The Energy TestLab at UQ will provide a platform for data-driven energy management for both existing and future energy systems.

At building energy management level, the facility is equipped with Siemens Navigator software – a cloud-based energy and sustainability platform – capable of integrating multiple sources data from energy procurement, energy consumption, system performance, and sustainability. The Navigator tool can also incorporate existing building automation systems data to unravel energy generation and consumption information. Through Navigator, UQ will be to identify and define performance measures benchmarking across all campuses, and thus enable researchers to develop solutions and prototype energy management tools to improve the energy efficiency of the overall existing building environments.

The TestLab can also receive high resolution live data from solar plants and Lithium batteries across various UQ locations. This includes its 64 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant at Warwick, 3.3 MW Solar PV plant at Gatton, 2.54 MW rooftop solar plants across several buildings at St Lucia as well as the Lithium batteries at Gatton (600 kW/760 kWh) and St Lucia (1 MW/2 MWh). These data can be used to develop a digital twin of the entire university. Such a digital twin and available software and hardware facilities (details in the capability of the lab) enable the TestLab to develop solutions in the following emerging areas future energy systems:

  • Grid-efficient interactive buildings
  • Peer-to-peer trading
  • Connected communities
  • Transactive energy platform along with other power systems infrastructure
  • Internet-of-Things applications
  • Application of artificial intelligence
  • User behaviour
  • Big data
  • Individual and community storage management
  • Demand flexibility and ancillary service market participation