Energy Systems and Control Optimization (ESCO) Lab

June 15, 2020

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