March 29th 2024

New in the Elaad Test Lab: testing with High Power test system

When charging large numbers of electric cars and trucks in particular, not only the amount of energy is important, but also the quality and stability. To investigate the influence of heavy energy consumers on the energy grid, the Elaad Testlab recently acquired a High Power (360 kilowatt) test system. This system can simulate a complete energy system and can therefore test the influence of heavy equipment and a heavily loaded power grid on each other.

The Elaad Testlab is constantly expanding with new charging infrastructure and other facilities. By doing this, we are able to further research and test electric vehicles and charging stations for their interaction with the power grid. A special asset is the High Power Test System that ElaadNL has recently made available. The Keysight system allows the electricity grid, electric vehicles and DC fast chargers to be simulated and tested. Systems such as these are mainly used by researchers, developers and manufacturers of vehicles and charging stations to check whether devices function properly on the electricity grid. You can simulate all kinds of situations with it and carry out tests under very controlled conditions.

ElaadNL, as the knowledge center of the grid operators, uses the system on the one hand to gain more insight into the impact on the voltage quality of the power grid. For example, from charging at high power of e-trucks and associated heavy DC charging equipment. On the other hand,  to see how differences in voltage quality affect the charging of electric vehicles. To this end, it conducts tests with various scenarios in which electric cars or e-trucks are charged under different conditions; for example, when there is a lot, little or sometimes no energy available, when there is also a discharge or when there are disruptions to the grid.

Additional research possible

Thijs van Wijk, head of the Elaad Testlab, is pleased with the new acquisition: “Electric vehicles and charging stations can experience disruptions to the power grid or cause them themselves. If these disruptions become too great, they will have adverse consequences for the power grid and all devices that use it. Even small deviations can have a major negative effect if there are large numbers of charging electric vehicles. It is therefore important to test new and existing electric vehicle models and charging infrastructure and, where necessary, to look for improvements together with the manufacturers. This is how we keep the quality of the power grid high.”

Thijs van Wijk

Manager Elaad Testlab

Feel free to contact me about the posibilities of testing in the Elaad Testlab.

Also testing Vehicle to Grid (V2G)

The High Power test system can also be used to examine the operation of V2G (Vehicle to grid): the principle in which car batteries not only supply power for driving but can also supply electricity back to the power grid. This is a relatively new development and ElaadNL would also like to know what the impact is on the grid. Van Wijk: “With the simulated electricity grid, we can already see how exactly this return works, whether we can expect problems and how we can best prepare the grid for this.”

Preventing miscommunication

A third form of research is communication tests between charging station and car. Electric vehicles and charging stations must be able to ‘talk’ to each other. The car must let you know what it needs, how much money it is going to charge, which provider the car is with, when the charging session is finished, etc. Van Wijk: “The test system can specifically look at where things go wrong in the communication between charging station and car. This is important for manufacturers to see if their product is interoperable: can it communicate with different vehicles and charging systems?”


This addition to the Elaad Testlab is possible thanks to funding from:

  • The joint Dutch grid operators
  • Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management
  • The Province of Gelderland
  • Project SCALE*
  • Project GO-e**

*The SCALE project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101056874.

**The GO-e project was carried out with a Top Sector Energy Subsidy from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, carried out by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. The specific subsidy for this project concerns the MOOI subsidy round 2020.