Infrastructure

New developments and innovative technologies require acceptance testing before being integrated into existing systems. A testing environment that provides realistic settings and component interactions ensures optimal feedback and insights for developers and manufacturers. The laboratory facilities of the Fraunhofer Center Digital Energy enable integration and testing across multiple technologies and OEMs. This allows for practical testing, inspections, and trial runs without risking adverse effects within the public energy supply system.

The available laboratory equipment represents a quasi-real image of the energy infrastructure of current and future power grid operators (primary, secondary, control room, information and communication technology). Close cooperation with the Institute for High Voltage Equipment and Grids, Digitalization and Energy Economics (IAEW) at RWTH Aachen University ensures extensive and directly operational research infrastructure for measuring, simulating, certifying, and testing energy technology components and systems for research projects.

Within the Fraunhofer Center for Digital Energy, this environment enables both application-oriented research and development as well as independent testing and verification going beyond current approaches. IT security tools, penetration tests, patches, network technologies and novel concepts can be tested (such as data spaces, SSI, quantum communication, blockchain, or high-performance computing) directly within an operational system, prior to actual implementation within the energy supply infrastructure. 

Equipment

Modern testing facilities allow for detailed examinations of primary, secondary, and information technologies in critical infrastructures.

Laboratory Hüttenstraße

Medium and low-voltage grid with observable, controllable, and adjustable feeders, loads, and energy storages.

Control room

Functional control room for the development of automation and control technology, including IT security solutions, in critical infrastructures.

Test Grid

Medium and low-voltage cable network with high short-circuit power and the ability to switch flexibly between various topologies.

Digital Substations

Smartified distribution grids connected to the in-house control systems.

EV Charging Infrastructure

Testing environment for grid integration and operational concepts of electric vehicle charging infrastructures.

Hardware-in-the-Loop

Test environments for prototypical testing of components, algorithms, or software using real-time simulations.

Secondary Technology

Development and testing environment for network, substation, and field control technology.

Workshop

Mechanical and electronic workshop for developing and constructing individual test setups.

User Stories

 

Control Room

Regular training courses are necessary to adequately prepare control center personnel for the challenges of network operation management and to ensure smooth operations. Critical scenarios can be created for learning purposes, similar to a »flight simulator«.

 

Cyber-Physical Systems

The digitization of electrical networks entails the ongoing integration of new types of information and communication technologies into the processes of grid operators. Our facilities enable practical development in a protected environment.

 

Power Quality

Even with the increasing integration of power electronic components as part of the energy transition, the high standard of voltage quality should be maintained in modern grids.

 

Cyber Security

The ubiquitous digitization of processes and use cases in critical infrastructures of the energy system not only opens up new opportunities for innovative network operation management and value-added services, but also a new threat situation due to cyber attacks or mismanagement.

 

Distribution Grid Dynamics

Investigating the dynamic behavior of electrical distribution networks and developing innovative operation and control concepts, requires testing in a laboratory environment is in addition to simulation of relevant scenarios.

 

Grid Protection Concepts

Due to the increasing integration of decentralized generation systems, protection and control systems are facing new challenges that can be met by adaptive network protection concepts in digital substations. The grid protection laboratory at the Fraunhofer Center for Digital Energy enables the investigation of grid protection concepts with regard to their entire process chain.

 

Smart Home

The share of decentralized energy generation in the distribution network is steadily increasing. A large amount of smaller scale generation units are connected witihn private homes and businesses (behind-the-meter).

 

Measurements and Verificaiton

Stable grid operation dictates that connected generation units behave in accordance with predetermined grid connection codes. These include, for example, static and dynamic voltage maintenance or compliance with various protective functions.