Low voltage current sensor technology evaluation

Start date: December 2011
End date: June 2013 (project closed)
Low Carbon Networks Fund: £500,000


We collaborated with Western Power Distribution to evaluate low voltage monitoring solutions in a laboratory and on live electricity networks. Sensors from seven manufacturers were fitted at 28 substations.

Monitoring of our low voltage network is currently limited. To maintain reliable power supplies in the future we need better monitoring to understand the impact as customers use more electricity and connect more renewable generation to our network.

As Britain’s distribution networks become ‘smarter’, the need to improve visibility of the low voltage network is increasing. This project has explored a number of innovative solutions.

  • Evaluate current sensors from seven manufacturers
  • Study low voltage monitoring techniques
  • Consider wider roll-outs to support a low carbon future and minimise customer disruption
  • Report on the results of individual tests and comparative assessments

  • Develop safe installation procedures
  • Comparison and benchmarking of various types of sensors
  • Use of laboratory tests and field test trials to select monitoring equipment

In summary, this project will cover the following: