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Research Facilities

The Centre for Renewable Energy and Power Systems has access to several onsite laboratory facilities at the School of Engineering & ICT, including purpose built renewable energy, microgrid and power laboratories. Laboratories also maintain access to industry leading software packages for simulation, modeling and analysis in energy and power systems applications.

The microgrid lab is currently transitioning research and teaching activities to a custom built modular microgrid environment.  The lab is able to fully replicate networked, islanded and off-grid power systems. It allows for emergent and experimental equipment to be tested in a real life scenario, ahead of industry adoption. The research supports commercialisation of equipment which will form the basis of the power industry over the next decade. The lab equipment includes grid emulator, regenerative load bank, low load and variable speed diesel generators, solar PV generators, inverters, battery energy storage, wind turbine emulator and fuel cell.

Laboratory Priorities include:

  1. Network fault simulation and state observation;
  2. Generator load acceptance and load rejection studies;
  3. Inverter configuration and performance comparison; and
  4. Generator conformance testing (harmonics, power quality, dips and swells, transients Solar PV performance, efficiency and control (MPPT);

The Renewable Energy Lab was officially launched on 4 September 2009, by Lisa Singh, the Minister Assisting the Premier on Climate Change. The lab is a foundation teaching facility within the Centre, allowing student to design, simulate, test and operate various renewable technologies and systems. The Renewable Energy Lab has recently been integrated into the Microgrid Laboratory to allow for full system test scenario’s, inclusive of a web based teaching platform. Remote clients will be able to access the lab facilities, conduct experiments and collect data in real-time laboratory via the Internet.

Laboratory Priorities include:

  1. Diesel - Solar PV hybrid performance, efficiency and control studies;
  2. Generator, storage and inverter assessment to IEC conformance/certification;
  3. Grid transient and fault diagnosis and remediation.
  4. Renewable energy showcase and technology demonstration.

The Power Lab is designed to demonstrate topics in power engineering such as electrical machines, power system, power electronics, electrical power design and renewable energy applications. It serves to train students on the operation of electrical machines and power electronics in power systems, renewable energy and industrial applications. The laboratory allows students to become familiar with the operation and application of different electrical machines, such as transformers, induction machines, synchronous motors, doubly fed induction generators and synchronous generators. Students are also able to perform experiments with different types of power electronic converters (such as rectifiers, dc-dc converters and inverters) and renewable energy applications.

The power lab features numerous machines including six dc motor generator sets, six squirrel cage induction motors, five synchronous generators, three doubly fed induction generators, two permanent magnet synchronous generators, power electronic devices (Diodes, Thyristrs, IGBTs, MOSFETs etc.), different power electronic converters (rectifier, dc to dc converters, inverters), digital storage oscilloscopes, digital multimeters, LCR meters, programmable dc and ac power sources. The power lab also has twenty eight experimental spaces to perform experiments in electrical machines, power systems, power electronic converters and renewable energy applications.

The Solar Research Facility was officially opened by Dr Peter Davis, CEO of Aurora Energy, on 4th September 2009. It consists of both dual axis and fixed solar photovoltaic systems operated through the Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The thermodynamics laboratory includes a biodiesel production plant, diesel generator, petrol engine, air conditioning wind tunnel, temperature controlled water flume, steam plant and cooling tower.

The hydraulics laboratory includes a water tunnel for skin friction research, a Francis turbine for FCAS research, a microturbine for demonstration purposes, various water flumes and a wave tank.

The aerodynamics laboratory includes a 1.5 stage low-speed research compressor, including a closed circuit wind tunnel suitable for the aerodynamic testing of vehicles and a wind tunnel for research on film cooling in jet engines.