Country: Portugal


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Description: INESC TEC is a private nonprofit institution having as associates the University of Porto, INESC and the Polytechnic Institute of Porto in Portugal. The Power Systems Unit (USE) is INESC TEC main actor in the area of electrical energy.

The Power Systems Unit employs close to 70 collaborators, including 16 PhD holders. It is internationally recognized for its expertise in problems relating to the integration of wind power and renewable energy in general in power systems. USE is also recognized in the areas of distributed generation and smart-grids, the areas traditionally associated with planning and operating power systems.

The high level of expertise developed has allowed specialists at USE to take on key roles in important EU projects as part of the successive framework programmes that led to notable scientific and technical advances with considerable impact on industry. This has led to contracts for development and consultancy with companies manufacturing equipment, generation, transmission and distribution companies, regulators, government agencies and investors in Europe, South America, the United States of America and Africa.

Expertise areas of the Power Systems Unit (USE):

  • Integration of renewable energy sources in transmission systems
  • Microgeneration and microgrids
  • Electric vehicle integration in distribution grids
  • Development of a technical architecture for the implementation of a fully active distribution network

The laboratory capabilities were upgraded with the acquisition of a precision power analyzer, with the expansion of the PHIL capacities by expanding the capacity in real-time simulation (3x), and with the acquisition of new design and simulation tools (PCB design, 3D modelling, multi-domain simulation of power electronics (PLECS))

The new acquired tools represent a substantial improvement in development and testing capabilities regarding developed-in-house prototypes suited for studies related to DER integration – development in-house of electronic power converters for PV, energy storage (including hybrid inverters), development in-house of smart home products (appliances, energy metering and management devices, multi-variable sensors)



Smart Grids and Electric Vehicle Laboratory

Description: The Laboratory of Smart Grids and Electric Vehicles was designed in order to support the development and testing of solutions and prototypes both for hardware and software modules related to Smart Grid applications, promoting an active and intelligent management of electric grids in scenarios characterized by a progressive integration of microgeneration units and EV. A distinct feature of this laboratory relies on the integration of both commercially available solutions and in-house developed prototypes. The laboratory constitutes the physical space that integrates both equipment and software modules that allows individual and fully integrated development and testing of concepts, algorithms and communication solutions that will allow the operation of a distribution network under normal and emergency conditions.Technical specifications (PDF)
Static Equipment
Fully programmable source/sink DC system

Description: Capable of emulating battery banks, PV arrays and similar elements with up to 15kW.
100 A and 50 A low voltage cable simulators

3 kW micro wind generator

Description: emulated using a PMSG coupled to an induction motor controlled through a frequency inverter
4 quadrant AC/DC/AC converter

Description: 20 kW
54 kW of controllable loads

Description: single phase and three-phase
A Supervision and Control Infrastructure

Description: A Supervision and Control Infrastructure using an open protocol with flexibility to manage all the elements and to include and test different communication technologies
Batteries of different types

Description: – Lead acid: two sets of 15 kWh – Lithium-Ion: 128 cells (3,2 V; 40 Ah), charging station and BMS
Bidirectional inverters

Description: Bidirectional inverters developed at INESC on purpose for microgeneration applications
PV panels

Description: 15,5 kWp
SMA Sunny Boy, Windy Boy, Sunny Island Inverters

Description: SMA Sunny Boy (3×1,7 kW, 3×3 kW), Windy Boy (1×3 kW) and Sunny Island (2x(3×5 kW)) inverters
Mobile Equipment
Class A measurement equipment

Description: Fluke 1670 TR
DSPACE DS 1103 platform


Simulation/Optimisation Tools:

High performance real-time simulator OPAL-RT OP 5600, connected to an external power amlifier for PHIL testing

Recent Publication

C. Gouveia, D. Rua, F. Ribeiro, L. Miranda, J.M. Rodrigues, C.L. Moreira, J.A. Peças Lopes:
Experimental validation of smart distribution grids: Development of a microgrid and electric mobility laboratory
International Journal of Electrical Power & Energy Systems, Volume 78, pp. 765-775, June 2016.

last updated: 21.07.2017

Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering of Porto (INESC)