DNV GL opens up its Flex Power Grid Lab to customers interested in doing their own research on power cybernetics.

The lab can emulate any type of low or medium voltage power grid up to 1 MVA, allowing customers to develop and test new control system processes, algorithms and hardware at distribution level voltages. DNV GL’s Strategic Research and Innovation unit will provide full support for these research activities with their expertise in the emerging field of power cybernetics.

Traditional grid equipment is governed purely by physics – allow too much current to flow through a breaker and it should trip. Today’s systems are increasingly governed by power electronics and (embedded) control software, what DNV GL refers to as "power cybernetics". By opening up the Flex Power Grid Lab to the industry, DNV GL provides a facility where power cybernetic solutions can be developed and tested. In addition to enabling integrated testing for both hardware and (embedded) control software, the lab also allows detailed investigation of how these systems interact with each other and with the electricity grid in real-time.

At the research lab, customers will be able to develop and test their ideas or devices on the facility’s fully programmable grid. Here you can test against an emulated grid at low or medium voltage of up to 1 MVA including stationary and dynamic power quality phenomena, such as harmonics up to 2.4 kHz.

The facility can be used for research on a wide range of different components including:

– Wind turbine converters

– UPS

– PV Inverters

– Data communications

– Storage

– Smart controllers

– Active (harmonic) filters

Theo Bosma, Program Director Strategic Research & Innovation at DNV GL said, "We have been using the Flex Power Grid Lab for our own R&D. Now anyone in the energy industry can use the lab to develop their own new solutions. Having an environment like the emulated grid at the Flex Power Grid Lab enables new power cybernetic solutions to be developed and tested before being implemented on the live grid. It is essential that we understand how these systems will interact with each other and the grid to ensure that the grid of tomorrow is safe, stable and properly operated."

DNV GL is already working with a number of customers to scope research projects for implementation at the research lab. For more information on how to apply and how to get involved, contact Erik de Jong, Senior researcher (Power Electronics) / Manager Flex power grid lab, who is also an associate professor in power electronics dominated grids at the University of Eindhoven.

Image: left – "Erik de Jong, Senior researcher (Power Electronics) / right – Manager Flex power grid lab and Theo Bosma, Program Director Strategic Research & Innovation"