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Outdoor Testing Areas

The Energy Systems Integration Facility's outdoor testing areas allow utilities and researchers to evaluate electrical distribution-level equipment.

Photo of engineers running tests on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles at the Medium-Voltage Outdoor Test Area.

Key Infrastructure and Services

Low-Voltage Outdoor Test Area

  • 480-V class systems for testing and integration
  • Three diesel generator sets (80 kW, 120 kW, 300 kW)
  • Two 30 kW Capstone natural gas micro-turbines
  • ESIF's 1 MW load bank, capable of creating any power factor in load step size of 50 W
  • 80-kW Onan Diesel Generator, equipped with a paralleling controller to allow integration and dispatch from different controllers
  • External REDB connection, providing the ability to connect large external equipment such as generators, motors, fans or other equipment not suitable for indoor use
  • Load bank, providing real and reactive loads to simulate realistic grid loads to parallel resonance for utility scale anti-islanding testing
  • Load bank controller, capable of dispatching or replaying simulated load profiles via Modbus communication

Medium-Voltage Outdoor Test Area

  • Capability to support systems up to 13.2 kV
  • Capability to accommodate systems up to 1000 kVA
  • Ability to simulate two utility distribution feeders at the medium voltage range
  • Network protectors, utility reclosers, 200-A switch cabinets, transformers, load banks, and line impedance simulators
  • Two 20'x40' and three 10'x10' test pads
  • Electric connection through the ESIF's Research Electric Distribution Bus (REDB) at either 13.2 kV or 480 V
  • Utility power poles and overhead conductors for testing pole- or line-mounted equipment
  • Overhead voltage/current line sensors
  • Ten electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for Vehicle-to-Grid and Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment testing

Recent Projects

Low-Voltage Outdoor Test Area

Evaluating microgrid controller technology with Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

Demonstrating distributed resource communications with Schneider Electric

Demonstrating distributed grid-edge control hierarchy with OMNETRIC Group

Evaluating Erigo's and EaglePicher's microgrid energy storage system

Advancing utility microgrid performance with San Diego Gas & Electric

Demonstrating Active Network Management system with Smarter Grid Solutions

Medium-Voltage Outdoor Test Area

Integrating plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to the power grid with Toyota

Developing wireless distribution line monitors with Sensanna