The Smart Grid Interoperability Lab (SGIL) of the JRC in Petten, the Netherlands is a testing facility on the interoperability of smart grid systems. Its aim is to assess technological implementations according to proposed standards, use cases and processes in conjunction with applicable reference architectures. The goal is to contribute to policy making and industrial innovation regarding the modernization of the electricity grid.

Location: Petten, Netherlands

The SGIL works on the verification of the interworks among grid components, benchmarking of different solutions, and identification of gaps and challenges. The work is performed in collaboration with industry and research institutions. The lab allows interoperability testing of smart grid components following experimental procedures, simulations and emulations and utilising accepted standards. The assessment of interoperability is done with reference to use cases and quantitative assumptions stipulated by industry and standardization bodies. The focus is extended in identifying also the factors that could potentially compromise interoperability. The following test bed infrastructure is available in the SGILAB-PTT and supported for lab access in ERIGrid 2.0:

Smart Home

  • Smart appliances (washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, oven, etc.)
  • Heat Pump
  • Smart plugs (various brands), light bulbs, sun-blinds, etc.
  • Different kind of sensors (temperature, movement, light, etc.)
  • Home automation system
  • “Anyplace” EMS (prototype EMS from H2020 project “Anyplace”)


  • Battery Energy Storage
  • PV roof-top installation
  • Electronic Load Emulator
  • 4KWp PV carport

Battery Energy Storage Systems

  • BESS 1: 15kW/45kWh with Lead acid batteries (VRLA) – indoor
  • BESS 2: 75kW/150kWh with Li-ion (LFP) batteries – outdoor
  • BESS 3: 75kW/150kWh with Li-ion polymer batteries – outdoor

Real-time Simulation

  • Opal-RT real-time simulator
  • Load emulator (15kVA/13.5kW)
  • Super-computing power
  • 1 Speed Goat RTS (FPGA)


  • 1 Plug-in Hybrid car (2013 model)
  • 1 full electric car (2019 model)
  • 4 EV chargers (including 1 V2G charger)
  • 5 electric bikes (500Wh)
  • 1 solar EV charger

SCADA, monitoring 

  • Open source system for control, data collection, automatisation, etc.
  • Database, Back-up versioning
  • Visualisation

Other equipment

  • Diesel generator (with Synchronizer and electronic speed control unit)
  • Smart meters
  • National Instruments (real-time controller, FPGA)
  • Oscilloscope and digital precision multimeter
  • Fluke power quality analyzer

As part of the ERIGrid 2.0 lab access infrastructure, JRC provides the following services to user groups:

Smart grid system expertise and validation/testing activities, for example (list not exhaustive):

  • Power quality (PQ) lab tests
  • Quality and performance of DER components including storage and systems
  • Energy storage system validation
  • Electric vehicle supply equipment/charging system validation

Smart grid simulation/HIL-based activities, for example (list not exhaustive):

  • Validation of energy management systems and distribution SCADA
  • Interoperability and communication testing

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the scientific and technical arm of the European Commission. It is providing the scientific advice and technical know-how to support a wide range of EU policies. The JRC has seven scientific institutes, located at five different sites in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. 

The JRC Smart Electricity Systems and Interoperability team is located both in Petten (NL) and Ispra (IT). We, as European Commission’s in-house science service, perform independent scientific research and support EU policy-making on transformations towards smarter and interoperable electricity systems.

Our work revolves around four pillars:

  • Data Gathering and Processing – We constantly develop, update our extensive databases of power systems/networks and smart grid projects in Europe. This work feeds into our modelling, experimental and dissemination activities as explained below.
  • Smart Grid Interoperability Lab – Our Lab analyses behaviours and characteristics of evolving power grids incorporating more renewables, electric vehicles, dispersed energy resources.
  • Integrated Assessment – Our aim is to support policy initiative and study smart grids as complex techno-socio-economic systems with multiple physical, cyber, social, policy, and decision making layers.
  • Cooperation and Dissemination – Our work builds upon synergistic cooperation with key stakeholders to reach a critical mass. Tailored communication initiatives are adopted and customised dissemination tools are developed to get our message across.”

All the offered experimental systems included in the JRC SGIL are in the same building, where also the users will be placed, in the campus of JRC in Petten, the Netherlands.

For security reasons, users will be required to watch a short video describing the general rules in the JRC campus, since it is an active nuclear facility. For safety while working in the lab, they will also need to read and agree to the specific Operational Health and Safety guidelines of the SGIL. However, for critical applications, the users are not expected to operate the systems by themselves; even when safety instructions will be provided, tests will be carried out by staff of JRC. For the rest of applications and after ad-hoc training, the user group will have full access to the related facilities for the duration of the stay (with the support of JRC’s researchers and laboratory technicians when necessary). The scheduling of the experiments will be agreed and booked prior to the stay according to the availability of the involved staff and equipment. Administrative documentation for the access (contract, non-disclosure agreement, etc.) will comply with ERIGrid 2.0 common indications.

JRC offers all major general corporate services (Internet connection, canteen, etc.), including transportation to JRC campus from the nearby city of Alkmaar and/or Amsterdam with a company bus. Accommodation is not provided, however advice could be provided if requested. In addition, the access being offered includes supervision and help of JRC’s staff on the following:

  • As a complement to the pre-access contacts between the user group and JRC, the stay will start with an introductory meeting with a researcher for confirming the stay conditions (confidentiality, safety indications), scheduling the activities, explaining the on-site procedures, clarifying the logistics and technical details.
  • Preparatory work: a laboratory technician will assist the users for the installation of the devices, electrical connections, use of the specific instrumentation, preparation of a test procedure (if necessary) on the basis of the users’ requests, and programming of the experimental conditions.
  • JRC’s researchers will support the realisation and follow-up of the experiments, when possible..
  • JRC’s researchers will support the results interpretation, data processing and analysis, and test report preparation, when possible.

In principle, a typical stay of 2-3 weeks is foreseen for a single user group, but this period could be extended depending on the concrete user project. The user group (usually 2-3 persons) can use the infrastructure for the defined time.

Reimbursement of expenses:

User expenses for the lab access are paid by ERIGrid (EU H2020 Programme). This includes travels to JRC Petten by plane, accommodation, daily subsistence, and daily transportation during the stay (in case the JRC offered bus is not used).

For the user projects taking place in SGIL, JRC will refund the stay expenses when the stay is finished (or on agreed periods): the user must declare the incurred expenses and present the invoices/receipts to JRC in order to get the refund.

Logical expenses must be made by the user: travels will be made in economy class and conventional hotels (not luxury) or equivalent accommodation will be used.

Remote lab access is in principle not possible, but could be discussed with the hosting organization beforehand.

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