Academic

EPF Lausanne

 
1.1. EPF Lausanne, Distributed Electrical Systems Laboratory (Prof. Mario Paolone)
Paolone 
The EPFL-DESL contribute to the areas of real-time monitoring and control of active distribution networks. In particular, the first contribution focuses on the study of real-time monitoring processes based on both advanced technologies (i.e., phasor measurement units specifically conceived for active distribution networks) and advanced state estimation algorithms. The goal is to obtain the status of the electrical state within few cycles (i.e., below 100 ms) in order to enable both fault management and fast control algorithms. The second contribution addresses the challenge of the real-time protection and control of active distribution networks. Concerning the protection item, the availability of the network real-time state is used to define virtual protection relays. Concerning the part on the control of active distribution networks, the possibility of integrating centralised / decentralised controls is addressed by using a multi-agent approach. It is expected to validate the developed real-time state estimator, protection and control algorithms towards dedicated hardware-in-the-loop simulation environments together with pilot/demo projects defined, and deployed, in collaboration with the distribution network operators that are partners of the SCCER FURIES.  
 
 
1.2. EPF Lausanne, Computer Communications and Applications Laboratory 2 (Prof. Jean-Yves Le Boudec)
LeBoudec 
In collaboration with the EPFL-DESL, the LCA 2 conducts research on control systems and tools for energy storage and distribution automation technologies for solving stability problems posed by high penetration of distributed generation in distribution networks. In the medium voltage parts of the network, controllable transformers are deployed. For their effective use, it is necessary to know the electrical state of the network in real time. To this end, the LCA2 develops and deploys an infrastructure consisting of phasor measurement units, state estimators and algorithms for real time estimation. In the low voltage part of the network, stability problems are addressed by combining electrical storage (batteries, supercaps) deployed on the low voltage side of transformers and customer premises. A broadcast control method is used in order to work on low bit rates communications deployed for smart metering on long feeders. The LCA2 develops and deploys the real time controllers and algorithms required for the operation and control of these storage devices. This task  includes lab tests, implementation as well as know-how transfer to the industrial partners.
 
1.3. EPF Lausanne, Wind Engineering and Renewable Energy (WIRE) (Prof. Fernando Porté-Agel)
PorteAgel 
Prof. Porté-Agel and the WIRE Laboratory of EPFL contributes to the development of accurate forecast tools for the prediction of wind power variability and its optimal integration to the grid. This is a challenging task due to the highly turbulent nature of the wind in the atmospheric boundary layer, especially over complex terrain like in the case of Switzerland. Specific activities include: (i) development of a novel multi-scale modeling framework that couples meso-scale meteorological modeling with a new generation of turbulence-resolving simulation techniques and wind-turbine models; (ii) development of optimization tools that will use the output of the new wind energy forecast tool to optimize wind turbine/farm design, operation and integration to the grid (e.g., minimizing the negative impacts associated with its spatio-temporal variability), (iii) application of the new forecast and optimization tools to a case study in Switzerland. Particular emphasis will be put on the Cantons of Vaud, Jura and Valais, for which the contribution of wind energy is expected to be substantial. For example, in May 2013, the Canton de Vaud approved its cantonal wind energy strategy, which aims to obtain 1154 GWh (25% of its current electricity demand) from wind energy.
 
1.4. EPF Lausanne, Laboratoire des Machines Hydrauliques (Prof. Francois Avellan)
Avellan 
In the frame work of this SCCER, the contribution of the LMH is carried out in close collaboration with the HES-SO within the subject of “Control of massive DG and distributed storage” of WP1 “Regional multi-energy grids”. This contribution is focused on the development of concurrent hydraulic, mechanical and electrical engineering of small units featuring fast dynamics and low CAPEX moreover the modelling of the dynamics of such regional multi-energy grid will require to include the small PSP. Laboratory for Hydraulic Machines EPFL LHM
1.5. EPF Lausanne, Photovoltaics and Thin-Film Electronics Laboratory (Prof. Christophe Ballif)
Ballif 
PV-LAB is focused on two items. Concerning the regional systems, the PV-LAB focuses on local electricity production (from PV modules) and local energy storage. The contributions aim at the optimization of PV installations in terms of technology choice and installation designs to improve grid integration. Installation should be dimensioned in such a way to minimize grid load while offering effective peak shaving capability in order to allow for a massive PV integration in the grid at the lowest infrastructure costs. Tasks of PV-LAB comprises simulation of the energy fluxes including the study of transient effects, system and local storage dimensioning and design rules, identification of technical measure for improve demand-side management, analysis of cost/benefit aspects and the evaluation of medium term perspectives (with respect to PV technology and PV market evolution). On large scale systems, the PV-LAB contributes to study the massive integration of PV in the grid and especially in the analysis of the choice (and its related effect) of PV technology and PV installation policy. The production variability (as a function of time and geographical situation) will be studied to highlight or mitigate the needs of storage or conversion into other energy vectors. In this context «less than optimum» PV orientations are studied as a way to improve local or regional self-consumptions. For the later goal, demand-side measures is also investigated. PV-LAB tasks comprise energy flux simulations, cost/benefit analysis and the evaluation of long term perspectives (with respect to PV technology and PV market evolution).  
 
1.6. EPF Lausanne, Industrial Process and Energy Systems Engineering (Prof. Francois Maréchal)
Marechal 
The work of the IPESE relates to the design and the thermo-economic assessment of the integration of innovative multi-energy conversion systems as an answer to the 2050 Swiss energy strategy. The work is focused on multi-carrier/multi-energy systems integration considering the geolocalised matching of the heating/cooling and electrical demands, the integration of renewable energy and waste heat resources as well as the storage options. It includes multi-objective optimisation strategies using multi-energy grids connected energy system models that include combined heat and power and heat pumping models, the interactions with the other renewable energy resources models like PVs, wind and hydropower, the urban system demand models the biomass and the solar heat models as well as the waste heat sources models and the mobility usage models. The work also concerns the development of the appropriate key performance indicators to be used in the optimization.  
 
1.7. EPF Lausanne, Automatic Control Laboratory (Dr. Alireza Karimi)
Karimi 
Within the context of electrical microgrids, the first contribution of the EPFL Automatic Control Laboratory is to design the optimal structure of the controller of a given microgrid, which is something in between centralized and decentralized strategy, by a convex optimization approach. The basic idea is to consider the parameters of a central controller as the optimization variable in a convex optimization problem using Linear Matrix Inequalities (LMIs). The optimization criterion is the weighted sum of the control performance criterion and the one-norm of the controller parameters. It is clear that smaller the one-norm of the controller parameters, makes sparser the controller parameter matrices. Therefore, by increasing the weight on the one-norm, the control structure moves smoothly from centralized to decentralized. For a given weight, the optimization problem is convex and can be solved very efficiently using the available solvers even for very large grids. The result of this analysis will give the optimal structure of the controller for a given grid with a desired control performance and the available budget. The second contribution is to design a robust controller for the optimal control structure. The designed controller should be robust with respect to the model uncertainty of the microgrid coming from unmodelled dynamics, parametric uncertainty related to the variation of the line impedances with frequency, and the most important, load variations. The design method should be applicable to radial and meshed grids. It is well known that the small-signal model of the microgrid is a function of the load current. Therefore, a high performance controller should be scheduled for different operating points. In particular, when the microgrid is connected to the main grid, the controllers should adopt a new strategy for regulating the currents of the inverters instead of their voltages. From a control point of view this problem is related to fixed structure controller design for medium and large scale systems with parametric uncertainty. The use of Linear Parameter Varying controllers for this type of systems can significantly increase the performance of the controlled system.  
 
1.8. EPF Lausanne, Power Electronics Laboratory (Prof. Drazen Dujić )
The research interests of the Power Electronics Laboratory are in the broad area of the electrical energy generation, conversion and storage. In particular, PEL is interested into high power electronics technologies for medium voltage applications. Power electronics is one of the key-enabling technologies for the future energy systems, as it offers unprecedented flexibility for the integration and control of various electrical sources, storage elements or loads into the grid. This is equally valid for the present-day AC grids as well as for emerging concepts of DC grids, or inevitable mix of both in the near future.
 
Rufer 
 
PWRS group at the EPFL focuses on the development of models and methods for the analysis and the control of electrical transmission systems in order to guaranty their secure, reliable and economic operation. The participation of Dr. Cherkaoui in WP1 and particularly on the interface between distribution and transmission grid, will facilitate the interaction between WP1 and WP2 as requested by the Innosuisse Evaluation Panel.
1.10. EPF Lausanne,  Electromagnetic Compatibility Lab    (Prof. Farhad Rachidi)
Rarchidi

EMC has extensive experience in the field of EMC and transient analysis in power systems. The EPFL EMC Laboratory envisions its engagement and contribution to the following topics:

  • Fault detection in active distribution networks
  • Impact of intentional electromagnetic interferences on power grid control and communication components.

 

 

ETH Zurich

 
2.1. ETH Zurich, Power Systems Laboratory (Prof. Gabriela Hug)
Andersson 
One part of the contribution is focused on developing and improving existing models for large scale multi-energy systems. The energy hub and power node concepts developed by the group will be further refined particularly with respect to modelling of the transmission grid, storage devices, and controls. Work is also devoted to interfacing the system model with the socio-economic model from SCCER #5, together with UniBas. Aspects concerning the solution of the emerging large-scale optimization problems are also addressed in collaboration with SUPSI.
The second contribution concerns the dynamics of the future power system. In this respect modelling and control aspects are the main emphasis.  
2.2. ETH Zurich, Laboratory for Energy Conversion (Prof. Reza Abhari)
Abhari 
The Laboratory for Energy Conversion addresses two issues of key importance for the future integration of renewable energy, namely the detection of existing transmission bottlenecks in the Swiss power grid and the identification of additional pumped-hydro storage sites in the Swiss Alps to balance load fluctuations. This study employs the LEC bottom-up energy model, which couples Geographic Information System database and analyses tool with a power flow solver to simulate the power flows in the Swiss high voltage grid with a detailed AC flow based market model. The model is used to identify the high-loaded transmission lines, thereby identifying those requiring expansion. Switzerland’s pumped-hydro storage capacity are assessed; while much technically feasible storage potential is available, the LEC energy model will be used to assess scenarios for storage-dispatch that will optimize the financial viability of the storage plants. 
 
2.3. ETH Zurich, Institute of Cartography and Geoinformation (Prof. Martin Raubal)
Raubal 
When planning new Transmission Lines (TL), detailed spatial analyses that include multiple aspects and factors (such as the natural and anthropological barriers, social and legal constraints and investment costs) are required. GIS software is designed to integrate these data in order to identify optimal spatial solutions. In complex environments such as in Switzerland, the definition of suitable corridors for TLs with GIS supports planners to identify areas with lower barriers where the location of masts, that minimizes the costs and the visual impact, can be optimized. Optimization techniques have been extensively implemented within GIS environments for location-allocation studies and recently also in the domain of distributed generation. 3-D view analyses quantify the visual impact on surrounding buildings that turned out to be one of the most critical barriers when planning new TLs according to SwissGrid. Sensitivity analyses with GIS enable the comparison of different scenarios for new TL paths and the identification of critical parameters that increase costs or affect social acceptance. The spatial assessments can be embedded in a web GIS platform in order to enhance the interaction with local inhabitants: web GIS applications for public participation recently turned out to be a useful and efficient approach to reduce social opposition with regard to new infrastructures and renewable energy projects.
 
2.4. ETH Zurich, High Power Electronic Systems (Prof. Jürgen Biela)
Biela 
In WP3, ETHZ-HPE (Laboratory for High Power Electronic Systems) works on fault management concepts and the assessment of insulation materials for power electronic devices in grid connected converters. Secondly, fault-tolerant converter concepts are proposed and evaluated by as well as tested at a reduced scale in ETHZ-HPE’s, ETHZ-LEM’s and ETHZ-HVL’s laboratories.
2.5. ETH Zurich, Power Electronic Systems Laboratory (Prof. Johann Walter Kolar)
Kolar 
The contribution is essentially focused on WP3 where the ETHZ-LEM (Power Electronic Systems Laboratory) addresses the key challenge in long-term reliability of converters with mixed-frequency dielectric stress by investigating the behaviour of insulation materials under this mixed-frequency stress and proposing improved device concepts. 
2.6. ETH Zurich, High Voltage Laboratory (Prof. Christian M. Franck)
Franck 
The contributions of the ETHZ-HVL (High Voltage Laboratory) to WP3 focuses on the DC fault management. In particular, the contribution focuses on the characterisation (performance, limits) including laboratory tests of different DC breaker solutions including hybrid concepts. 
2.7. ETH Zurich, Research Centre for Energy Networks (Dr. Turhan Hilmi Demiray)
Demiray 
The ETH-Z Research Centre for Energy Networks was established to act as a bridge between academia and industry by providing research in the field of electrical power systems that is independent, credible, interdisciplinary and especially applied. In this sense it delivers answers to problems in the domain of energy systems on account of public institutions and private companies. Its specific contribution lies in its closeness and direct contact to industrial partners, from whom it gains first-hand information regarding currently relevant and pressing issues in the electrical energy industry which it can then tackle and expeditiously solve by providing innovative methods available from the research community in a form suitable for effective implementation. This is of particular relevance for the SCCER initiative since it is desired to provide research solutions delivering tangible results apt at being adopted by the Swiss electricity sector in order to guarantee the reliability and security of the future energy supply system.
 
 
 
2.8. ETH Zurich, Reliability and Risk Engineering Laboratory (Prof. Giovanni Sansavini )
Sansavino 
The Reliability and Risk Engineering Laboratory will contribute to the:
  • Designing mitigating and protective actions against the onset and the propagation of cascading failures;
  • Studying and modeling the impact of uncertainties on the reliability and  security of supply in critical infrastructures;
  • Assessment of the reliability needs of the safe  coupling between the electrical grids and dedicated telecommunication  infrastructures; and
  • Integration of the optimal planning and operation of the electrical  infrastructure with other strategic energy networks.  

 

 

Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI)

 
3.1. USI, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Institute of Computational Sciences (Prof. Olaf Schenk)
Schenk 
The Institute of Computational Sciences contributes on the modeling and solving stochastic power grid optimization problems on massively parallel supercomputers. Such problems provides continuing, both modeling and especially computational challenges, since emerging engineering practice in power grids may need three times longer horizons, 10 times more frequent temporal decisions due to evolution of energy market structure, and a 10 times larger spatial network. The ICC is investigating several novel algorithms and computational approaches that will extend the current capabilities of its software to solving stochastic optimization problems and will considerably reduce the time-to-solution, allowing, for the first time, to solve power grid problems in real-time. 
 
3.2. USI, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Advanced Learning and Research Institute (Prof. Miroslaw Malek)
Malek 
The Advanced Learning and Research Institute contributes to the:
  • definition of requirements of future embedded systems for energy grids;
  • implementation of grid life cycle monitoring (grid management should gradually evolve in order to support constant insertion of newly added small heterogeneous generation units); and
  • employment of variable selection, machine learning and predictive analysis. 
3.3. USI, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Institute of Computational Sciences (Prof. Rolf Krause)
Krause 
Modern approaches in computational science are exploited for coupled multi-physics simulation on complex geometries. The Institute of Computational Sciences develops parallel methods and the corresponding simulation software for understanding and optimizing new power systems components, using local compute clusters and the supercomputing hardware at CSCS. In the context of WP4, Institute of Computational Sciences furthermore exploits modern approaches as reduced basis in order to significantly reduce the response time for complex multi-physic simulations, thereby contributing to the main goals of this WP. Here, the results from the preceding HPC-simulations will serve as input data. Based on the institute’s expertise in constrained optimization techniques, as additional contribution to WP4, the team furthermore develops and realizes novel optimization methods, which will exploit the reduced basis strategy.
 

 

Haute Ecole Spécialisée de la Suisse Occidentale (HES-SO)

 
4.1. HES-SO Fribourg, Ecole d’ingénieurs et d’architectes de Fribourg (Prof. Patrick Favre-Perrod)
FavrePerrod 
HES-SO-EIA FR-ENERGY co-ordinates WP3 “Multi-terminal AC-DC grids and power electronics” and contributes to system investigations related to the concurrent operation of AC and DC networks, e.g. power control strategies and fault management strategies. Finally the mock DC multi-terminal network laboratory at HES-SO-EIA FR-ENERGY is used in order to validate control strategies and possibly inverter building block in real time. 
4.2. HEIG-VD, Haute Ecole d’ingénierie et de Gestion du Canton de Vaud (Prof. Mauro Carpita)
Carpita 
In WP3 HES-SO-HEIGVD-IESE investigates converter component issues related to the improvement of fault behaviour (AC and DC) and converter synchronisation during transients, e.g. the use of improved switches or improved converter synchronisation during fault events. 
4.3. HES-SO Valais, Haute Ecole Spécialisée de la Suisse Occidentale (Prof. Dominique Gabioud)
Gabioud 
In WP1 HES-SO-VS-ISI is responsible for the setup and operation of an experimental demonstrator for demand response. It also contributes to the development of new standards / grid code for the distribution networks in two directions: standard to limit the perturbations caused by resonance effects between electronic energy converters and standard for building integration. 
4.4. HES-SO Valais, Haute Ecole spécialisée de la Suisse Occidentale (Prof. Cécile Münch)
Munch 
In the frame work of this SCCER, the research group of Prof. Münch of the HES-SO contributes, in a close collaboration with EPFL, to the task “Control of massive DG and distributed storage” of WP1 “Regional multi-energy grids”. In particular, this contribution is focused on the development of concurrent hydraulic, mechanical and electrical engineering of small units featuring fast dynamics and low CAPEX. The modelling of the dynamics of such regional multi-energy grid is require for the development of small PSP. 

University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI)

 
5.1. SUPSI, Institute for Applied Sustainability to the Built Environment (Prof. Roman Rudel)
Rudel 
SUPSI is interested in understanding the massive use of intermittent DG (in particular PV) and the development of smart grid approaches based on the local information on the grid. This represents an option to the mainstream smart grid approach with central control and full-fledged communication systems generating huge problems to deal with large amounts of data. The innovation is in the use of a self-learning multi-objective algorithms. The decision rules are rather simple and the question is on the overall behaviour of the massive use of such algorithms in the local grid. The research is carried out in more and more sophisticated simulation environment taking the grid behaviour into account.
At the same time the algorithms are implemented and tested under real conditions. Starting from a first test site the research has to investigate in different grid environments. The activities are based also on competency of long-term and high precision measurements under real conditions, remote data acquisition, treatment of uncertainties, data pre-processing and graphical representation. Aspects of standardization and compatibility between technical development and regulatory bodies is taken heavily into account. Preliminary work has been carried out in the domain of standards for the communication in smart grids. It is worth noting that SUPSI brings strong competence in development of self-learning algorithms and PV – system integration within state-of-the-art simulation tools. Object oriented modeling for industrial applications (design of single and combined components of the grid) with Modelica will be also used as development platforms. 
 

Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW)

 
Korba 
The research team of Prof. Korba conducts applied research on developing tools for the analysis of the power system dynamics and stabilizing controller design leading to a better utilization and higher reliability of the Swiss high-voltage electrical infrastructure in the future when it is subject to higher penetration of renewable energy resources. Furthermore, this research group focuses on applied research on control systems and tools for energy storage systems and distribution automation technologies, including lab tests and implementation as well as know-how transfer to involved industrial partners, all of which will enable high penetration of the intermittent energy sources into the Swiss regional power grids in the future. 

University of Applied Sciences of Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW)

 
7.1. FHNW, University of Applied Sciences of Northwestern Switzerland (Prof. Nicola Schulz and Dr. Peter Gysel)
Schulz
Gysel
 
Within the WP1, the contribution focuses on establishing methods to keep the time-resolved power balance of a larger electrical system (e.g., low-voltage grid cells including energy consumers, producers, storages and intelligent control) on a specified track.  Development of tools to quickly specify the technical, economical and control requirements of local energy systems, ranging from “smart homes” to larger systems, e.g. LV grid cells, in order to implement demand response management. Experimental and theoretical assessment of the shiftable power and of the physical and electrical response behaviour of managed devices, including vehicle-to-grid applications. The contribution of FHNW to WP4 is in the field of reliability analysis and optimization of specific power system components (e.g. power electronic converters), in particular using environmental-friendly materials and technologies. The components are analysed and optimized by: (i) reliability tests done at the industry partner’s as well as at planned FHNW facilities, (ii) detailed multiphysics modelling of the components, (iii) suggestions and testing of improved components. The outcomes support industry partners to develop more reliable and environmental-friendly power system components. Furthermore, competence and infrastructure are established at FHNW in order to provide long-term support to the Swiss industry in this field

Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH)

 
8.1. BFH, Bern University of Applied Sciences (Prof. Michael Höckel)
Hockel 
The ESL of the BUAS has well known competences in measurement and modelling of power grids like modern measurement equipment for power quality and oscillation analysis and different tools for modelling and grind analyse. The ESL of the BUAS brings its know-how to the Swiss grid companies in different parts of Switzerland and uses their well proven dissemination activities for the students of the BUAS, the MSE-students and the experts of the industry through their planned CAS “PV, renewable energies and smart grid”. 
Link (in German) to the Power Grids Lab 
 
8.2. BFH, Bern University of Applied Sciences (Prof. Urs Muntwyler)
Muntwyler 
The PV-Lab of the BUAS is the Swiss competence center for the test of PV-inverters which are smart grid compatible and able to manage decentralized batteries and the test of stationary batteries up to 10 kWh for PV-installations. This is crussial for the production of high PV power (more than 10 GWp) contribution in the Swiss grid. This could be achieved before 2025. The PV-Lab of the BUAS brings this know-how to the Swiss PV industry through their well proven dissemination activities for the students of the BUAS, the MSE-students and the experts of the industry through their planned CAS “PV, renewable energies and smart grid” and the “PV-System Technology” course (since 2011). 
 

University of Applied Sciences of Eastern Switzerland (HSR)

 
9.1. HSR, University of Applied Sciences of Eastern Switzerland (Prof. Jasmin Smajic)
Smajic 
The team is in the process of building up a medium- and high-voltage lab at the HSR in Rapperswil. The equipment in the lab is financed from the internal sources as well as from the industrial partners (ABB dry-type transformers in Dättwil and ABB high-voltage systems in Oerlikon). The experimental work in this lab supports team’s contribution to the SCCER-FURIES by means of high-voltage VFT measurements, high- and medium-voltage transformer measurements (partial discharges, lightnig impuls test, etc.).   

Luzern University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU)

 
10.1. HSLU, Luzern University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Prof. Ernesto Casartelli)
The HSLU contribution to this SCCER is in the WP4 “Grid components” focusing on the development of new concepts for stable pump-storage plants (PSP) during synchronization. For this task the idea is to generalize the design methodology in order to use it for different PSP specific speeds. Investigations of the flow physics for machines with different specific speed are ongoing, in order to assess the sources of instability for a broad range of machines. The outcome will be new design guidelines defined together with a hydromachines manufacturer.