The UQ Energy TestLab facility can support research on microgrid, renewable energy integration and power system analysis, and provides a unique platform for 21st-century energy innovation in Australia.


The microgrid concept will become very popular in Australian communities in the near future.

Renewable energy penetration, in particular Solar PV proliferation in many countries including Australia, has changed the dynamics of power systems. Australia now has more than 2 million households fitted with rooftop solar PV systems. With the reduction of battery cost, microgrid is becoming affordable and flexible to both on-grid and off-grid environments, which can significantly improve network stability and reliability. With more Solar Photo Voltaic (PV), battery storage and Electric Vehicles (EVs) in power systems, the microgrid concept can be soon realised.

Power systems

UQ power systems group has extensive experience in renewable energy integration research. Researchers are actively engaged in Solar PV integration research for more than 10 years in small-medium and large scale solar PV to the grid. UQ Power and Energy Systems Group has full access of high resolution data from St. Lucia Campus Solar PV systems, Gatton 3.3 MW Solar farm with 760 kWh energy storage, and utility scale 64 MW Warwick Solar farm. UQ has 760 kWh Lithium ion battery in Gatton and 1.1 MW Tesla Powerpack battery systems at St Lucia. UQ has installed electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at the St Lucia and Gatton campuses, as well as within the Warwick township as part of the Warwick Solar Farm initiative. Siemens has assisted UQ to establish Heron Island off-grid microgrid using the microgrid controller SICAM A8000, and the same system has been duplicated in the Energy TestLab for further research. The microgrid facility in the TestLab includes the following hardware and software:

  • Two Siemens microgrid controllers: SICAM A8000 with WinCC SCADA package
  • Two Siemens protection relays: Siprotec 5 7DJ85 with DIGSI 5 software
  • Two Siemens rugged switches: RSG2100
  • Siemens power system simulation software: PSS/E and PSS/Sincal (10 licenses each)
  • Lucas Nülle hardware benches: PV/Battery Generation, Wind DFIG Generation, Microgrid, Conventional Generation, and Power Transmission.