Country: Finland

University of Vaasa is a multidisciplinary University with approximately 5000 students. The teaching and research activities of the University focus on accounting and finance, management, technology and innovation, as well as marketing and communication.

VEBIC (Vaasa Energy Business Innovation Center) is a multidisciplinary research platform at the University of Vaasa. It brings together know how from the research and business communities responding to the global needs of efficient energy production, energy business and sustainable societal development.

FREESI is one of the laboratories operated by VEBIC and it is utilized for various research activities related to Smart Grids and flexible energy resources. The focus is on grid integration of inverter based DER and protection of power systems utilizing also the facilities at the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) laboratory of VEBIC.


The smart grid laboratory FREESI is a collection of related facilities at the Technobothnia joint laboratory hosted by three collaborating higher education institute. The name FREESI comes from the words Future, Reliable, Electricity and Energy Systems Integration, which indicate well the main scope of the active research areas in the laboratory.

The research group has twenty years expertise on power system simulations and the core facilities of the laboratory has been recently upgraded to enable real time HIL simulations. The CHIL facilities support especially the studies of relay protection systems. There is also unique setup of protection, automation and communication (PAC) equipment enabling the training and testing of IEC 61850 based systems. The power electronic facilities allow studies of the control of inverter based DER. The high voltage laboratory have the capability to perform the dielectric insulation breakdown tests, partial discharge investigations, and impulse testing.

Static Equipment
  • Real time simulator
    • OPAL-RT OP5600 target with RT-LAB, eMEGASim and ePHASORsim software. Communication protocols: IEC 61850, DNP3, IEC104, CAN, ModBus, and C37.118. Analog output and input (16 channels). Digital output and input (32 channels). Time synchronization card (IEC 1588). Omicron amplifiers (2 pcs).
  • Power electronics & microgrids
    • Bidirectional DC/DC converters (2pcs)
    • Bidirectional DC/AC converter
    • dSPACE MicroLabBox control unit
    • dSPACE DS1104 control unit
  • Protection, automation & communication
    • IEC 68150 based test racks with several protection IEDs from different vendors (ABB, Arcteq, Siemens, VAMP, Schneider Electric). Control center with Schneider Electric PACIS and ABB MicroSCADA Pro systems
  • Internal Combustion Engine laboratory
    • Engine: Wärtsilä 4L20 (multifuel), rated power 800 kW. Generator: asynchronous generator (ABB), 1200 kW, 690 V. Grid connection: frequency converter (ABB) and transformer 690V/20 kV, 2 MVA. Comprehensive automation system with data acquisition facilities. Real time control prototyping system (Speedgoat).
  • High voltage
    • High voltage power transformers of 200 kVA
    • Variable power supply unit
    • 100 kVA coupling capacitor for partial discharge measurements
    • high voltage impulse generator
    • oven for thermal aging
Mobile Equipment

Oscilloscopes and various measurement instruments including:

  • Voltage Differential probe, 25MHz 1000 Vrms, ±1400 V (3 pcs)
  • AC/DC Current Clamp, range: 30 mA to 30A DC, 30 mA to 20A AC rms, frequency range: DC to 100 kHz (3 pcs)
  • Coupling Capacitor: Rated voltage 100 kV, with integrated Quadrupole and Voltage Divider (Capacitance : 1nF and Sync.-Output : 1/1000) (1pcs)
  • High frequency current transformers (HFCT): (1:10 @ 50Ω) Isolated HF coupling to PD sources, Primary window: Ø 15mm, bandwidth (-3dB): 500kHz – >80MHz – PD calibrator (for cable and transformer) with the charge range 1-100 pC (picocoulombs) (1 pcs)
Simulation/Optimisation Tools
  • PSCAD – simulation of various distribution systems for studying the integration of DER and the performance of novel protection and fault location schemes.
  • PowerFactory – power flow and reactive power compensation studies
  • Matlab/Simulink – real time simulation of various power systems including DER with the OPAL-RT platform and SimScape blockset
  • GAMS – optimization of energy production and markets
  • Homer – modelling and simulation DER systems
Testing Services
  • CHIL testing of protection IEDs and other controllers with OPAL-RT real time simulator
  • Various simulation studies of distribution systems using PSCAD software
University of Vaasa – VEBIC