ELabElectrification Laboratory


Prof. Miro Zeman
Mekelweg 15, 2629 JB Delft

The Electrification Laboratory (ELab) is a national research center for CO2-free electricity generation, transmission, conversion and storage, including the generation of chemicals via electrochemical processes. The ELab facilitates both fundamental integrated research and development of novel technologies and components as main building blocks of the future intelligent hybrid power grid. It offers the "Energy Transition Solutions" platform to work together on material, component, and system level in both electrical and electrochemical engineering. It enables a proper design of the future energy system including integration of sustainable electricity generation, transmission, and storage, with the main focus on security of energy supply. The design is facilitated by supercomputers of the ELab that enable users working with a real-time virtual power grid and apply a digital-twin approach for testing the integration of new technologies, components, microgrids, and full systems.

The Electrification Lab is a unique facility where integral system solutions for the future (electrical) energy system are developed and tested under real operating conditions, e.g. integration of intermittent renewable energy sources and behavior of energy users. The lab is equipped with facilities for research and testing of new materials, technologies and components for energy conversion, transmission, storage, and the electrochemical production of solar fuels and chemicals. The ELab serves as national research center for the future energy system with focus on novel electrification concepts.

The ELab has the following infrastructure available that facilitates different research domains:

Domain 1a: Sustainable electricity and storage
Equipment for monitoring and testing of PV, power electronics, and storage components such as solar simulators, degradation chambers, module and battery test sites. Computer and software facilities for multi-scale simulations using for component optimization. Focus is on development of smart PV modules in combination with components for storage that deliver maximal electrical power in the urban environment and facilitate integral urban planning system solutions.

Domain 1b: Sustainable electricity and conversion
Electrochemical test facilities for battery development and electrochemical production of H2 (water electrolysis), Hydrocarbons (CO2 electrolysis) and ammonia (from N2 and H2O). The focus is on the effect of large-scale electrochemical conversion units on the power quality of the grid, and vise versa. In addition, the integration with CO2 capture and post-production purification will be studied.

Domain 2: Flexible infrastructure
The facilities comprise computer simulators such as Real time digital (RTDS) and OPAL RT; network and data analysers; and equipment for testing grid component’s performance and visualizing their behavior when integrated in the grid. This infrastructure facilitates development and integration of DC/AC microgrids, electric vehicles, PV modules and storage in the hybrid system. Digitalization of the power system with integrated storage in terms of batteries and fuels becomes increasingly important for controlling and protecting the performance of the future hybrid energy system.

Domain 3: Energy delivery and demand-side response
The equipment comprises high voltage (HV) DC and AC sources up to 4.0 and 1.5 million Volts, respectively, partial discharge diagnostic system, and SF6 handling equipment. Computational cluster includes control room visualization for simulation grid performance including load management and demand-side response. The equipment facilitates research on HV materials and components. In addition, it enables to investigate and optimize multi-commodity grid.

Domain 4: CO2-free adjustable power
ELab is in possession of testing equipment for HV components, batteries and fuel cells. Together with data processing equipment it facilitates research on integration of large-scale electricity generation from renewables and solar fuels, storage of excess electricity, and flexibility of energy supply.

Domain 5: Material and device characterization
ELab has extensive measurement equipment for research of material’s structural, transport, optical, and electronic properties, and surface morphology. Focus is on new, environment-friendly materials for energy conversion, such as solar cells, fuel cells, electrolysers, power electronics, and HV components.

Domain 6: Real-environment testing
The Green Village Living Lab of TU Delft comprises real-life physical entities from the built environment, such as different types of homes and other buildings where people life and work, energy infrastructure (DC, H2 and heat networks) and mobility facilities. The infrastructure of The Green Village will be used to test and demonstrate the innovations in a real environment.

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