18 May 2017

P.2.3.4 Virtual test bench by linking the “FHNW – Energy Research Lab” and the “HSLU – NODES Lab”

Test benches are designed in regard to their specific purpose. The system boundaries, the hardware and control algorithms vary from one lab to another. Whereas one lab may emphasize e.g. on thermal low temperature networks another lab may focus on components for building control. Specific tasks and research questions demand the combination of both test benches. This «Virtual Test Bench» takes advantage of the individual benefits of each laboratory such as hardware, e.g. heat/cold source, emulated building dynamics or special control features. To be fully operational a connection between the two test benches is needed, referred to as «Livelink», where data can be exchanged interactively and transferred at high speed. The «LiveLink» connects the two platforms to answer system overlapping questions. In this work the «Livelink» between two test benches located at two Universities of Applied Sciences 80 km apart, is described, its operation modes explained and first results are presented.
The Energy Research Lab (ERL) of the FHNW is used to examine the dynamic behaviour and the appropriate integration of hydraulic systems for space heating and domestic hot water. To avoid depending on a mere computer simulation, component behaviour in ERL can be reproduced by both «emulators» and real components. Heat pumps and hot water storage tanks for instance can be connected to the emulation modules acting as source and sink (Hardware in the Loop). Summarized, the ERL allows to run dynamic tests under predefined and repeatable boundary conditions.
The NODES Lab of the HSLU addresses the decentralized thermal energy supply infrastructure. Its focus lies on the development of thermal crosslinking aiming to realize Multi-Energy-Grid infrastructures for «Urban Energy Systems».