VTT IntelligentEnergy is a national empirical research environment where new technical solutions and products for distributed energy systems can be tested in a multifunctional environment. There are several independent testing facilities connected together covering production, control, and loading concepts as well as energy storages of different sizes and technologies. IntelligentEnergy testbed facilities have a strong interconnection with fuel testing and development.

Location: Espoo & Oulu, Finland



VTT IntelligentEnergy is equipped with a local SCADA enabling monitoring and control. Key features are:

  • Lab network 400 V, 50 Hz, connected to 20 kV distribution grid with islanded operation possibility
  • IEC 61850 based control and protection system including 14 relays
  • Grid emulator, AC/DC, 400 V, 30 kVA
  • Electronic load, AC/DC, 400 V, 30 kVA
  • RTDS real-time simulator with current and voltage amplifiers
  • PV emulator, DC source, 6 kW
  • Communication emulator
  • Adjustable resistor loads up to 1700 kW
  • Controllable PQ load, 15 kW
  • Ready-made connection points for customer devices
  • DC residential customer grid interface with voltage control, metering, protection and islanding
  • Supported communication: IEC 61850, IEC 60780-5-104, Modbus TCP/IP
  • GSP and MIKES atomic clock time synchronization.

IntelligentEnergy has interconnected labs for customer-level home environment smart grid, 5G and beyond wireless communication test networks and battery testing. These facilities include PV panels 7.2 kW and inverter equipment, wind power unit 5.5 kW, storages, and an electric vehicle with charging stations as well as household devices, which can be monitored and controlled intelligently via a programmable user interface for monitoring, control, and decision making.

There are some specific operation areas that may be interesting for user groups:

  • IEC 61850 – related testing: The testbed is equipped with 14 ABB IEDs, including a substation automation system based on centralized protection for smart substations ABB SSC600 and substation automation management unit ABB COM600. These equipment are further connected with RTDS real-time simulator and current and voltage amplifiers to offer further testing possibilities. This combination offers an environment for testing IEC 61850 based protection and control solutions including GOOSE messaging. The testbed is also equipped with a GPS system and fiber connections to MIKES atomic clocks enabling time synchronization and for instance wide-area monitoring and protection type applications.
  • Communication testing: The testbed has been developed to enable 5G and beyond wireless communication testing for power systems. The testbed is one of the nodes on the 5G test network in Finland and amongst the first 5G pilots. VTT is closely involved in the 5G and beyond development and the IntelligentEnergy testbed is integrated with the 5G pilot area.
  • Battery testing: the testbed offers good possibilities for testing batteries, ranging from cell level to complete systems. There are climate chambers which can be used. Lifetime testing can be done with flexible testing arrangement. For EV battery purposes, recorded drive cycles can be used to perform tests emulating real driving conditions.
  • Smart home environment: the testbed is interconnected with a customer-level smart-home environment including PV panels and inverters, wind power unit, energy storages and EV with charging stations and controllable domestic loads. At the same time, the testbed is built as a home environment where household devices can be monitored and controlled intelligently.

IntelligentEnergy offers testing possibilities that cover development, operation acceptance, and common tests for DG products and systems. The platform is flexible and can be adapted for various purposes. The interconnections with a customer-level smart grid, communication test networks, and battery testing allow a wider range of testing possibilities including local microgrid systems, load control, and use of energy storages as well as the development of new control systems and user interfaces. Typical testing assignments and possibilities include:

  • DER units, fuel optimization, network interconnection issues with protection and inverter systems
  • ICT applications for DER systems, as well as operation optimization
  • Different malfunctions and faults can be freely realized in the network, and behavior of the generation, protection and control systems can be identified in the actual environment
  • Possibility of emulating PV and wind generator with a converter drive
  • Control of EV charging post and V2G integration
  • Decision-making and intelligence at the customer-level optimization on a different basis
  • Active load control and demand response systems
  • Development of PV, wind, and storage-related control strategies
  • Access to 5G and wireless communication test networks to enable testing of customer devices and applications
  • Battery management systems, thermal management concept, benchmarking, verification and comparisons, test according to standards, and with customer-specific load cycles.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is a non-profit government organisation established by law and operating under the auspices of the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy. VTT is a multitechnological research organisation providing high-end technology solutions and innovation services. VTT has a staff of 2600. Through its international scientific and technology networks, VTT can produce information, upgrade technology knowledge, and create business intelligence and value added for its stakeholders. VTT’s activities are focused on three areas: Knowledge intensive products and services, Smart industry and energy systems and Solutions for natural resources and environment. VTT has 70 years of experience in addressing the needs of industry and the knowledge-based society. In the past 20 years, VTT has participated in more than 1000 European R&D Framework Programme projects, within various thematic programmes. VTT has been granted ISO 9001:2000 certificate and ISO 14001 environmental certificate.

Research area “Smart Energy and System Integration” conducts wide research on future energy systems and their integration. We apply a holistic view on different energy carriers and integrate strongly ICT and communication aspect with power system research. VTT is closely involved in international co-operation networks (for instance EERA, DERlab, IEA ISGAN) as well as European research projects (for instance ELECTRA, SmartNet, STORY). VTT also participates in multiple national research programs on the area of smart grids.

The offered experimental systems included in the IntelligentEnergy testbed are located in Espoo and Oulu, Finland. Depending on the experiments the stay is organised in one of these locations.

For safety reasons, 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 the staff of VTT. Users are required to participate in a short induction on safety, first aid, and environment in the laboratories. After the induction, the user group will have full access to the related facilities for the duration of the stay with the support and in the presence of VTT’s researchers and research engineers. 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, travel plan, etc.) will comply with ERIGrid 2.0 common indications. In addition to the general corporate services (internet connection, canteen, etc.) and the support and advice on accommodation and transportation to VTT’s infrastructure, the access being offered includes supervision and help of VTT’s staff:

  • As a complement to the pre-access contacts between the user group and VTT, the stay will start with an introductory meeting with an experienced 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 research or research engineer will assist the users in the installation of the devices, electrical connections, use of the specific instrumentation, preparation of a test procedure (if necessary) based on the users’ requests, and programming of the experimental conditions.
  • The guest researcher will be placed within the building of VTT and gets access to the lab facilities.
  • VTT’s researchers will support the realisation and follow-up of the experiments.
  • VTT’s researchers will support the results interpretation, data processing and analysis, and test report preparation.

In principle, a typical stay of 1 month is foreseen for a single user group but this period could be extended depending on the concrete user project. The user group (usually 2 persons) can use the infrastructure for the defined time.

Reimbursement of expenses:

User expenses for the lab access are paid by ERIGrid 2.0 (EU H2020 Programme). This includes transport to and from the airport, accommodation, and daily allowance during the stay. The daily allowance is paid only for the duration of the work at VTT IntelligentEnergy.

For the user projects taking place in VTT IntelligentEnergy 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 VTT 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 might be possible but needs to be discussed with the hosting organization.


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