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FlexDGrid: Advanced Fault Level Management (Birmingham)

DurationDec 2012 - Mar 2017
  • West Midlands

Project background

FlexDGrid offered an improved solution to the problem of the timely and cost-effective integration of customers' generation and demand within urban High Voltage (HV) electricity networks.

This project sought to explore the potential benefits arising from trials of three complimentary Methods: (Alpha) Enhanced Fault Level Assessment; (Beta) Real-time Management of Fault Level; and (Gamma) Fault Level Mitigation Technologies.

The project location was Birmingham.

This project aimed to deliver a highly transferrable system-level Solution, using real-time knowledge of the Fault Level status of the electricity network and application of Fault Level Mitigation Technologies, to manage multiple generation and demand connections. The learning is transferrable to all Great Britain (GB) networks.

At the time of project initiation the FlexDGrid solution was estimated as having the potential to deliver £1Bn savings across GB through the avoidance of network reinforcement and safeguarding of electricity network assets. This could facilitate 6 GW of generation connections and offset 5.05 MtCO2 / year.

Scope and objectives

The objective of FlexDGrid was to develop and trial an advanced Fault Level management solution to improve the utilisation of DNO 11kV (HV) electricity networks while facilitating the cost-effective and early integration of customers' generation and demand connections. The methods deployed for FlexDGrid would provide learning and practical material to provide DNOs with the capability to defer or avoid costly and prolonged network reinforcement, while improving security of supply.

The project originally identified four main objectives as detailed in the Full Submission Proforma and listed below:

(i) Defer/avoid capital investment for customers and DNOs;
(ii) Avoid long connection lead times for low carbon generation;
(iii) Increase network efficiency and reduce Customer Interruptions (CIs) and Customer Minutes Lost (CMLs); and
(iv) Secure long term sustainable and affordable electricity prices with assisted living benefits from Combined Heat and Power (CHP).

Success criteria

The table below lists details and measurement of success criteria for FlexDGrid.

Develop an enhanced Fault Level assessment processComplete  
Simulation and application of the Enhanced Fault Level Assessment process to demonstrate what can be achieved with customers' connectionsComplete  
Confirmation of project detailed designComplete  
Development of novel commercial frameworks with generation and demand customersComplete  
Installation and open-loop (non-network controlling) tests of Fault Level monitoring equipment.Complete  
Installation and open-loop (non-network controlling) tests of Fault Level mitigation equipmentComplete  
Closed-loop (network controlling) tests of Fault Level monitoring and mitigation equipment.Complete  
Analysis of test results, evaluating and quantifying the benefits of the Solution and applicability to GB HV electricity networks.Complete  
Hold a workshop, inviting all GB DNOs and other interested parties. At the workshop, the Implementing DNO will provide an overview and expected performance of all three methods.Complete  
Delivery and Authority approval of report as required under B) Value for money of 3. CONDITION PRECEDENT before issuing Invitation to Tender for Fault Level mitigation technologies 31 December 2013Complete  
Delivery and Authority approval of report as required under A) Methodology of Method Gamma of 3. CONDITION PRECEDENT before signing contracts for Fault Level mitigation technologies. 31 December 2013Complete