IEA ISGAN Annex 5: Smart Grids International Research Facility Network (SIRFN). (Working period 2019-2021)

The Smart Grids International Research Facility Network (SIRFN) aims at improving the implementation of Smart Grids technologies by collaboration between smart grid testing facilities, test beds, and large-scale demonstrations. The focus during the working period 2019-2020 was laid on the implementation of extended interoperability tests and innovative laboratory testing methods for decentralised energy resources. By active participation, Austria’s position and leading role on the forefront of international Smart Grids development was strengthened.

Short Description


The international network of Smart Grids research facilities and test beds (SIRFN), which is organized as independent project (ISGAN Annex 5) under the umbrella of International Energy Agency's International Energy Grid Action Network (IEA-ISGAN) gives participating countries the ability to evaluate Smart Grid technologies and systems approaches in a wide range of implementation use cases using common testing procedures. SIRFN is helping to improve the understanding of smart grid technologies and drive the development and diffusion of these technologies worldwide.


The main research topics of SIRFN are the integration of renewable energy and distributed energy resources, the development and review of new power system concepts such as microgrids, and innovative test methods for generating units, components and systems for the power grids.
To support research, development and implementation of smart grid technologies more efficiently, SIRFN has formulated the following main objectives, which were addressed by the Austrian sub-project during the period 2019-2021, considering the national priorities:

  • International exchange of research results, best practices and methods,
  • Co-development and enhancement of the capabilities of participating research laboratories,
  • Creating a framework to help participating laboratories and countries plan and execute smart grid projects by aligning test requirements with the know-how available in SIRFN.


The Austrian sub-project addressed these goals in close coordination with the SIRFN work program. This resulted in the following benefits:

  • Ensuring the horizontal integration of national and international knowledge and experience in the implementation of smart grid projects
  • Further positioning of the Austrian smart grid research infrastructure and generation of intelligence in the field of smart grids (international exchange of research results, best practices and methods for joint development, extension and improvement of the capabilities of participating research infrastructures).
  • Direct access to a world-wide network of leading research laboratories and exchange of experiences between experts
  • Transfer of know-how to Austria and introduction of insights into current and planned projects or into the future strategic development of the Smart Grid topic.

Austria, which has been a founding member of the SIRFN, was able to secure and sustainably expand its technological lead in the integration of decentralized energy generation resources by directly integrating the insights gained from participation in the SIRFN into ongoing research projects.

Project Images

Terms of use: The pictures listed underneath the header “Project Pictures” originate from the projects in the frame of the programmes City of Tomorrow, Building of Tomorrow and the IEA Research Cooperation. They may be used credited for non-commercial purposes under the Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC).


Publications are available on the website of IEA ISGAN Annex 5.


Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, India, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, USA (lead)

Contact Address

Roland Bründlinger
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Giefinggasse 2, 1210 Wien
Tel.: +43 50550-6351

Project partners

Dr. Susanne Windischberger

Dr. Thomas Strasser

Dr. Mihai Calin

DI Christian Messner

Ron Ablinger