Germany’s Fraunhofer ISE to open testing facility for power electronics & grid integration tech

Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE announced it will open a testing facility for power electronic devices, including inverters.

PV inverters are crucial elements for the connection of solar system to the grid and to storage systems. These devices, along with power conversion technology more generally, Fraunhofer ISE notes, must be tailored to meet the increasingly complex requirements that ensure the flexible and reliable operation of future energy systems.

In the new laboratory, which will be located in Freiburg, Germany, Fraunhofer ISE experts will conduct tests on grid integration of renewable power, including controls for the low, medium and high voltage grids. Most of the required infrastructures have already been installed at the facility.

The construction of the new laboratory is being financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the German Research Ministry (BMBF) with €10 million ($10.5 million). In addition, Fraunhofer ISE is financing the project with €5 million ($5.2 million) in own funds.

In the TestLab Power Electronics the scientists of the research center have tested for many years several power converters up to 1 MW. The new testing facility is intended to expand Fraunhofer ISE’s testing services in the field of electrical energy systems in the multi-megawatt range. In particular, the German scientists will test the efficiency and grid code compliance of power converters.

“The lab shall contribute to creating the technical prerequisites for a stable and efficient grid operation under a wide range of varying feed-in conditions,” said Fraunhofer ISE in its press release.

Power electronics and grid technologies are increasing their range of applications. These are widely used for large-scale PV plants, storage systems, electromobility and micro-grids. At the new facility, Fraunhofer ISE also intends to test and research feed-in inverters for renewable power, battery inverters, converters for electrolysis processes as well as stationary and mobile inverters for grid feed-in and control in the low and medium voltage range.