Low voltage technology

Electricity distributed on our low voltage (LV) network is typically 400 volts and below and can be distributed through overhead lines and underground cables. We are trialling a variety of innovative technologies on the LV network to see where we can reduce faults and improve security of supply.

Find out more below about which projects are exploring Low voltage technology.

 

Power Electronics Devices (PEDs) have been used in other industries, such as the rail industry, for a number of years connected to three phase loads and generators but never connected directly to electricity distribution networks. PEDs have the potential to release and utilise spare network capacity (previously restricted by network boundaries) by connecting networks together by means of a 'soft open point' (SOP). The PED, connected across the SOP, monitors load, identifies network constraints and enables the flow of power to customers that previously could only have been supplied using expensive traditional network reinforcement.

 

The project is trialling three types of PED connected to 36 trial sites in London and Brighton, across radial and interconnected networks. The trials will explore the following;
  • Suitability of PEDs to release capacity and defer network reinforcement
  • PED control algorithms required for autonomous control
  • Connection of PEDs to network control systems
  • Modelling of PEDs in planning tools to demonstrate power flow
  • Cost Benefit Analysis of using PEDs against traditional network reinforcement methods.

 

By trialling PEDs across these types of network we can demonstrate the potential savings of adopting these devices 50 cities throughout the UK with population densities higher than that of Brighton.

 

Find out more about Flexible Urban Networks – Low Voltage


Electric vehicles will be a key feature of a low carbon future and London’s electric vehicle charge point network is the UK’s largest. Widespread electric vehicle use would drive demand for electricity well above normal demand growth. 

 

To ensure our electricity network is able to support the widespread charging of EVs and to reduce the cost and disruption of installing new EV infrastructure, we are exploring smart controls of EV charging points to make best use of existing network capacity, minimising the need for new substations and cables. 

 

Our electric vehicle trial is currently monitoring 77 residential, 66 commercial and more than 1,250 public charging points. Participants have an energy monitor attached to the charge point or power outlet that charges their electric vehicle. 

 

The monitoring devices send us live electricity consumption data every 10 minutes. The data we collect will help us to understand charging patterns, including time of day, duration, location and amount of electricity transferred.

 

Who's involved?

Our Low Carbon London partners, the Greater London Authority, TfL, Imperial College London and residential and fleet electric vehicle drivers across London.

Find out more about Low Carbon London >>