The Future Control Room


The Future Control Room (FCR) is a co-creation between the MEMSI (Monash Energy Materials and Systems Institute) Grid Innovation Hub (GIH), the Faculty of IT, the Faculty of Engineering, and MIVP.

FCR is principally designed to be a proxy to energy system control rooms of the near future, enabling (1) graduate and professional training purposes, and (2) research into improved monitoring and control systems, reaching into advanced data integration, mining and ultimately the autonomous operation of smart energy systems.

The core of an effective control room is the ability to capture and display a large number of heterogeneous real-time (streaming) data sets, alongside infrastructure, demographic and meteorological data. The FCR approaches this by delivering a 37 megapixel wall, onto which content can be shared by three independent mechanisms (hardware routing to individual screens; hardware capture and windowed display; software screen sharing) from systems installed in the room (4 x graphics workstations with triple UHD monitors, two VR headsets, and a 55″ UHD multi-touch table) or from laptops/tablets/phones brought into the room, or from systems further afield.

Jacek Jasieniak, Director, MEMSI, says the FCR provides a compelling opportunity to engage with transformation in the energy market:

“The widespread integration of renewable energy technologies, large-scale energy storage systems and electric vehicles is transforming the electricity grids of today to be fundamentally more complex and data driven.

“Monash’s Future Control Room responds to these issues by integrating the University’s campus-wide “energy-focussed living laboratory”, thereby continually pushing the boundaries of how electrical data is transferred, managed, visualised and implemented to optimise demand, supply, fault response and control times with a decreasing level of human intervention.

“This research and training facility will provide an important gateway for enhancing energy innovation and strengthening partnerships with industry and government.”

FCR’s digital design – and co-location with the Monash CAVE2 – also delivers a unique collaboration space, with potential uses including:

• collaborative multi-site teleconferences and workshops with shared content on the tiled wall;
• small team design workshops, with screens shared on the tiled wall; and
• training sessions in CAVE2 with oversight from the FCR, or vice versa.

The Future Control Room launched on February 19.