CSIRO Renewable Energy Integration Facility

Renewable Energy Integration Facility

Researchers at the Renewable Energy Integration Facility are examining new grid design and operation techniques that can significantly transform electricity networks.

  • 11 November 2009 | Updated 10 May 2013

The CSIRO Energy Transformed Flagship is conducting electricity grid research of national and international importance at the Renewable Energy Integration Facility, located at the CSIRO Energy Centre, Newcastle, Australia.

The facility demonstrates how electricity networks will work in the future where the electricity supply mix will include much greater numbers of renewable en ergy generators in conjunction with large centralised power sources.

The Renewable Energy Integration Facility

This million dollar facility represents a major upgrade of CSIRO's experimental capability in the areas of energy management, and electricity grid operation and planning, particularly with the growth in renewable generation.

Researchers at the facility can test new grid management technologies in a real-world environment using a variety of electrical generation and load types.

State of the art in its diversity of resources and depth of analysis, the facility replicates the way electrical load for an entire complex changes during the course of the day and includes a diverse mix of electrical generators.

Researchers at the facility are focused on creating techniques that allow greater penetration of renewable energy in Australia’s electricity networks.

The technologies are designed to be completely portable across all generation methods, now and into the future.

Capability

The facility is designed to enable rapid integration of new grid control methods, allowing researchers to accurately test a large range of new grid technologies in a real-world development and testing environment using a variety of electrical generators and loads.

Researchers are able to capture detailed electrical power data to a scale of 1/5000th of a second.

The facility is also being used to develop new automatic fault detection techniques that can intelligently detect and solve faults on electricity systems, which will improve supply reliability and reduce black outs.

The facility is connected to:

  • solar photovoltaics (114 kW) - building integrated and tracking
  • wind turbines (62 kW) - four horizontal units and one vertical axis
  • natural gas turbines (150 kW) - three combined heat and power (CHP) cogeneration units
  • load bank (64 kW)
  • inverters (141)
  • ultraBattery storage (115 kWh)
  • lead-acid battery storage (112 kWh).

Opportunities

The Renewable Energy Integration Facility is available to external researchers for testing techniques relevant to the high penetration of renewable generation in electricity networks.

Find our more about the work of the Energy Transformed Flagship.