System Operations, Comms & IT

System Operations, comms and IT play an integral role in how we manage our network. In general terms, this involves operational communication and information systems which can be used to transmit data and commands across our network. This can either be remotely via an IT platform, or on-site.

Find out more below about which projects are exploring system operations, comms & IT.

In the past, limited monitoring data from remote telemetry has been collected and stored. This project is to allow additional data to be collected from these remote devices. The distribution network visibility application will provide easy access to network analysis and visualisation functions to improve how we manage our distribution network and new connections.

Find out what else the Distribution network visibility Project is exploring >>

Active Network Management
Our new Active Network Management system will actively manage the network in the trial area, in real-time, by continuously monitoring the export of all new generation projects. It will be used to maximise the export of generation in the network and facilitate the faster and cheaper connections.
Telecommunications Platform

In March 2013 we installed an internet-like, high-speed telecommunications platform to enable novel control and monitoring smart technologies. This platform, formed of a high-speed communications and radio frequency mesh network (similar to Wi-Fi), will enable the integration of Flexible Plug and Play smart technologies and systems. One of the key features of the platform is that it supports the international substation communications standard IEC 61850. To understand more how we designed and installed the new telecoms platform, visit our project page to watch presentations from the learning event in June 2013 and read the learning report.
Find out more about Flexible Plug and Play >>
Systems Integration

The overall technical solution (Active Network Management and Smart Devices, Communications platform) is based on an innovative architecture utilising the substation communications protocol IEC 61850.

Find out more by reading our report on demonstration of the key FPP characteristics

Strategic Investment Model

We are developing a Strategic Investment Model to identify the most cost-effective way to connect new distributed generation, including renewable generation, to the electricity distribution network. It will inform planning and strategic decisions to benefit those parties wishing to connect renewable generation to the distribution network and will link with our existing modelling tools. Imperial College London, our project partner, will play an important role in the development of the Strategic Investment Model.
Find out more about Flexible Plug and Play >>


The ability to demonstrate the integration of Power Electronics Devices (PEDs) into the existing distribution network operator (DNO) IT infrastructure is an important aspect of the FUN-LV trials. The project will be trialling robust communication systems that demonstrate the ability to control send and receive data via a full connectivity LV world within PowerOn Fusion – the network management system used by the majority of DNOs across the UK. PED data will be stored with existing network data in a time series database to allow the impact of the PED to be determined and assist in the realisation of the business case.


Find out more about Flexible Urban Networks – Low Voltage


The latest smart grid technologies need to be supported by sophisticated systems and IT. The Low Carbon London programme uses a range of systems, communication tools and IT for collecting and monitoring data from our trials and to extrapolate the data.

Three key technology areas – Engineering Instrumentation Zones (EIZs)

Three areas with differing network topology, Brixton, Wandle Valley and Queens Park, will receive intensive measurement to enable the programme to capture the impact of low carbon technologies on the network in as much detail as possible.

Operational Data Store (ODS)

The ODS is a central data store where all of the trial data is held. The database was developed by our programme partner, Siemens, and is a secure system that processes tens of millions of files a second.

Learning Lab

We established a Learning Lab within our partner, Imperial College London’s, electrical engineering department to help disseminate the project’s findings. The Lab is linked to the ODS and will enable the university to carry out detailed analysis, modelling, visualisation and simulations.


Participant Management System (PMS)

The PMS is a secure database where information from our trial participants is held, such as survey results and energy consumption behaviour. This will enable our partner, Imperial College London, to extrapolate findings from our London trials that can be applied nationally, or even globally.

Find out more about Low Carbon London >>

All Distribution Network Operators increasingly need to actively manage electricity networks and work with new industry participants to influence demand and generation. This project will trial and establish a Smart Optimisation and Control System. This will be the interface between the energy storage device control system, the electricity distribution network operator and the other electricity system participants that will benefit from the use of flexibility.

The core functional elements of the system will include:
  • Prediction and Capacity Engine which will estimate whether the storage capacity is likely to be required by the electricity distribution network operator based on historical demand profile and forecasts of demand-drivers, such as temperature and season.
  • Optimisation Algorithm which will make an assessment of the optimal service that the storage should be used for in order to maximise against a desired outcome, such as battery lifespan.