|Duration||Apr 2011 - Jul 2013|
What are the Outcomes of the LV Templates
We have now completed a Project in South Wales to develop an understanding of how low voltage (LV) electricity networks can best cope with the future, low-carbon world. The aim of the project will help us and the other UK electricity network operators as we develop the smart grids of the future.
The Project resulted in the installation of over 800 substations monitors and 3600 voltage monitors together with associated communication and data handling infrastructure. The University of Bath undertook the statistical analysis of over 500,000,000 measurements, leading to a wide range of valuable findings that have been shared with industrial, academic and regulatory stakeholders throughout the project:
- Ten distinct LV Templates were successfully identified. These were then assessed for their suitability to incorporate various low carbon technologies
- Analysis of actual LV connected PV installations identified an additional 20%
- headroom on the existing network, for future connections.
- The project has also been able to deliver further benefits than was initially anticipated. These will be of benefit to the other DNOs and the wider industry as a whole:
- Further validation work was undertaken by analysing an additional +200 substations from other DNOs, which has demonstrated that the templates were applicable to substantially more than the 50% of GB networks originally anticipated.
- A ready-to-use classification tool which was developed to help replicate the project without the need to undertake the work that was carried out again.
- To identify the scale of benefits that could derive from UK adoption of the wider +/- 10% EU LV voltage tolerances.
- All findings and Project outcomes have been published and shared with key stakeholders at dissemination events.
- Those which necessitate national debate to take forward have been presented to DECC and key national forums.
- Finally, all of the work and findings delivered have been done so on time and within budget.
A full report of the findings from the project can be found here.
This builds on the work of the Welsh Assembly Government in encouraging the use of new green technologies such as photovoltaic (PV) solar cells, use of heat pumps and improving insulation in homes and businesses.
The project was approved by the energy regulator Ofgem and funded through customers’ electricity bills. The project began in December 2010 and finished in October 2013.
You can watch the official launch of the Network Templates Project here:
The electricity network was designed for large centralised, high-carbon power stations. To meet carbon targets, the UK needs more low-carbon generation such as from wind or solar sources. The UK is seeking to move away from the use of fossil fuels and there is growing interest in low-carbon alternatives such as solar cells on the roofs of buildings, electric vehicles and heat pumps. At the same time significant strides are being made to make homes more energy efficient through better insulation.
The electricity networks are therefore facing substantially increased demands on the one hand, with some reductions due to improved insulation on the other. These bring new stresses to the electricity networks compared to where we are now.
We need to collect more data about how this affects the LV network that supplies homes and businesses, so that we can plan ways of accommodating these changes at least cost to our customers and reduce the need to dig up our streets. This involves installing monitoring equipment at points along our network to monitor the affect on the power quality or voltage. This data will be used to produce model templates for use by WPD, National Grid and other electricity network companies for future planning to assess the impacts of green technology on their networks.
We want to check that the electricity supply voltage in South Wales meets the quality standards and measures set by the government. We also want to determine what we need to do to maintain this into the future as new types of products like electric vehicles, heat pumps and solar cells are connected.
The benefits to you are:
- we are pro-actively checking that your supply voltage is to standard now;
- that we understand what we need to do to keep it correct in the future;
- that we minimise the costs to customers and disruption of streets entailed in meeting the new demands imposed, as society moves to a so called low carbon future.
The project covered around 10% of the population of South Wales across the area shown below.
The LV Templates project can be split broadly into 2 areas; the installation of data collection equipment and the analysis of date to create the templates. A radio link from each remote site has been installed to transfer the captured data into WPD’s database, and from here it is to be sent to University of Bath, via FTP, for analysis. The project also required 3600 voltage monitors to be fitted at the feeder ends on each monitored substation. The data is collected by GPRS monitors and sent to WPD’s SMOS system.
There has also been a trial of a power line carrier system to capture the voltage data. This utilises a system designed by GE and GK called STIP and relies on a data concentrator at the relevant substation with a radio link. From May 2012, data from the substations, voltage monitors, and PV customers has been sent to University of Bath, and this, combined with fixed data on locations, generation and existing low carbon initiatives (supplied by the Welsh Assembly Government’s ARBED program), has resulted in the creation of 10 LV Templates.
We worked with NPower to involve customers who have microgeneration equipment installed at their property.
We are also grateful for the support of the Welsh Assembly Government in developing this project.