S2Sim: Smart Grid Swarm Simulator. S2Sim allows any object within the grid to have its own independent control, transforming physical elements into cyber-physical representations. Objects can have any size ranging from a light bulb to a whole microgrid and their representative data can be supplied from a real device, simulation, distributed control algorithm or a database. S2Sim shields the complexity of the power flow solution from the control algorithms and directly supplies information on system stability. This information can be used to give feedback signals like price or regulation incentives by virtual coordinators to form closed-loop control. Using three case studies, we illustrate how different distributed control algorithms can have varying effects on system stability, which would go undetected in the absence of our simulator. Furthermore, the case studies show that a control algorithm cannot be justified without being tested within the grid picture.
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