IEA ISGAN Annex 5: Smart Grids International Research Facility Network (SIRFN). (Working period 2021-2022)

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. In the working period 2021-2022, the focus will be laid on the development of extended interoperability tests for decentralised energy resources and micro grids.

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 focusses on the following items, which are addressed by the Austrian sub-project, 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.

In the current working period of the international network, the focus is laid on the extension of interoperability testing for distributed energy resources, especially converter-based generation units, and the definition of testing concepts and methods for microgrids.


The Austrian sub-project addresses these goals in close coordination with the SIRFN work program. This results 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).
  • 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.

In the current working period, the Austrian subproject focuses on the implementation of test procedures for microgrids and the expansion of the portfolio of interoperability tests. Through the implementation of new capabilities in the existing laboratory infrastructure for smart grids at AIT, national stakeholders, grid operators, innovative companies as well as manufacturers of components are supported during the development, implementation as well as the validation of new concepts, products and solutions.

By directly integrating the insights gained from participation in the SIRFN into ongoing research projects, Austria's technological lead in integrating renewable energies and distributed energy resources can be secured and sustainably expanded.

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

Project leader

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

Project collaborators