The Low Voltage Experimental Microgrid Laboratory (LVEM lab) at the FOSS Centre of the University of Cyprus (UCY) is a flexible and scalable microgrid testing, demonstration and R&D platform for smart grid and other advanced energy technologies.
Location: Nicosia, Cyprus
The infrastructure comprises of DER components (grid-connected PV systems and inverters of total capacity 30 kVA), battery energy storage systems (BESS) (capacity of 10 kWh) and controllable AC and DC loads that allow full-power testing capability up to 10 kVA (AC). In addition, the infrastructure includes smart meters, DAQs and a home energy management system (HEMS) and a residential electric vehicle (EV) emulator (equipped with smart plugs emulating home appliances) for the monitoring and automated control of electricity usage within the microgrid feeder. The infrastructure is further equipped with a state-of-the-art weather station and meteorological data-sets are continuously acquired and analysed facilitating research in the area of energy meteorology. The overall observability and management of the infrastructure is performed by a high-level management system (incorporating OpenMUC and Node-Red functionalities) that communicates with the energy resources via Ethernet, RS-485 serial, IEEE 802.15.4 and supports various application protocols such as Modbus and IEC 61850. Ultimately, the laboratory infrastructure offers a modular and scalable interoperable platform for smart grid system and DER-oriented simulation and validation/testing activities. The following infrastructure is available in the LVEM lab and provided for ERIGrid 2.0
Electrical setup and components:
- DER components (grid-connected PV systems and inverters of total capacity 30 kVA)
- Programmable loads for active and reactive power (10 kVA – capacitive and inductive behaviour; individual control possibilities) and BESS (capacity of 10 kWh)
- Environmental simulation (test chamber for performance and accelerated lifetime testing)
- DAQ and measurement (multiple high precision power analysers with high acquisition rate; simultaneous sampling of asynchronous multi-domain data input)
- Weather station (acquisition of meteorological data-sets)
- HEMS (fully equipped with EV charging points and smart plugs to emulate the operation).
Simulation tools and components:
- General simulation tools: Matlab/Simulink, SimPowerSystems, PSpice/Cadence, and Mathworks xPC-Target
- Network simulation tools: DigSILENT PowerFactory
- Interoperable interfaces: OpenMuc and Node-Red
ICT/Automation tools and components:
- Communication methods: IEC 61850, OPC/OPC-UA, Industrial Ethernet (EPL, Modbus / TCP, etc.)
- Network information system
- Cyber-security assessment methods and tools for Smart Grid systems and components.
Smart Grid system and DER-oriented expertise and validation/testing activities:
- Integration of DER, standards and grid codes
- Power quality (lab test/field monitoring): impact of DER components on PQ (e.g., voltage levels and harmonics)
- Assessment of demand response in future smart grids and smart metering
- PV production forecasting (day- and hour-ahead) and load forecasting (short-term)
- Qualification testing/conformity assessment of PV according to diverse national standards and recommendations
- Interoperability and communication testing
The FOSS Research Centre for Sustainable Energy has been established in 2013 as a constituent part of the University of Cyprus (UCY) in order to play a key role in research and technological development activities in the field of sustainable energy. Within FOSS significant research expertise from the UCY as well as from the industry has been assembled, that spans a host of fields including Engineering (Electrical, Mechanical, Civil, Environmental and Chemical Engineering), Physics, Chemistry, Economics, Finance, Computer Science and Architecture. At present, the centre comprises of 21 academics, 80 researchers and 12 administrative staff.
Since the establishment of the centre, FOSS has been participating in cutting edge research activities in the technological areas of renewable energy sources (RES), grid integration of RES and smart electricity networks. Over the past 5 years, the centre has coordinated and participated in more than 30 European-, National- and Industrially-funded projects and has received in excess of €18,000,000 in research funding. At present, FOSS is the coordinator of 5 European-funded projects and collaborates with leading international institutions and companies. Members of the team represent Cyprus in European Energy Committees such as the SET Plan and the European and International Standards Committees on solar photovoltaics (PV). Furthermore, the research staff are actively involved with different Taskforces of the International Energy Agency and Working Groups within the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
Finally, FOSS is a member of the DERlab Association of leading laboratories in the field of distributed energy resource (DER) equipment and systems, EUREC which is the leading association representing research centres and university departments active in the area of renewable energy, EERA AISBL & EERA JP for SG chairing the sub programme “Distribution Networks Flexible Operation” and ESSSR the European School of Sustainability Science and Research.
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