About Us
About Us

Energy Systems and Control Optimization (ESCO) Lab

ESCO Lab Description

Energy Systems and Control Optimization (ESCO) Lab is a state of the art facility conducting research in the field of power systems. As the world is increasingly moving towards utilization of alternative energy systems such as wind and solar, integrating these resources into the power grid comes with several challenges in terms of control and stability of the grid. ESCO lab is striving to modernize the UAE’s power infrastructure by developing technologies to utilize the potential of vast natural and sustainable resources endemic to the country which is conventionally relied on oil. The center was initially started as a small group to support ADNOC to provide cost-effective energy solutions to its OPCOs and evolved over the years as a dedicated research center working in a broad spectrum of topics related to grid modernization. The lab boasts to be one of the largest research facility in the region for energy and power systems research.

ESCO lab is fully equipped with the most advanced facilities to conduct simulation as well as experimental research in broad areas of energy and power systems. The research facility has several sub divisions namely Power System Analysis, Power System Protection, Real Time Digital Simulation, Smart-grid, Photovoltaic System, Energy Storage System, Fuel cell/Hydrogen, Electric Machines/VFDs, and Electric Vehicles. ESCO lab is well established with dedicated workspaces for each of the sub groups. The lab has procured several state-of-the-art equipment to help researchers in doing practice-oriented study in these fields, which were procured from several projects funds, in addition to the support of ADNOC group of companies over the years. The facility is capable of testing large scale power systems using real time simulators and realistic grid conditions can be synthesized within the lab in a controlled environment with the help power amplifiers and grid emulators. Researchers can easily test their controllers under several complex grid conditions so that controllers can be tuned robustly. Dedicated workbenches are provided for full functionality testing of PV/ solar systems, battery storage systems, fuel cells, and electric vehicle chargers up to several tens of kW of power. All the necessary software tools and hardware equipment are available for smart grids, SCADA, relay testing and many other areas.

ESCO Lab Capabilities and Services

The lab can provide various services to industries, institutions, and opcos in the fields related to energy utilization, energy recovery and energy efficiency. For energy providers, the lab can provide services on planning and optimization of renewable energy systems for their size and location. Consultancy services can be provided for SCADA and smart grid systems including the system security and stability under different cyber-attacks. The lab can also study the effect of Plug-in Hybrids to the grid systems and simulate different scenarios with optimization solutions.

The key facilities in ESCO Lab include but not limited to the following:

  • Real-time simulators and controllers

Some of the noteworthy equipment under this facility are:

    • Real-time digital simulator RTDS
    • Digital signal processing, dspace 1103 controller
    • Digital signal processing, dspace 1104 controller
    • Digital signal processing, dspace 1202 microlab box
    • National Instruments MyDAQ controller
    • National Instruments MyRIO controller
    • Texas Instruments C2000 Micro controller thermogravimetric kinetics



  • Emulators, power supplies, and loads

Some of the noteworthy equipment under this facility are:

    • Spitznberger & Spies PAS 1000 power amplifier
    • Omicron CMS 156 power amplifier
    • Cinergia grid emulator GE-15
    • Cinergia battery emulator BE-15
    • Magna-Power-Electronics PV emulator
    • Chroma 63802 programmable AC/DC load
    • Cinergia electronic load AC/DC EL-15
    • TDK-Lambda 2.4kW programmable DC power supply


  • Electric machines

Some of the noteworthy equipment under this facility are:

    • LabVolt 3-phase wound-rotor induction motor (DFIG)
    • LabVolt 4-quadrant dynamometer
    • Permanent magnet synchronous generator (PMSG) 5kW
    • Italtic 5kW 3-phase slip ring motor
    • Italtic 5kW DC shunt machine
    • Italtic 3 kW squirrel cage motor
    • Italtic 2kW switched reluctance machine


  • Electric converters

Some of the noteworthy equipment under this facility are:

    • Semikron, 2-Level voltage source IGBT power converters
    • Semikron, current source IGBT power converters
    • Semikron, Multi-Level IGBT power converter
    • Semikron, matrix converter
    • Semikron, Asymmetric converter
    • Semikron, H-bridge converter
    • Semikron, 3-Level neutral point converter (NPC)
    • Danfoss VLT FC301/ FC 302, automation drive

  • Measurements tools

Some of the noteworthy equipment under this facility are:

    • YOKOGAWA DL850E, ScopeCorder
    • YOKOGAWA PX8000, precision power scope
    • YOKOGAWA WT1800, precision power analyser
    • YOKOGAWA DLM4038, 2.5 GS/s 350 MHz, mixed domain oscilloscope
    • Tektronix MDO 3034, 5 GS/s 350 MHz ,mixed domain oscilloscope
    • Tektronix MDO 4104B, 5 GS/s 1 GHz, digital phasor oscilloscope
    • Teledyne LeCroy WaveSurfer 3034, 350 MHz 4GS/s, digital oscilloscope
    • Teledyne LeCroy WaveSurfer 64MXs-B, 600 MHz 10GS/s, digital oscilloscope
    • Opal-RT 5511 20A,600V signal conditioning module
    • Fluke 345 power quality clamp meter
    • Fluke 435 Series II power quality and energy meter

  • Electric Vehicle

Some of the noteworthy equipment under this facility are:

    • Scalexio real-time electric vehicle simulator
    • 2kW EV prototype
    • Rapid Pro Automotive controller

  • Fuel-cell system

Some of the noteworthy equipment under this facility are:

    • Heliocentris Nexa 1200 Fuel cell
    • Heliocentris metal hydride canister
    • Heliocentris electrolyser , hydrogen generator

  • Power systems protection

Some of the noteworthy equipment under this facility are:

    • Schneider electric Micom relay
    • Alstom Microm P40 Agile relay
    • Siemens Siprotec 75J62 relay
    • EATON EDN-5000 relay
    • SEL-751 Schwetizer Engineering Laboratories relay

  • Photo-Voltaic system

Some of the noteworthy equipment under this facility are:

    • Victron Energy BlueSolar Monocrystalline solar panels 280 W
    • Victron Energy BlueSolar charge controllers
    • Flexmax 80, maximum power tracking charge controller
    • Victron Energy MultiPlus Inverter/Charge
    • Victron Energy AGM 12V 90Ah battery
  • Cyber Security

Some of the noteworthy equipment under this facility are:

    • SEL-2407 satellite synchronized clock
    • SEL-3620 Ethernet security gateway
    • SEL-2730M Managed Ethernet switch
    • QualiTrol phasor measurement unit PMU
    • SEL-3355 2.5 GHz dual-core computer
    • Power Sentinel 1133A precision time synchronization and power measurement unit (PMU)

  • Software

Some of the noteworthy software tools under this facility are:

    • PSIM: Power electronics simulation
    • CDEGS: Current distribution, electromagnetic fields, grounding & soil analysis
    • ETAP: Electrical power system analysis
    • EMP RV: Power system transient
    • ANSYS: Numerical analysis and simulation
    • PSCAD: Power system transient
    • DSPACE: Control system implementation


Power Electronics Converter Development and Prototyping

Power Electronics converter systems play a major role in today’s modern power system, consumer electronics, renewable energy system, smart grid, transportation sector and so forth. APEC center has dedicated Power Electronics lab that focuses on design and development of cutting-edge converter systems for various applications, such as, power quality improvement, microgrids (DC and AC), drives, PV and wind energy conversion systems, electric vehicles, CubeSats and Satellite EPS, and solid-state transformer. 

Some of the equipment under this facility are:

  • dSPACE 1103 (3)
  • One opal-RT
  • Chromo programmable AC source 61703 (1)
  • Agilent triple DC power supply E3631A (8)
  • Chroma programmable DC power supply (1)
  • 4-channel oscilloscopes DPO4054B (3)
  • Agilent LCR meter 4263B (1)
  • Yokogawa 16-channel scope DL850 (1)
  • PSB design software tools
  • ANSYS Maxwell
  • Fully equip with discrete components needed for power electronic experimental work (IGBT modules, drives, sensors, heat sinks, inductors, capacitors, cables, etc)

Some prototype illustrations:


Power Electronics and Sustainable Energy (PEASE) Research Lab

Power Electronics and Sustainable Energy (PEASE) Research Lab is conducting research in the broad area of power electronics. Current research is focused on electric vehicles, wireless charging, multilevel converters for medium voltage applications, low and high power electric drives, HVDC transmission, grid integration of renewable energy sources, Wide band gap device based converter systems etc.  The research lab is equipped with state of the art research facilities and brief information of this is given below.

  • High Power Density, Compact SiC MOSFET  converter systems

Wide band gap SiC MOSFET converters are the next generation high frequency, high power density converter systems. The lab is equipped with SiC MOSFET based high power three-phase bidirectional DC to AC voltage source converter with a rating of 1200V, 450kVA. Additionally   this facility has several 1200V, 20A half bridge converters modules. These are complete unit with built in voltage and current sensors and gate drivers. Suitable for rapid prototyping where the PWM signals can be directly connected to the converters.  Interface signals are compatible with modern digital controllers based on  TEXAS DSP ,  dSPACE and FPGA based controllers and OPAL-RT, RTDS and Typhoon HIL systems. The half bridge modules  have modular structure in pace with the current research trends in power electronics suitable for research in packaging, reusability, fault tolerant studies, reliability studies, etc. 

  • Multi-level converter systems

Several reconfigurable cascaded H-Bridge modules, three-level NPC converter modules and Half-bridge/Full bridge sub-modules for MMC are available under this facility .  Modularity, which is the current trend in power electronics in packaging is maintained and these are reconfigurable type, based on research needs , converters of required topology with desired number of levels can be  fabricated in a short time. All the modules are equipped with current and voltage sensors,  gate drives with built in protection and   interface is compatible with modern digital controllers and HIL systems.  Synchronized Space vector  PWM studies, Grid interface of converters, Auto Tuning of Grid connected converters, MMC based back to back connected HVDC systems, Multilevel inverter powered electric drives are some of the research works currently progress under this system.  The facilities under this system are H-Bridge modules, Three –level NPC modules, Half Bridge module for  MMC, Grid emulator , Digital controller s-dSPACE 1104, TMS 28335,2837, Typhoon 604 HIL and dSPACE , 8 channel high bandwidth digital storage oscilloscopes, and Electric Motor –generator set. MATLAB/SIMULINK, PSIM,PSCAD software.  A Chroma 62100H-600S -10kW, 600V, 200Hz MPPT update rate Solar array simulation, MPPT Testing, shadowing, weather conditions simulation  is also available.Additonal faciites are  5kW, 50V, 20A, 5kW, 80V, 380A DC programmable loads useful for testing DC/DC, AC/DC converters. Testing of both low voltage high current and high voltage low current converters is possible.  These can be configured as programmable sources also. The lab is equipped with 400V , 20A three phase Ac programmable electronic load which can be configured as single phase AC load.  These units are extensively used for research related to converters and drives.

  • Electric Vehicle Drive Train Development System

This section of the Lab is equipped with high performance PMSM Motors, BLDC motors, reluctance motors, Open End Winding Induction Motors and Compact voltage source converters. The lab has recently developed a novel ultra-high gain DC to DC converter (Patent application under review) which will be used in Electric Vehicle as interface unit between Battery and drive. The Lab also has developed a novel Open End Winding Induction Motor drive based Dual Four Wheel Differential Drive for Electric Vehicles. Currently the studies are going on in integrating these systems, battery power management studies, fault tolerant studies in four wheel drives, power management during fault. Some of the artificial intelligence based battery power management and advanced drive control algorithms are under progress for efficient regeneration. The Lab is equipped with Chroma 17020 Regenerative Battery Pack Test System 10kW, 8ch x 60V , 10kW, 4ch x 500V with thermal data logger , Test high power battery chargers, battery packs with multiple cells and emulate battery energy storage system (BESS) for grid applications. This unit can be used for testing and certification of batteries as per international standards. This system is equipped with state of the art digital controllers, HIL systems, programmable loads, high bandwidth digital storage scopes, converter systems and all necessary software for the drive test and battery power management. The digital oscilloscopes are equipped with FET probes, high voltage (up to 2kV) active voltage probes and  current probes  (upto 150A)  with DC to several MHz bandwidth,  eight channel with facility to measure efficiency in a dual inverter systems, with power analysis  and harmonic analysis software. This  unit  also has high bandwidth isolated four channel digital storage oscilloscopes for direct measurement of floating ground voltages in EV and drive  systems. 

  • Electric Power Quality Research System

The lab has set up this facility with an industry sponsored research project where the power quality problems such as low power factor and harmonic problems in the oil rig power system are studied.  Both active filter and passive filter solutions are developed and their performance are compared. Different industry solutions are developed and transferred to industry. This unit is equipped with high end power quality measuring tools such as Flue 340 Power Quality Analyzer,  Yokogawa WT3000 Power quality Analyzer and high bandwidth  8 channel digital storage oscilloscope ,with high voltage (up to 2kV) active voltage probes and  current probes  (upto 150A)  with DC to several MHz bandwidth and  harmonic analysis software. An experimental prototype representing the oil rig drive power system is designed and developed in the lab. The  Chroma 61830,  30kVA, 600V, DC to 300Hz, regenerative gird emulator, which can be configured as power amplifier compatible with RTDS and OPAL RT HIL systems is used to program the different grid conditions of the Rig power system  . This grid emulator can create different types  grid condition in the lab environment. 50Hz/60Hz grid, weak bus characteristics with programmable gird resistance , harmonic distortions, voltage fluctuations, voltage dips , harmonics up to 50th order, different types of grid  faults, unbalance, distortion etc.

  • Hardware in Loop (HIL) Systems and Digital controllers

Thyphoon HIL 602 and 604 FPGA based powerful HIL simulators with Power electronics toolbox, signal conditioning toolbox , dSPACE ds1007 Single core FPGA, with Matlab interface, Electronics HIL library. State of the art hardware in loop simulators specifically designed for power electronics applications. Simulates virtual hardware to help researchers design and test controllers before going to real hardware implementation. dSPACE allows Hardware-in-loop simulation and controller prototyping with MATLAB/ Simulink environment. Greatly helpful for researchers in hardware implementation for even the most complex systems. The Lab is equipped with Texas DSP TMS F28335,28337,28069 28379 , dSPCE 1104 and FPGA  based controllers and these controllers are compatible with MATLAB/SIMULINK and above HIL systems.

  • Modular Multilevel Converter based HVDC System

Five level modular multi level converter test set up with modular submodules fitted with power switches, gate drivers, voltage and current sensors is designed and fabricated in the lab. The unit can be configured as fifteen level single phase converter. This unit can be used to conduct research on HVDC systems, Grid connected converter studies and MMC powered drives related research. Auto tuning of the Grid connected aC to DC MMC converter and DC to AC MMC converter, Fault tolerant studies in MMC bipolar HVDC system are some of the research works currently in progress. The complete development and research unit consisting of necessary software such as  Matlab/ Simulink : All tool boxes including, Power electronics, Power systems simulations , PSIM , PSCAD, ETAP with  Electrical Power System Analysis, harmonics, load flow studies, electromagnetic studies with research licenses are available in this system.

  • PCB Assembly and Prototype Development Facility

The lab is equipped with PCB design software like Ultium PCB design software with simulation, thermal analysis libraries, Surface mount soldering and de-soldering station. This facility is sued by researchers to develop the necessary PCBs for the above systems. Current sensor boards, voltage sensor boards, interface circuit between the converters, sensors,  digital controllers, signal condition boards and protection circuits are some of the PCBs developed in the lab using  this facility. These PCBs are standard building blocks for the above  experimental set ups. Following are some of the PCBs developed in the lab using this facility


  • Machine Design , Analysis and machines condition monitoring facility

The facility is equipped with MATLAB and ANSYS : Numerical Analysis and Simulation, Finite Element Analysis tools for electrical machine design, electromagnetic simulations.  Design of fractional slot machines, in wheel motors for EVs, Less permanent magnet machines,  Power Electronic transformers, condition monitoring of Machines are the research activities in this facility. The lab is taking the help of local industry for the fabrication of machines as per the design.


High Voltage and Dielectric Materials (HVDM)

The high voltage and dielectric materials research laboratory at Khalifa University (KU) has been founded to build expertise and research capability to address the challenges and technical problems in power system network. Vital equipment (Transformer, cable, Bushing, lightning arrester, Circuit breaker) in power network operate under increasingly challenging conditions, with the requirement to provide a reliable power supply at high efficiency to a wide variety of industrial, commercial and domestic loads. Additional environmental constraints on high-voltage outdoor insulations systems call for the development of new dielectric materials that are able to perform more efficiently under diverse climatic conditions. Research at HVDM aims to understand these issues and provide informed solutions for future economical operation of power systems. Main contributions to research aligned with KU strategic areas include research on characterization of new dielectric materials, insulation and breakdown, lightning protection, power system grounding, testing and condition monitoring and diagnosis to support asset management. Additional benefits include improving asset management, increasing lifetime and usability of high-voltage equipment, optimization of power plant operation and better maintenance practice, in addition to manpower formation through graduate projects and targeted specialist courses.

Such a test facility will help establish one of the leading centers of excellence in high voltage research, as well as in the areas of testing, advanced diagnosis of HV plant and advanced system modelling. The lab specializes in the following research areas: high-voltage insulation materials, condition monitoring, partial discharge, outdoor insulation, grounding, overvoltage transients, and transformer diagnosis using frequency response analysis. Research collaboration with prominent international institutions, includes Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan, the University of Tokyo, Utsunomiya University and IIT Madras, India. Other collaborative work with researchers from Cardiff University, UK, the University of Waterloo, Canada and Padova University, Italy have also been established.

  • High Voltage DC, AC and Impulse test Facility

High Voltage Test and Measurement system (AC, DC, Impulse and Partial discharge) facility supports the wide range of international standard testing and measurement, training and research on development of new measurement techniques. The testing and measurement equipment complies with international standards such IEC, IEEE and ASTM.

Equipment capabilities under this facility are:

  • High Voltage Impulse Test and Measurement System (HIGH VOLT/ IPF60/600M): Lightning Impulse Voltage (1.2/50 µs)– 600kV, Switching Impulse Voltage (250/2500µs)- 420kV, Lightning Impulse current (8/20 µs) -25kA
  • High Voltage Modular Test and Measurement System (HIGH VOLT/WGSBS 5.8/100-135-135): Lightning Impulse Voltage (1.2/50 µs)– 135 kV, AC voltage – 100kV, DC – 135 kV both polarities
  • Benchtop High Voltage DC Test Source (Glassman/ LH050R100GW3) – DC voltage 50kV both polarities
  • AC Voltage Dielectric Test System (Phenix Technologies /6CC 150-40/6CP50/10-3) – 150 and 50 kV Test stem

  • Real time partial discharge measurement system (Omicron/MPD 600) – Three channel system provision to test single and three phase equipment or prototype test model with real time measurement using electrical and UHF methods. This system is capable of performing advanced noise suppression and source separation techniques ensure that only PD pulses from the test object are analyzed. Maximum Partial discharge test voltage is 100kV 


  • Insulating Material Testing and Characterization Facility

This facility supports the enhanced research on development and characterization of new insulating materials and condition assessment of the existing insulating material for the high voltage equipment which are prone to reduction in service life due to ageing.

Equipment capabilities under this facility are:

  • Inclined-Plane Tracking and Erosion Test System (Lectromec/ LEC-2303-M3): Evaluation of tracking and erosion resistance of polymeric materials as per ASTM and IEC standards

  • Oil Breakdown Tester (b2High Voltage/BA80): Max test voltage 80kV as per different standards (ASTM, IEC, VDE) and customized tests

  • High Speed Thermal Camera (Flir/ X6903SC): spectral range between 3 – 5 micro meter IR range, 1000 frames per second and temperature detection ranges up to 1200-degree Celsius with 640X512 pixel resolution.


  • Ultra-High-Speed Framing Camera (Specialized Imaging/SIMX 4): 4-channel high speed framing CCD camera with variable exposure time from (2ns to 10ms) at resolution of 1360 x 1024 pixel. Internal and external electrical trigger control and records images at maximum of 320 million frame per second and with overlapping timing control events records up to 1 billion frames per second. Used for discharge propagation studies in gases

  • Electrical Grounding System Test and Research Facility

There are various test and measurement system is used to support the research on electrical grounding design and its characteristics based on various parameters such as frequency and soil resistivity

 Equipment capabilities under this facility are:

  • Soil Resistivity (ABEM/ LS04-064250): LS TERAMETER for surveys (1D, 2D and 3D) surveys of the subsurface resistivity distribution

  • DET2/2 Auto Earth Tester (Megger/DET 2/2): For measuring earth electrode resistance and soil resistivity. It uses the four-terminal method of measurement
  • Wide Band Lock-in Amplifier (AMETEK/7280): The instrument can recover signals in the presence of an overwhelming noise background or alternatively it can provide high resolution measurements of relatively clean signals over several orders of magnitude and frequency
  • Wide band Amplifier (Krohn-Hite/ 7500): High precision amplification of signal for wide range frequencies from DC to 2 MHz


  • Partial Discharge and Condition Monitoring of HV cables and Transformers
  • Sweep Frequency Response Analyzer (ISA/SFRA 5000): to analyze the mechanical integrity of transformer cores, windings, etc.

  • Dielectric Frequency Response Analyze (Megger/IDAX 350): For insulation analysis (moisture, conductivity) of high voltage equipment (Power Transformer, Bushing, Instrument Transformer, Motor, Generator) and generic insulation test model under wide frequency range

  • Tan Delta and Capacitance Measurement (Megger/Delta 2000): Capacitance and dissipation factor measurement under AC 50 Hz supply for high voltage insulation ageing studies and condition monitoring.
  • Corona Camera (UVICRO Technologies/ CoroCam 6N): UV night vision camera used to inspect the corona discharges phenomenon generated in high voltage equipment.
  • Micro Ohm Meter (TenTech/MPK 102e): for low contact resistance measurement, test currents from 1 mA to 100 A, measurement range up to 200 ohms, resolution of up to 0.1 micro ohms
  • Recurrent Surge Generator (Haefely/ RSG 482): Low voltage (500V) equivalent of a high voltage Impulse generator. Used in various LV impulse studies.

  • Insulation Tester (Megger/MIT 510/2): 5kV DC insulation tester for measuring the insulation resistance of the high voltage equipment (Power transformer, Cable)
  • Ultrasonic PD sensor (Doble Lemke/ LDA-5/S): Detection of partial discharges (PD) for in-service inspection of high voltage (HV) equipment, such as HV transmission lines, power transformers and gas insulated switch gears (GIS)
  • Oscillating wave test system (SebaKMT/ M 28-S): Partial Discharge (PD) Fault locator for medium voltage cables, PD phenomenon characterization. Test Voltage 20 kV


  • Advance Analytical Simulation Research Facility


  • Maxwell (Elect. Suite): Design and analysis of electromagnetic and electromechani­cal devices
  • XFdtd: 3D Electromagnetic analysis – Antenna design and wave propagation
  • CDEGS: Integrated Software for Power System Grounding, Electromagnetic Fields and Electromagnetic Interference
  • EMTP RV: Electromagnetic transient analysis program
  • ETAP: Power System network design and operational studies
  • PSCAD: Research Centre Power System network design and operational studies
  • XGS Lab: Electrical Grounding deign
  • COMSOL Multiphysics: 3D finite element electrostatic and Electromagnetic analysis