Country: United Kingdom

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Description: The Institute for Energy and Environment (InstEE) represents one of Europe’s largest power systems and energy technology university research groups. Comprising 32 members of academic staff, over 200 research staff and students, and 18 technical and administrative colleagues, the Institute has four main research groups:

  • Advanced Electrical Systems
  • High Voltage Technology
  • Power Electronics Drives and Energy Conversion
  • Wind Energy and Control

There are 45 bespoke, state of the art laboratories across key research themes of energy, health, manufacturing, and future cities – which support innovation and research demonstration. This is complemented by the Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC) which hosts a fully operational HV and LV demonstration network and dedicated team of research, technical and support staff.

The laboratory has a real-time link to several research infrastructures across the world including Nokia Laboratory in USA and Rolls-Royce Corporate lab in Singapore.

Facilities
Distributed Network and Protection Laboratory (D-NAP)
Description: The Institute for Energy and Environment at the University of Strathclyde offers the experimental facility “Distribution Network and Protection Laboratory”, D-NAP. This comprises a 100kVA microgrid that can operate grid connected or variously islanded, integrated with a real-time digital network simulator and protection injection laboratory. The facility offers hardware-in-the-loop capability, and incorporates induction machines, programmable load banks and various 1/3 - phase inverters.

Significant hardware has been added to the microgrid infrastructure, including: lithium-ion battery storage (10 kVA), supercapacitor energy storage (192 kW peak power), and their corresponding interfacing converters.

A new RTDS NovaCor and Aurora link enable larger-scale simulations and high fidelity PHIL demonstrations. A unique platform for wide-area monitoring, protection, and control with 64 PMUs has been developed, where PMU algorithms execute on a cluster of Raspberry Pis with waveform data from real-time simulations using GTFPGA unit
Technical specifications (PDF)
more information

Static Equipment

Tri-phase unit
Description: 90kVA

Hardware-in-the-Loop system
Description: Real-time PHIL co-simulation platform

1/3 – phase inverters

100kVA microgrid

Real-time Digital Network Simulator

PMU devices
Description: Distributed measurement architecture

IEC 61850 GOOSE
Description: Messaging for laboratory control funtionality

Real-time communications emulation
Description: Enabling arbitrary manipulation of Ethernet traffic

Programmable load banks

High Voltage Technologies and Electrical Plant Diagnostics
Description: The High Voltage Technologies (HVT) and Electrical Plant Diagnostics Group is engaged in fundamental and applied research covering electrical plant, pulsed power technologies and high voltage (HV) materials and components. HVT has a strong track record of pioneering research into many practical applications of HV technology and has spun out four successful companies in recent years. HVT research covers a range of challenging topics, including ultra-fast high energy switches for particle beam fusion experiments; measurement and location of partial discharges in electrical insulation; inactivation of bacteria using electrical impulses, and diagnosis of defects in HV equipment such as GIS, transformers and cables.
Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC)
Description: The Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC) offers an ideal platform to accelerate the development of these technologies through its staff and facilities, and to reduce delivery risk.
Through the use of a fully operational HV and LV demonstration network (operated either as a grid connected or as an islanded system), integrated with state-of-the-art communications and monitoring equipment, as well as other bespoke integrated functionality, i.e. dedicated fault throwing capability. PNDC is playing a key role in accelerating emerging technologies towards commercial deployment in a realistic, controllable environment.
For an enhanced RTDS capability of the laboratory, two new RTDS cubicles are available, integrated with a 1MW motor-generator set to enable PHIL testing. Among other scopes, the PHIL setup is used for testing wide area control systems which are utilised to provide fast frequency control in situations of grid disturbances/faults.

Over the last 12 months the PNDC has enhanced its 11kV distribution network test environment. This includes increasing the scope of our fault throwing capability, to now include the introduction of intermittent (‘pecking’) faults on our low-voltage (LV) network. Our communications test-bed now includes the latest in secure networking, including industrial firewalls and intrusion detection software. This has allowed us to deliver projects such as penetration testing of specific network assets, utilizing both physical and virtual networks. Additionally, we have supported the testing of asset discovery tools for use in distribution network environment.
Technical specifications (PDF)
Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC) - Electric Vehicles Research
Description: PNDC has capabilities for researching and demonstrating the interaction between the grid and electric vehicles. The facilities include plugin AC and DC charging stations connected to the 400 V network and a wireless 60 kW inductive charging station for heavy-duty vehicles. The network is controlled using an RTDS or SCADA and can run between 49.6 – 61 Hz. This allows investigations into network effects on vehicle charging processes and battery life and the use of smart grid components such as distributed storage and generation. There is also a unique tool to investigate and model vehicle state of charge to support control and forecasting as well as passenger comfort.

Quality Management
All laboratories comply with the common DERri test protocol.
Testing Services
Services of D-NAP:

  • Technology validation of novel communications networks
  • Comprehensive testing of power system protection relay settings
  • Testing of small DER interfaces and components with PHIL experiments
  • Scaled testing of power system controls
Recent Publications

PNDC Publications:

D-NAP Publications:

last updated: 30.10.2019

University of Strathclyde