Digital Grid Lab

In our Digital Grid Lab we can model distribution grids in the power range up to 800 kVA for low voltage with our new power-hardware-in-the-loop (PHIL) simulator. The grid state and the digital communication system are simulated in the HIL system. This allows us to evaluate operational decisions and system changes beforehand.

The development environment allows the most modern control components to be designed e.g. on the basis of artificial intelligence. The control desk allows grid operation to be monitored and visualized and offers the connection with a digital twin grid (PHIL). 

Virtual Tour trough Digital Grid Lab

Digital Twin – Micro Grid

© Fraunhofer ISE

With our powerful hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulator we model your decentralized energy system or power grid in a detailed form. Depending on the situation, we emulate parts of it in the laboratory with our power-HIL environment or integrate external signals via our grid control center. This allows us to evaluate operational decisions (e.g. switching operations) or system changes in advance.

Power-HIL tests simulate any grid connection points with power amplifiers in the laboratory. They allow the detailed investigation of e.g. switch-on processes or mains synchronization with grid simulators of up to 800 kVA.

The grid control center offers bidirectional connection of external systems with all typical communication standards.

EMS and Smart Metering Systems

Installation of an intelligent smart meter
© Dmitry Kalinovsky/

For the conception and implementation of smart metering solutions, we offer an extensive test infrastructure as well as technical consulting services. Our experts work closely with SMGW manufacturers, gateway administrators (GWA) and distribution network operators (DSOs).

We support you during development and commissioning and integrate your components for interoperability and functional tests into our laboratory infrastructure or provide remote access depending on the application.

Component and Controller Tests

© Fraunhofer ISE

Before use at customers or in the field, you can test the electrical components (e.g. for intelligent household appliances) and controllers (e.g. energy management systems) developed by you under flexible connection and application conditions with us. With regard to their real behavior under different power system conditions, their effect on the power grid, and their reliability with different communicative connections (different protocols) will be evaluated.

For this purpose, we create a real test environment for you with our PHIL equipment and develop meaningful test scenarios together with you, which simulate normal use cases, but also real hardship cases.

These tests are rounded off by communication and conformity tests for various energy technology components.

Charging Infrastructure

Electromobility is one of the core technologies for decarbonizing personal transportation. Energy scenarios foresee up to 40 million battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in 2045. Assuming a wallbox with 11 kW for each vehicle, this corresponds to 440 GW of connected load. To put this into perspective, this is 5 times today's peak electrical load.

This makes it clear that smart or more precisely controlled charging is essential for the success of the energy transition. This can only work if all communication interfaces around the charging infrastructure are compatible with the vehicle and the power grid. In the Digital Grid Lab, we are realizing these tests with our digital vehicle twin ev twin.

Digital Vehicle Twin ev twin

digital vehicle twin ev twin
© Fraunhofer ISE
In the Digital Grid Lab we realize tests with our digital vehicle twin ev twin.

The digital vehicle twin ev twin in the Digital Grid Lab at Fraunhofer ISE offers manufacturers and operators of charging infrastructure the complete replication and free parameterization of an e-vehicle. Power hardware-in-the-loop modeling enables the exact replication of communication and power flows. With the ev twin, we test your charging station under any grid connection situation.

Our powerful digital vehicle twin ev twin is not only adjustable to different vehicles with corresponding battery capacity and voltage but is also compatible with any charging infrastructure. The communication of the EVCC (vehicle controller) ranges from pilot signal according to IEC61851 to bidirectional charging according to ISO15118-20.

Our power amplifiers replicate the power element in the power hardware-in-the-loop environment, consisting of the battery and, if applicable, the vehicle's onboard charger. This allows us to test charging with AC and DC current or even bidirectional charging stations under real power flow with ev twin.

As a customer, you have real-time access to all measurement and control signals within ev twin when testing your charging station or your charging management system. In the Digital Grid Lab, we realize fully automated tests with the corresponding test reports. Remote access allows you complete integration into your own test procedures.

Interoperability Testing Charging Infrastructure

Communication interfaces around the charging station
© Fraunhofer ISE
Communication interfaces around the charging station.
Test stand for electromobility and smart metering
© Fraunhofer ISE / Photo: Dirk Mahler
Test stand for electromobility and smart metering.

The charging infrastructure for electric vehicles has numerous interfaces. In our Digital Grid Lab, we simulate these with our hardware-in-the-loop simulator and evaluate our customers' charging infrastructure with ev twin, our digital twin of an electric vehicle. This emulates the communication between vehicle and charging station according to IEC61851 and ISO15118.

The Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) is used across the board as the de facto standard for communication between the charging station and the backend system. An error-free/validated implementation within the charging station is indispensable for a future-proof charging infrastructure.

The current state of development also includes extended test scenarios for bidirectional charging. With the steady expansion of renewable energies and the current low storage possibilities, the use of vehicle batteries for a stable power supply is one of the most important charging infrastructure research topics.

In addition to OCPP, we are also testing EEBUS implementations. The communication protocol is used to interface between smart homes and utilities via smart meter infrastructure to maximize controllability.

In this regard, our laboratory offers tests fully customized to your requirements. We are happy to develop individual test scenarios together with you. After test execution, detailed test reports are available to you, which can be used to easily uncover errors within the implementation.


Technical Facilities

Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) system by typhoon HIL


8 power amplifiers (100 kVA each) by cinergia, versatile in use e.g. for grid emulation


Real grid control center


Test stand for Smart-Grid control systems and communications technology


Extensive tool suite for IP-based communication protocols


Benchmark test environment for the characterization of energy management systems