ETF Update: Solar PV Emulator

ETF Update:  Solar PV Emulator

ACEP’s 100kW photovoltaic (PV) emulator was added to the Power Systems Integration program’s inventory recently, significantly adding testing capability to the Energy Technology Facility.

This device will allow researchers to mimic the effects that up to 100 kW of solar power will have on a grid that is approximately the size of a typical Alaskan village. The unit has been dubbed, “sunshine in a box,” and will have the ability to rapidly change power output (up to 1000 VDC) to simulate cloud cover effects on solar panels, mimicking real world performance.

Before the system can be made fully operational, an inverter for the power source is needed. ACEP is seeking collaborators who would like to provide PV string inverters (>50 kW) as permanent component for the lab in return for continued insights and data gathered from the PV emulator once it is online. The Energy Technology Facility operates a highly instrumented microgrid designed to conduct research into problems associated with introducing high contribution renewable energy into a microgrid system. The facility is fully instrumented for experimentation and demonstration projects.

If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please contact Marc Mueller-Stoffels at

For more information on this device and the planned fault emulator, visit ACEP’s News section.,-2015/etf-update-pv-emulator-and-fault-emulator.aspx

Photos of PV emulator power source (front and back) in ACEP’s Energy Technology Facility.  Photo credit M. Frey, ACEP/UAF.