University of Wisconsin-Madison Crest
Wisconsin Energy Institute

#SmartGrid Week

By: 

Eric Anderson

June 05, 2013

Microgrid research at the Wisconsin Energy Institute, featuring the high-bay lab, dynamometer, load emulators and an electric vehicle.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison has its first high-bay lab inside the recently completed Wisconsin Energy Institute building. This specially designed lab will help test and demonstrate integrated energy systems, and explore what role microgrids can play in creating a smartgrid energy future.

Our researchers use dynamometers and emulators to imitate renewable sources. They figure out how these "renewable sources" can supply the electric needs of a building or community either with or without being connected to traditional power sources. This can relieve grid stress during peak consumption times, reduce regional air pollution and increase overall efficiency. The microgrids they’re currently working on are “plug and play,” which means they’re designed so that parts can be added or taken away without affecting the larger system.