Microgrid Testing

Microgrid are usually defined as localized sections of the grid which have the ability to operate either in an islanded or grid connected mode.  Microgrids can be of interest in a range of applications, including the provision of power in remote locations, or the provision of a secure supply for critical entities in the case of grid failure.

Research Context

In addition to the more traditional applications for microgrids, recently interest has been growing in the organisation of the power system as a multi microgrid system. Such an organisation may have advantages in terms of improving grid resilience and flexibility. At the same time the emphasis has moved very much to the use of renewable energy dominated microgrids so that their operation and dynamics are determined by power electronics controls. DC microgrids are also  of growing interest in this context.

With these developments comes the possibility for providing new functionalities from microgrids. Optimal operation in terms of maximising renewable resources and exchanges with the grid becomes critically important. Commercial viability of microgrids can potentially be enhanced by participation in markets, energy trading and supplying services to the wider system.

The validation of new functionalities requires the testing and validation of new control approaches. However because of their diversity in terms of composition and functionality, microgrids tend to provide unique challenges for testing. The SIRFN-Microgrid task brings together a range of international laboratories with interest, experience and capabilities for the testing of components and functionalities associated with microgrids.


The microgrid task is focussed on the  development and validation of testing procedures for new microgrid functionalities. This may involve the identification of new on or off-grid functionalities for which testing procedures are not yet clearly defined or the refinement of existing testing procedures such as are already outlined in international standards.

Considering the in renewable energy dominated microgrids inverter dominated or inverter only microgrids as well as grid forming inverter dominated are particularly in scope.


The objectives and approach of the task can be summarised as follows:

  • Sharing experiences among participants in testing related to Microgrids
  • Reviewing and Advancing the State of the Art with respect to Microgrid testing
  • Identification, execution and recommendation of new innovative Microgrid requirements/functions
  • Proposing, testing and evaluation methods for on-grid and off-grid operation
  • Development of test procedures

Planned Deliverables

Deliverables planned include the following:

  • Definition of specific microgrid  functionalities of interest consideration of standards and potential gaps.
  • Definition of KPIs for the testing of these functionalities
  • Definition of benchmark testing networks
  • Definition of specific test cases and associated test plans.
  • Round robin testing according to the proposed test plan.



Terence O’Donnell
University College Dublin, Ireland



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