The large-scale roll out of distributed renewable energy resources has led to a change in the planning and operation of the electric power grids. Proper approaches and concepts are necessary in order to cope with the higher complexity in such systems. The Smart Grid vision has the potential to significantly contribute to a more stable and secure electricity supply but technologies, methods as well as corresponding validation approaches need to be further developed. This includes also the necessary laboratory equipment.
The SmartEST laboratory established by AIT provides such a necessary research infrastructure and corresponding testing methods. Its automation and control system is based on open source tools as well as on international Smart Grid standards which is discussed in this paper. Therefore, this environment provides the necessary basis for the realization of a flexible and highly configurable laboratory automation supporting the design and validation of new methods and concepts in the domain of Smart Grid systems.