Lab tests impact of renewables and weather on grid

Power cuts due to severe weather and increases caused by renewable energy technologies will be simulated in a new £2m Smart Grid Laboratory launched at Newcastle University.

Funded jointly by Siemens Energy Automation Division and the university, the laboratory will help further understanding of demands on the grid. The technology will be used to test the impact of the anticipated electrification of the UK’s heat and transport networks. The rise in heat pumps and electric vehicles, and the growing use of solar panels for energy generation, will mean increased energy flows through the electricity grid which could strain the ageing system.

As well as the real time simulator technology, the lab is kitted out with the latest energy-saving technology for the home, such as smart washing machines, electric vehicle charging points and solar panels.

The team will also evaluate the pros and cons of using DC electrical supplies in homes.

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