Integrating renewable energy into the grid
As the demand and use of renewable energy technologies in both commercial and residential environments increases, understanding how electricity generated by these sources can be integrated into future grid designs is critical.
Creating a real-world test environment
The Renewable Energy Integration Facility (REIF) demonstrates how electricity networks will work in the future where the electricity supply mix will include many more renewable energy generators in conjunction with large, centralised power sources.
We can test new grid management technologies in a real-world environment using a variety of electrical generation and load types including solar, gas, turbine and battery storage. Our facility replicates the way electrical load for households or an entire commercial building complex changes during the course of the day and includes a diverse mix of generators. We can capture detailed electrical power data 50,000 times per second.
The REIF is also being used to develop techniques that can intelligently detect and solve faults on electricity systems, improving supply reliability and reducing unwanted blackouts.
The REIF includes the following capability:
- solar photovoltaics (300 kW) with a mix of mono and polycrystalline silicon
- programmable solar photovoltaic emulators (50 kW)
- a horizontal axis wind turbine (5 kW)
- three natural gas turbine cogeneration units (150 kW)
- a programmable load bank (63 kW / 63kVAR)
- domestic and commercial solar inverters, including a mix of micro-inverters and string-inverters
- lithium-ion battery storage (200 kWh)
- a low-voltage network simulator (100 kVA)
- an AC grid emulator (90kVA)
- a range of electric vehicle (EV) chargers, including standard and fast chargers
- an emulator for EVs and EV-chargers (50kW).
A world class facility
We have created a world class facility which can be accessed by industry. REIF is supported by experts in the fields of power engineering, system design, energy management and grid technologies.