Electrical Sustainable Power Lab

Delft University of Technology is working on one of the major societal issues of our time; the transition towards sustainable energy. With its MSc and PhD educational programmes TU Delft is preparing young engineers both nationally and internationally to become future energy leaders in realising this far-reaching change in the energy supply and market. Industry and academic experts are working together on innovations that contribute to a higher efficiency for the electricity generation from renewable energy sources, electricity transmission & distribution and system services without compromising the reliability of energy supply.

In order to tackle the challenges of energy transition, multidisciplinary research programs based on system integration are required. The Electrical Sustainable Power Lab will be a unique location where these research programs will be executed.
The ESP Lab will be a truly unique facility where research on the system integration of new technologies and components in the power system will become reality. The ESP Lab with its staff and infrastructure will offer high-quality research in:

  • Materials development
  • Development of space charge measurement for commercial and non-commercial purposes
  • Power electronics & energy storage
  • Development of cables for DC transmission
  • System integration of new technologies and components such as solar PV, wind conversion technologies and electric vehicles
  • Effect of transients in the power system on components and materials quality
  • Stability, Protection, and Control of hybrid AC/DC power system
  • High-voltage testing, modelling and validation
  • Ancillary services & markets
  • Digital infrastructure

Labs and tools

The ESP lab will be upgraded with additional facilities to enable users working on the system integration at different levels:

At ‘System of systems’ level:
An upgrade with a Smart Grids simulation and testing tools for:

  1. Simulation and testing of the behaviour of sustainable energy sources and components in large-scale energy networks, and
  2. Developing and testing network models to simulate the behaviour of different large-scale energy networks linked together.

 A key factor is that the laboratory will have unique facilities for developing hardware-in-the-loop simulations. For this purpose Real-Time Digital Simulators (RTDS) will be strongly extended.

At ‘System’ level:
DC lab facility for obtaining knowledge and experience from HVDC systems for wind energy integration to MVDC (micro) grids with integrated renewable energy sources and energy storage. The DC lab will be equipped with DC testing source up to 600 kV. Additionally a DC power grid of 1 kV for system test is projected. Multi-terminal DC grid with OPAL RT allows design of control and testing of MTDC network. The research will focus on the development of DC technologies and systems for Smart Cities and electric transport. PV lab facility for the development and optimisation of intelligent small-scale PV systems.

At ‘Component’ level:
Testing lab facility for measuring energy conversion in PV devices, power electronic and converters. Lab equipment will include advanced monitoring system for PV modules, high-end oscilloscopes for ultra-fast measurements and recording purposes. Smart and reliable sensors will be developed as well. To fulfil the requirements of future super grids the laboratory will be equipped with one of the largest impulse generators in Europe. The maximum reachable lightning impulse voltage will be 4.2 MV. AC real tests simulations will be supplied from transformer cascade which can create voltage up to 1.5 MV.

At ‘Materials’ level:Unique equipment for dielectric spectroscopy, space charge measurements, partial discharge analysis and fast transient measurements to promote synergy between materials research and system design. Sensitive and accurate measurements in an extra high-voltage environment. Advanced material characterization techniques for characterizing novel materials for photovoltaic and photo-electro-chemical devices for conversion of solar energy into electricity or solar fuels, respectively.