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Smart Energy Systems Laboratory

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“Smart Grid Laboratories Inventory 2018” report by Joint Research Centre, European Commission


  We are proud to announce that the Smart Energy Systems
  Laboratory at the department   is included in “Smart Grid
  Laboratories Inventory   2018” report   by  Joint Research
  Centre, European Commission. The survey covers 89
  labs worldwide from which 69 are located in Europe and        20 outside. Our  laboratory is the only research facility            listed for Denmark.


Across the world, the intelligent energy systems (coupling major energy sectors like electricity, thermal and transportation) are considered as a key solution to promote clean energy, improve efficiency and costs. This is very relevant to transform the system planning and energy strategies for environmental friendly and sustainable future. However, there are not many smart energy installations or real-time systems to justify its worth, develop necessary standards and experience the real challenges that it could address.

In order to realize the energy balance and economic benefits in a system with high penetration of renewables, increasing demand, flexible loads, increased transmission capacity, international trading and new actors, a close synergy between energy vectors is foreseeable.

Two main key aspects of such intelligent energy systems are the ICT component and the energy networks and systems itself. The research and development activities in this area need to account for actual control and communication layers upon a realistic model of the energy networks and systems.

The vision of Smart Energy Systems Laboratory is to capture all layers from Smart Grid Architecture Model i.e. business, control, ICT and energy domains in a Real-Time Hardware-In-the-Loop framework that enables Model Based Design for energy applications.

Smart Energy Systems Laboratory


Laboratory Architecture


  • Opal-RT based Real Time Discrete Simulator for energy systems and assets that supports multi-physics domain modelling: thermal, mechanics, electrical, hydraulics. Electrical grids can be simulated both EMT (up to 200 three-phase buses or 600 electrical nodes) and RMS (up to 10000 three-phase buses). The discrete simulator can host models for detailed power electronic converters as well as large power grids including generation and consumption units.
  • Internal 10 GBs Ethernet LAN that enables machine-to-machine connection of subsystems and components. Supported communication protocols IEC 61850 SV/Goose/MMS, OpenAdr, DLMS, IEC60870 104, etc.
  • GIS mapping and configuration of communication networks including stochastic modelling of data traffic and trace based data traffic generation
  • Four quadrant grid simulator (±50 kVAR) for supplying a local electrical grid. The grid simulator can be controlled using voltage measurements provided by grid model implemented in the Real Time Discrete Simulator and feeds back current measurements. As standalone power supply the simulator can be programmed for voltage asymmetries and flickers, harmonics and interharmonics up to 3 kHz as well as EMC characterization
  • Single- (4.5 kW) and three-phase (3x2.8 kW) programmable electronic AC loads for characterization of household consumption. These AC loads can be controlled by Real-Time detailed models of household’s appliances.
  • Single- and three-phase Smart Meters including Data concentrators and Head-End systems
  • Industrial plant controllers programmable via Matlab/Simulink including Grid Monitoring Module, AIOs, DIOs, PWM, etc.

Smart Energy Systems Laboratory

Special equipment

  • Four quadrant emulator for dispersed generation (±20 kW/±10 kVAR). This component is comprising of a grid converter and a DC supply/sink controlled by a dSpace system. It offers high flexibility in developing and testing control algorithms for grid side converter, possibility to implement various renewable sources e.g. wind generator, solar PV and different energy storage technologies including the energy management. The system is remotely controlled by upper hierarchical levels.
  • Mapping of Virtual Smart Meters to DLMS protocol
  • Gurobi based Real-Time optimization engine
  • Dual CPU PC for high computational tasks
  • Extensive collection of real-time models
    • library of transmission and distribution grids e.g. Generic IEEE 12-bus for wind integration studies, Medium and low voltage distribution grids
    • Toolbox for generating statistical load profiles for households
    • Toolbox for renewable generation and energy storage systems with various model granularities

Features & services

  • Running Real-Time HIL applications
    • Demand Response in distribution grid
    • Coordinated control of Renewable Generation Plants in distribution grids
    • Control of large Wind Power Plants
  • Developing, testing and validate hierarchical control, energy management and dispatch solutions for hybrid renewable plants and smart grid applications considering the ICT impact at Technology Readiness Level 6
  • Compliance testing of power converter based devices including control strategies using Power HIL approach
  • Assessing impact of high renewable penetration scenarios in distribution grids including ICT aspects
  • Assessing impact of cyber security threats in smart grid applications.


Sponsors: Kamstrup, Det Obelske Familiefond, Efacec, Bachmann



Pontoppidanstraede 109, room 1.103
9220, Aalborg East
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