Reconfigurable Power and Energy Network at UTS
The Electrical Power and Energy Systems Lab at the UTS Tech Lab has recently developed a state-of-the-art research facility to tackle complex power and energy conversion problems and challenges. Example scenarios are fault detection and protection for microgrid, energy efficiency improvement through distributed control of inverter-based energy sources, stabilising and adding value to the electricity network through integration of energy storage technologies, electromagnetic impact of the switching power supply on the environment, etc.
Diagram of a Benchmark microgrid
The energy network laboratory is formed by a number of key equipment. Firstly, it is a supercomputer controlled real-time (RT) electricity grid simulator. It has the capability of interconnecting real hardware to the RT simulated grid, which is known as hardware-in-the-loop simulator. This enables us for example, to test existing or new equipment and evaluate the impact of other real power devices (e.g. inverters, battery chargers, wind turbines, PV modules, etc.) to an RT-simulated grid or vice-versa. We have other useful emulators such as PV emulator, battery (up to 80kVA) emulator, and a wind turbine emulator to setup a scalable microgrid. Moreover, protection system testing and coordination can be also assessed in our RT-grid simulator, providing you a better protection analysis that the ones based on standard power flow analysis. We also have an electromagnetic (EM) compatibility testing facility which can perform pre-compliance test on EM emission of electrical equipment or apparatus. Together with the diverse areas of expertise, i.e. from magnetic devices, to power electronics and electric machines, to power system and optimisation, the UTS power and energy conversion team is well positioned to serve and collaborate with research and industry partners to investigate and solve complex energy-related issues.
Pictured, Academic staff members and PhD students completed industry training for operating the real-time electricity simulator . Image: supplied.