The FREESI smart grid laboratory of the University of Vaasa's VEBIC research platform has been approved as member of DERlab, an international network of leading research laboratories focusing on distributed energy resources. In addition to the University of Vaasa, the network has 36 members, including universities and research institutions particularly from Europe, but also from around the world.
– DERlab provides testing services for third parties by utilizing its members' laboratories, equipment, systems, and living lab environments. On the other hand, it is also a research network providing a forum for finding new partners and is able to jointly prepare EU-funded research projects, says Kimmo Kauhaniemi, professor of electrical engineering at the University of Vaasa.
Additionally the DERlab network is an important channel of influence. It seeks to influence future EU programmes and legislation in different countries in relation to the use of decentralised energy production and technologies.
University of Vaasa's accession to this network is an indication that the University has achieved an internationally recognized level in research in this field.
– The FREESI smart grid laboratory is part of Vaasa's strong energy cluster and collaboration. We are currently very busy developing and expanding our laboratory environments, Kauhaniemi says.
The smart grid laboratory of the University of Vaasa has expanded its scope and was recently named FREESI. The name FREESI stands for Future Reliable Electricity and Energy Systems Integration.
FREESI is an important part of the energy laboratory complex of the university's VEBIC research platform of energy and sustainable development. The complex already comprises a combustion engine laboratory and a fuel laboratory.
– Becoming a member of the DERLab network allows not only the University of Vaasa and the research groups of VEBIC's FREESI laboratory but also local enterprises to broaden their research activities as the energy business is evolving towards a more decentralised and flexible energy production. The membership will increase research, development and innovation activities and stimulate international research exchange, which in turn will increase the amount of competitive international research funding and the effectiveness of the RDI activities in the area, says VEBIC's director Suvi Karirinne.
With its equipment and environment, the FREESI laboratory is the sum total of many elements. These include, for example, a real-time simulator, power electronics laboratory, a PAC laboratory focusing on power system protection, automation and control, as well as different living labs, such as Sundom Smart Grid. Additionally, VEBIC's combustion engine laboratory with its planned expansions including a hybrid power plant are essential complements to the FREESI laboratory.
Kimmo Kauhaniemi, Professor of Electrical Engineering, University of Vaasa, tel. +358 29 449 8287, kimmo.kauhaniemi (@) univaasa.fi
Suvi Karirinne, Director, University of Vaasa, VEBIC Research Platform, tel. +358 29 449 8284, suvi.karirinne (@) univaasa.fi
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