The School of Electrical Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences has a wide range of facilities available for students, staff and researchers.
GEEP Green Electric Energy Park
The Green Electric Energy Park (GEEP) is a unique, state-of-the-art facility that supports Curtin’s commitment to excellence and innovation in teaching and research in sustainable development; in particular, renewable energy power conversion systems.
GEEP is an innovative laboratory that features futuristic power-system concepts based on environmentally friendly, renewable energy technologies. Based on the types of renewable energy sources and how they are integrated and displayed, GEEP is unmatched in Western Australia or Australia, and will serve as a model for future renewable energy laboratories. It has been hailed as one of the “new initiatives in power engineering education” by the industry professional body The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Power and Energy Society at its annual general meeting in the US in 2011.
The GEEP laboratory enables students to conduct advanced experiments and research projects on various types of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydro; distributed generation using hydrogen fuel cells; battery energy storage-based micro-grids; hybrid power systems; power converters; and energy storages. It has been designed so that the performance of each renewable energy source is automatically measured and subsequently displayed and analysed on workstation computers. Moreover, a weather station provides real-time data for students to correlate the system performance with weather conditions. The laboratory can be remotely monitored via local area network so that it can be readily integrated in lectures and workshops conducted at other venues on the Bentley Campus.
GEEP exhibits the following equipment:
- three different types of solar PV arrays on trackers, which follow the sun from east to west
- a horizontal axis and a vertical axis wind turbine on 11-metre towers
- a micro hydro turbine, generator, pump and tank
- fuel cell, electrolyser and hydrogen storage
- a large, central battery bank and three small battery banks
- a large programmable three-phase resistive load bank and four small, single-phase load banks
- a weather monitoring station and anemometer on an 11-metre tower
- seven teaching stations and four research stations
- micro-grid forming inverters and the central switching station for main grid versus micro-grid selection
- various types of power converters for grid connection, battery charging and water pumping
- a custom-designed software platform for data acquisition, system integration, display, analysis and storage
- a large LCD monitor and presentation area
- foundations and cabling for expansion of renewable energy sources.
The GEEP laboratory affords students the opportunity to engage in classes on renewable energy and micro-grids at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, with seven teaching stations dedicated for seven different types of renewable energy sources or storages.
The networks and power flow at each station, as well as weather conditions and historical data of the system, can be presented on an LCD screen at the centre of the laboratory as well as on teaching-station computers. The measured data can then be analysed in time-domain and frequency-domain before deciding to store it in digital form to include in laboratory reports. The software has been designed so that system performance can be demonstrated digitally at lecture theatres via the local area network.
The GEEP laboratory has been designed to include four research stations, which can be used to switch on field power sources when they are not already in use at the teaching stations. Facilities have been provided to connect field power sources to three-phase main grid or micro-grids, isolated load banks or battery banks, and motors and energy storages, by developing novel power converters and advanced control algorithms.
The laboratory provides a much-needed experimental platform for cutting-edge research in many areas linked to renewable energy and micro-grids including:
- grid integration of renewable energy sources
- design and control of renewable energy-based micro-grids
- standalone micro-grids and hybrid power supplies for remote areas
- design and control of novel power converters for renewable energy applications
- smart grid technologies
- energy storage technologies and back-up power supplies
- smart vehicles.
A presentation area comprising an LCD display, and workstation computers at each teaching station equip GEEP for hands-on training to professionals in power engineering and renewable energy industries through short courses and workshops. Such courses can cater for various modern-day industry problems related to renewable energy, energy storage, power electronics and smart grid technologies.
Curtin experts in renewable energy and power engineering at GEEP are capable of providing consultations on building similar renewable energy parks in industry, at educational institutes such as universities, TAFE colleges and schools, and for social organisations and remote villages, as examples. Additionally, these experts can provide consultations on other renewable energy-related topics.
With a laboratory displaying the latest renewable energy technologies, GEEP’s uniqueness serves as a demonstration facility for the general public. Groups of students from high school, technical college and summer school, as well as representatives from social organisations, industry groups and visiting academics from Australia and overseas, have already visited or plan to visit GEEP, which is also expected to be one of the key attractions for future students of Curtin.
Location : 207.113
Operation Technology (OTI) Inc and the Electrical and Computer Engineering at Curtin University signed an agreement to enhance the learning experiences of power engineering students by providing them with an opportunity to access the full range of ETAP power system simulation software’s.
Curtin’s undergraduate and postgraduate students are able to access the ETAP suite of power systems simulation software at the ‘ETAP Power Systems Simulation Laboratory’ located in Building 207 Room 113 on a 24/7 basis.
Dr Farookh Sokoh and Professor Syed Islam signed an agreement in 2006 in putting the $150,000 worth software partnership in place. Curtin students are able to explore the enormous simulation power of ETAP in designing and solving a range of power system steady state and dynamic problems giving them a smooth and easier transition to industry positions.
In 2010, the sponsorship was also extended to Curtin’s Malaysian campus in MIRI, Sarawak. For a full descriptions of the ETAP suite of software and this sponsorship please visit: www.etap.com
Physics and Astronomy
The Curtin University research groups are well served by the Applied Physics’ Prototype Laboratory. These facilities and services are now also available to parties outside the university.
Precision manufacture of original apparatus ranging from explosive proof ballmills for nanoparticle manufacture, high temperature geopolymer molds and molecular biology culture habitats have been designed and manufactured at this facility.
The only limits placed on the possible prototypes that can be created here is the imaginative limits of the design team, which comprises firstly the Client, then the Lab Manager (Prototype Laboratory), and any number of academic and technical staff available within the university.
Other services include electronic design and servicing facilities (test bench and onsite), surfacing and polishing of samples and workshop technology teaching to permit student use of equipment.