Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB
Advanced System Technology Branch

Research Platform Smart Grids

Research Platform Smart Grids

The research platform "Smart Grids" provides the infrastructure to a number of R&D projects for smart energy systems. It consists of the ICT-Energy-Lab and the energy park which was constructed in 2009. Both are the core for the future development of IT solutions for transmission and distribution grid operators, in particular energy management systems as well as forecasting and optimization tools. For numerous research projects, such as eTelligence, RESIDENS or the Fraunhofer System Research for Electromobility FSEM, the research platform "Smart Grids" can be utilized. It consists of several distributed energy generation units. These include a vertical-axis wind turbine (20 kW) as well as solar trackers and fixed photovoltaic systems (18 kWp). In addition, the research platform has two different energy storage systems, which consist of a vanadium redox flow battery with a capacity of 100 kWh (medium term) and two short term flywheel energy storages along with 25 kW nominal output.

100kWh flow battery, power inverter

The research platform "Smart Grids" is completed by two electric cars, smart "white goods" and a heat pump with 10 kW thermal power. Concerning control devices, all components are linked with the ICT-Energy-Lab´s IT-network, which provides several tools of automatic data acquisition. For this reason, future energy market requirements and processes such as energy prediction and energy optimization, accounting grid management, virtual power plants, smart metering and demand side management can be investigated. Furthermore, phasor measurement units (PMUs) are used to observe the grid status, which allows the scientists to reach conclusions about the load flows within the distribution grid.

Electric vehicle charging station for



    •  Vertical-axis wind turbine: 7 kW


    •  Tracked photovoltaic systems: 10 kWp


    •  Fixed photovoltaic systems: 8 kWp


    •  Heat pump: 10 kWth


    •  Vanadium-redox flow battery: 100 kWh storage capacity


    •  Two flywheel energy storages with 10 resp. 15 kW nominal output


    •  Electric car: BMW i3 for different research projects


    •  Flexible, programmable AC load


    •  Fully digital control system


    •  Weather data station


    •  Controllable consumers: washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator, dryer


    •  Grid-connected operation mode and isolated operation mode possible as desired


    • Control access link to the ICT-Energy-Lab