Innovation at UK Power Networks

UK Power Networks is at the forefront of the low carbon energy revolution. Innovation has a crucial role to play in keeping our customers’ lights on. It is helping us prepare for a low carbon future while ensuring we continue to improve the service we give our customers today.

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We are enabling low carbon technologies like electric vehicles, we will never lose sight of the fact that our primary responsibility is to keep the lights on. We have highlighted a number of projects that are delivering benefits to our customers now, including reducing the time it takes to locate faults to keep more customers’ lights on and reducing the number and duration of power outages.

Efficient & Effective

Delivering high performance today through innovation and the benchmark for best practice

 


Objectives

  • Deliver good business value
  • Deliver measurable social environmental and safety benefits through our innovation projects

Future Ready

A future-ready distribution business providing new services which meet the needs of tomorrow’s customers


Objectives

  • Demonstrate expertise in identifying and delivering the right solutions
  • Be the benchmark for innovation and best practice

Low Carbon Ready

Consistently credited as an active facilitator of, and not an obstacle to, the low carbon transition


Objectives

  • Facilitate a low carbon system
  • Be recognised as a collaborative, thought leader in innovation

Our Innovation Projects

Overview

Innovating to make our network safer, more reliable or more cost-effective for our customers. Projects aim to deliver good value by maximising the smart savings we deliver for customers. Our work in this portfolio sets out to create measureable social environmental and safety benefits through our innovation projects – including customer interruptions (CI), customer minutes lost (CML), carbon emissions and safety performance.

  • Above and Beyond

    Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drones.

    Enabling drones to fly beyond the visual line of sight for asset inspection.

    View Project
  • APPEAL

    This is an innovative project carried out in consortium with other DNOs which includes SP Energy Networks, Northern Power Grid and UK Power Networks. Project is exploring alternative to Creosote which is the pre-treatement preservative used on overhead line poles. Creosote has recently been banned within UK to be used at industrial stage due to certain formulation restrictions. This project is exploring alternative to creosote.

    View Project
  • Development of Oil-filled Cable Additive

    This project aims to reduce or eliminate non-catastrophic cable leaks through the introduction of self-healing fluids (SHFs). These have no impact under normal operation, but at a leak the SHF will crosslink within the defect to form a solid mass that will stop the leak.

    View Project
  • Development of Oil-filled Cable Additive – Phase 2

    The aim of Phase 2 is to trial few circuits and confirm the satisfactory operation of the new SHFs in fluid filled cables representative of those in distribution networks and in FFC circuits. The project will also ensure SHF production and quality assurance at industrial production level.

    View Project
  • Engineered Pole Products

    The GB Electricity Distribution Operators rely on a tried and tested timber material to support distribution overhead lines, however, the sustainability of the forests these trees grow in, is shrinking. These trees rely on a slow growing environment and take around 120 years to grow to ensure they are of a suitable strength.

    View Project
  • High Voltage Feeder Monitoring to pre-empt Faults

    Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) experience faults on their electricity distribution networks, which result in Customer Interruptions (CIs) and Customer Minutes Lost (CMLs). Most CIs and CMLs are incurred on the high voltage (HV) network. DNOs implement a number of measures to reduce the amount of CIs and CMLs incurred, for example through switching via automation and or remote control, use of protection relays to identify faults and minimise impact.

    View Project
  • High Voltage Overhead Line Assessment

    The “HV OHL assessment” project aims to determine the typical deterioration rates of HV OHL conductors through testing a representative sample. The key objectives of these tests would be to determine the typical condition of conductors within specified age ranges.

     

    View Project
  • Link Alert

    Developing and trialling remote monitoring equipment into LV link boxes.

    View Project
  • Low Cost Fault Current Measurement of Wooden Poles

    The project aims to develop a low cost, robust device which can detect and record both intermittent faults in wooden poles.

     

    View Project
  • Mobile Field Control

    This project will trial the use of Mobile Field Control to improve customer service and operational efficiency.

    View Project
  • Network Vision

    A first-of its kind outage tracking and planning tool to maximise generation from distributed energy resources (DERs), which are often renewable energy.

    View Project
  • Overhead Line Fault Location Concept and Directional Earth Fault Passage Indication

    The scope of the project is to address time spent searching for overhead line faults; the duration of the outage; and the inability, currently, to detect developing faults. The scope of the project is 11kV overhead lines, which may or may not be fitted with existing visual Fault Passage Indicators (FPIs) and automatic sectionalising links (ASLs), but where fitted these devices do not report in via SCADA to our control room.

    View Project
  • RAFL2

    A novel method of locating overhead line faults, by triangulating the location of the fault using a set of receivers.

    View Project
  • Real Time Thermal Rating Cables (RTTR)

    Development of standardised DTS equipment specifications for monitoring our cables (increasing suppliers base).

    View Project
  • recorDER (formerly DER Asset Register)

    This is a joint NIA-funded project with UKPN, National Grid, SPEN and blockchain software developer – Electron – as partners. The aim is to design and build a blockchain-based register of transmission and distribution system energy resources (assets) that could become a standard to use by ESO, DNOs and other energy sector stakeholders.

    View Project
  • Shift

    The project seeks to test different smart charging market mechanisms and as such more than one trial is required to run in parallel. The scale of the project is also defined by the work required to develop new suitable customer proposition and innovative commercial arrangements. While all market stakeholders agree that a market-led approach to smart charging is favourable, they cannot pick a single market mechanism as the most appropriate one at this stage. As such, and since LV flexibility products and a market-led approach to smart charging providing flexibility to DNOs are at their infancy, a smaller scale will not be suitable to stimulate the market and gather enough evidence to inform future decisions.

    View Project
  • Storm Joint

    Trial of a new overhead line (OHL) repair process, which is performed fully from the ground. The new method involves using a specialist joint in combination with a pulley system to reconnect and lift the damaged conductors.

    View Project
  • SYNAPS Fault Detection, Classification & Location Solution

    Using AI and machine learning to reduce faults on the LV network, working with the Energy Innovation Centre and SSE.

    View Project
  • Transformer Care

    Traditional transformer monitoring equipment requires invasive probes to be submerged in the oil. New non-intrusive condition monitoring equipment which monitors the transformer`s voltage and current and uses a self-learning algorithm to predict future faults and identify losses.

    View Project
  • Unified Protection

    UK Power Networks will trial a new substation centralised protection and control system. We will verify & validate the use of this system for the protection and control of future substations. Instead of having local protection relays on each substation bay, a central system will be used within a substation. This system can be modified and upgraded via software and does not require new plant for the introduction of new functions or bays within limits.

    View Project

Overview

An active enabler of low carbon technologies like electric vehicles, renewable energy and energy storage. Projects are facilitating a low carbon system by improving network access through reducing time and cost to connect low carbon load, generation, and storage technologies.

  • Active Response

    Active Response will trial a revolutionary way of managing spare electricity network capacity that could save customers £271 million by 2030 and cut more than 448,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by 2030.

    View Project
  • Distributed Ledger Technology Enabled DSO (Blockchain)

    Delivering a ‘networks view’ on Blockchain and other Distributed Ledger technologies by conducting a desk study to produce a timeline of applications within the DNO/DSO world.

     

    View Project
  • Dual Fuel Transport

    This is a research project to explore the technical and commercial feasibility of converting between gas and electricity networks to optimise the utilisation of both networks through a Dual Fuel Transport Hub.

    View Project
  • Electric Vehicles

    Electricity networks are at the centre of the energy transition. Our EV strategy outlines how UK Power Networks is preparing for the electrification of transport.

    View Project
  • Optimise Prime

    Optimise Prime is the world’s biggest trial of commercial EVs. It seeks to understand and minimise the impact the electrification of commercial vehicles will have on distribution networks. It will develop technical and commercial solutions to save customer costs (estimated to £207m savings by 2030) and enable the faster transition to electric for commercial fleets and private hire vehicle operators. The project is also vital if the UK wants to meet its carbon reduction targets. The accelerated adoption of commercial EVs will save 2.7m tonnes of CO2, equivalent to London’s entire bus fleet running for four years or a full Boeing 747-400 travelling around the world 1,484 times. The flexibility provided by the project will also free up enough capacity on the electricity network to supply a million homes.

    View Project
  • Powerful CB: Power Electronic Fault Limiting Circuit Breaker

    UK Power Networks is developing and trialling a new fault limiting circuit breaker that is significantly smaller and more efficient than any similar device currently in use. The project aims to make it quicker and cheaper for distributed generation, especially Combined Heat & Power units, to connect to the network. This high-speed protection could allow hundreds of megawatts of low-carbon electricity sources to connect to the electricity network more safely and cheaply.

    View Project
  • TransPower Vehicle to Grid (V2G)

    TransPower will investigate network impact and flexibility services for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) from domestic, commercial and public charging through demonstrator trials and collaborative research and development.

    We are leading projects on:

    • Bus2Grid: Supporting a project to turn a 30-bus garage into the first of its kind in the UK V2G bus garage.
    • E4Future: A  trial on 1,000 V2G fleet vehicles
    • PowerLoop: Domestic customer V2G trial involving customers in specific areas.
    • V2Street: Public charging networks with a local authority and a charge point provider. Targeted at the 60-70% of Londoners without off-street charging capability.

    View Project

Overview

A future-ready distribution business providing new services, which meet the needs of tomorrow’s customers. As the way we produce and consume energy changes we are leading trials for the products and services that will enable us to fulfil the role of being the UK’s leading DSO.

  • Green City

    Green City is a joint project between gas and electricity networks to explore how we can work together to help improve efficiency and reduce costs to customers.

    View Project
  • Phase Switch System

    National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios show that irrespective the scenario, demand is going to increase by 25% between now and 2038; it is expected that most of the new demand will be connected to low voltage distribution networks. This in turn is likely to cause a larger phase imbalance than currently observed. Domestic load is normally connected to one phase.  Once one phase of a transformer or underground cable reaches its maximum rating then LV network reinforcement needs to be considered.

    View Project
  • Power Potential

    The Transmission and Distribution Interface 2.0 (TDI 2.0) project, now known as Power Potential, is a world-first trial to maximise network capacity to connect more renewable energy and storage technology in the South-East region. By working jointly together, UK Power Networks and National Grid aim to open up new markets for distributed energy resources and generate additional capacity by alleviating transmission and distribution constraints. The outcome will be more renewable energy connected to the network and savings for our customers.

    View Project
  • Underground Fault Predictive Model and Earthing Assessments

    UK Power Networks experiences faults on Low Voltage (LV) and High Voltage (HV; Note 6.6 or 11kV) underground cables each year, with over 80% of these faults attributed to “age and wear” or “unknown” causes.

    A review of soil characteristics in combination with rainfall is likely to provide additional detail to be able to develop an operational faults forecast model. The data on soil characteristics can also be used to develop a soil resistivity assessment tool, for secondary substation earthing studies.

    View Project
  • Urban Energy Club

    Urban Energy Club will test how virtual allocation of shared asset can support a more inclusive approach of procuring network flexibility from domestic customers living in blcoks of flats. Trial participants will be recruited amongst residents living in a tower block, with a 2x 6KW/13KWh scale battery energy storage system integrated with a photovoltaic generation system virtually allocated across the participants. Customers will have the choice to join opt-in to a commercial arrangement.

    View Project

Project Archive

  • Assessment and Testing of Alternative Cut-outs

    This project looked at alternative cut-out equipment used by network operators outside the UK and assess the suitability of these as a potential replacement for existing equipment.

    View Project
  • Better Spur Protection

    The successful demonstration that the Fuse Saver can operate in a superior fashion to ASLs, and provide greater information regarding normal and fault conditions on the spur.

    View Project
  • Black Cab Green

    Black Cab Green will deliver a robust forecast of the uptake and impact of plug-in taxis and private hire vehicles within the Greater London area, which will support ambitions for London to become one of the world’s leading low carbon cities.

    View Project
  • Composite Shell Joint Retrofit Trial

    This project aims to develop a safe, cost effective alternative to removal and replacement of defective LV joints, lowering the unit cost per repair. The project will innovate an existing jointing technique which involves encapsulation of joints in resin-filled plastic shells where traditionally this approach is only adopted on new joints, the project proposes to adapt this technique to repair existing, defective LV branch (T) joints.

    View Project
  • Detection of Broken/Low Hanging Overhead Line Conductors

    Investigation and trial use of techniques using existing protection technology and mechanical sensors to detect the presence of broken or low hanging overhead line conductors.

    View Project
  • Directional Earth Fault Passage Indicator Trial

    The project requires a satisfactory demonstration of the techniques proposed, followed by installation of trial units on the live network to monitor their operation under true fault conditions. The project will trial 100 units at various secondary substations on closed HV rings.

    View Project
  • Distribution Network Visibility

    Electronic devices (also called Remote Terminal Units) are used to reconfigure and collect data about the performance of our network, so we can intervene when necessary to keep supplies safe and reliable. This project is exploring better ways to collect and use the data we gather such as demand, capacity and faults on our electricity network.

    View Project
  • Domestic Energy Storage and Control (DESC)

    The project will involve collecting 12 months’ worth of data on how much energy is generated, stored and transferred to the grid by domestic customers who own solar photo-voltaic (PV) cells and energy storage units.

    View Project
  • Efficient Network Constraint Management through the use of Market Signals

    The project will develop a market design for the efficient management of constraints on the distribution network, allowing the participation of multiple technology types, and providing a signal to the network operator when it is economically sound to reinforce.

    View Project
  • Energywise (also known as Vulnerable Customers and Energy Efficiency)

    Energywise explored how network operators can work with energy suppliers and local trusted organisations to deliver appropriate services to communities of low income households who may be struggling with their energy bills. The project undertook a research study with hundreds of social tenants in Tower Hamlets, and carried out two trials: Trial 1 focused on how they can participate in energy saving opportunities, and Trial 2 investigating both energy saving and Demand Side Response.

    View Project
  • Flexible Plug and Play

    UK Power Networks has completed Flexible Plug and Play, its £9.7m, 3 year innovation project to trial new technologies and commercial arrangements in order to connect distributed generation (DG), such as wind or solar power, to constrained areas of the electricity distribution network. It has delivered greater flexibility in accommodating cheaper and faster DG connections, as well as enabling previously unviable DG schemes become feasible. The Flexible Plug and Play project will deliver significant benefits for the 15 customers (over 50MW of DG) who have contracted to connect using its methods.

    View Project
  • Flexible Urban Networks – Low Voltage

    Flexible Urban Networks – Low Voltage (FUN-LV) aims to demonstrate the potential of power electronics devices to help defer network reinforcement.

    View Project
  • Freight Electric Vehicles in Urban Europe (FREVUE)

    The overview of the project is to:

    • Collect data to facilitate the assessment of the impact of freight EV use on distribution networks.
    • Analyse the data to inform understanding of the opportunities and impact of freight EV charging.
    • Establish working groups to communicate lessons learnt in different areas.

    View Project
  • Global Earthing Systems (GES)

    The project will carry out measurement and modelling work to enhance our understanding of network behaviour, particularly for urban and village networks, under fault conditions. The project will examine how the presence of a global earthing system can be used more readily in secondary substation earthing design to ensure safety whilst reducing the amount of copper electrode.

    View Project
  • Improved Statistical Ratings for Distribution Overhead Lines

    The project will develop a software tool that will enable GB DNOs to further optimise regional or line specific OHL ratings. The project is led by Western Power Distribution and UK Power Networks is a contributing licensee.

    View Project
  • Kent Active System Management (KASM)

    Kent Active System Management (KASM) is demonstrating GB’s first use of real-time power system modelling and short term forecasting on electricity distribution networks.

    View Project
  • LoadShare

    Load Share is trialling an innovative power electronics technology to release additional capacity on the network by equalising the impedance between two substations to balance the power flow. If successful it will unlock additional capacity on the existing network without the need of re-conducting.

    View Project
  • Low Carbon London

    UK Power Networks has completed Low Carbon London, its £28m, 4 year innovation project to investigate the impact of a wide range of low carbon technologies on London’s electricity distribution network. Low Carbon London has delivered successfully in accordance with the requirements of Ofgem’s Low Carbon Networks Fund, facilitating the development of viable solutions for Distribution Network Operators to support the low carbon transition in the UK.

    View Project
  • Low Voltage Current Sensor Technology Evaluation

    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.

    View Project
  • Mobile Asset Assessment Vehicle (MAAV)

    This project will trial MAAV in central London area that contains over 2,000km of LV underground cables along with joints. The MAAV will assess all accessible road surfaces in the survey for the presence of contact voltage faults from buried cables and accessories.

    View Project
  • Optimising Overhead Line Conductor Inspection and Condition

    This project is to identify the technologies currently available on the global market for assessing the condition of overhead tower conductor, in particular Aluminium Conductor Steel Reinforced (ACSR). A shortlist of suppliers will be produced and these devices will be trialled on the network and where required modifications will be made to the devices to adapt them to the UK market.

    View Project
  • Overhead Line Assessment Using Panoramic Images (aka Google Streetview)

    UK Power Networks sought to carry out a proof of concept to use Google Street View images to carry out safety inspections on overhead line assets, as an alternative to foot patrols and helicopter patrols.

    View Project
  • Pole Current Indicator

    At the end of the Project, DNOs will have a product that when affixed to a pole will give historical and real time indicators of earth current leakage. DNOs will have a facility whereby they can communicate with the general public through a process of education, that should the indicator be illuminated, it is clear at the outset that the pole has been or is hazardous and should not be touched but reported for assessment by the DNO instead. This will inform DNO staff of the environment into which they are entering prior to undertaking work on the pole.

    View Project
  • Power Transformer Real Time Thermal Rating

    The Power Transformer Real Time Thermal Rating project set out to demonstrate that additional capacity can be made available from existing assets on the electricity network by safely running transformers at higher temperatures.

    View Project
  • Pressurised Cable Active Control and Monitoring

    This project will trial new devices to reduce leakage from pressurised cables, by operating the cables at lower pressure, to such an extent that their operational life can be extended. It is estimated this could give our customers a potential benefit of £8.58m by 2023.

    View Project
  • Recharge the Future

    Recharge the Future seeks to understand the impacts that a large scale EVs deployment will have by investigating EV charging behaviour, forecasting EV uptake and electricity demand at high geospatial resolution, and modelling the associated network reinforcement costs.

    View Project
  • Roadmender Reinstatement Trial

    The use of RoadMender and the propriety reinstatement material, will help in the reduction of road congestion, reduce pollution with fewer vehicle movements, whilst improving the quality of reinstatement and thus reducing the volume and cost of reinstatement failures.

     

    View Project
  • Short-term Discharge Energy Storage

    We installed a 200kWh Li-Ion battery at an electricity substation site in Hemsby, near Great Yarmouth, to understand the impact of small-scale electricity storage on a distribution network. The full name of the Hembsy project is ‘Demonstrating the benefits of short term discharge energy storage on a 11kV distribution network’.

    View Project
  • Small Bore Cable Replacement Technology

    The project aims to demonstrate alternative techniques to the traditional replacement approach for EHV cables employed by GB DNOs. The project will trial identified techniques at a number of sites where there are circuits of small bore cable.

    View Project
  • Smart Charging Architecture Roadmap (SmartCAR)

    Smart Charging Architecture Roadmap project (SmartCAR), was launched to investigate longer-term potential approaches for smart charging in which the market can take the lead in managing EV loads and provide in the longer-term an industry-wide solution required to facilitate smart charging.

     

    View Project
  • Smart Electric Urban Logistics (SEUL)

    Fleet operators are increasingly interested in transitioning to electric vehicles. This move to electric transport brings the requirement to manage the power supply to the locations where the electric vehicles operate. Smart Electric Urban Logistics provides an innovative set of solutions which will support this change and make a vital contribution to cutting emissions in Central London. It will also provide a scalable set of outputs which other logistics operators can implement to improve their vehicle fleets and the environment.

    View Project
  • Smart Urban Low Voltage Network

    As part of an Innovation Funding Incentive (IFI) project, we have developed a new solid-state switching technology for use on Low Voltage (LV) distribution networks. The project will carry out a large-scale trial of the technology in two areas within the London LV network. Up to 60 secondary substations will be equipped with circuit breakers and 140 link boxes with switches or demand monitoring devices. Its potential for helping network operators address the challenges faced with the transition to a low carbon economy will be investigated.

    View Project
  • Solid Cable Replacement Prioritisation

    This project will carry out analysis on all, 33kV, 66kV and 132kV solid cables within UK Power Networks’ DNOs and create a HI model for all solids cables operating at, 33kV, 66kV and 132kV.

    View Project
  • Trialing Long Lasting Tower Paints

    This is an innovative project carried out in consortium with other network operators which includes SP Energy Networks, Northern Power Grid, Scottish Power Energy Networks and UK Power Networks.

    View Project
  • Tunnel Data Capture Enhancement

    This project will be applicable to all tunnels containing electrical assets. These assets are expected to primarily be LV, HV and EHV cables and associated joints. The enhanced inspection method will be trialled on a proportion of tunnels within UK Power Networks area.

    View Project
  • Underground HV Cable Research

    This project investigates the methodology required to develop Underground Cable Health Index Tool to enable better decision making on whether to replace or maintain underground cables.

    View Project
  • Validation of PV Connection Assessment Tool

    Domestic solar panels and other small-scale renewable generation are usually connected to our low voltage electricity networks without needing our consent, and without causing any significant impact on our network. This project is looking at what will happen when these forms of renewable energy become more mainstream by equipping 20 secondary substations and 10 PV installations with LV network monitoring equipment.

    View Project
  • Vertical Transition Straight Joints Innovative Inspection (Cable Canary)

    The project will develop an innovative device called “Cable Canary” that will define the bandwidth at which HV cable joints fail. It wil use partial discharge technology to detect a potential failure within the HV joints and alarm before its failure.

    View Project
  • Wheelchair Ramp (TFL Streetworks Funded)

    A safer, stronger and more accessible kerb ramp for utilities to use during roadworks.

    View Project

All Live Projects

  • Above and Beyond

    Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drones.

    Enabling drones to fly beyond the visual line of sight for asset inspection.

    View Project
  • Active Response

    Active Response will trial a revolutionary way of managing spare electricity network capacity that could save customers £271 million by 2030 and cut more than 448,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by 2030.

    View Project
  • APPEAL

    This is an innovative project carried out in consortium with other DNOs which includes SP Energy Networks, Northern Power Grid and UK Power Networks. Project is exploring alternative to Creosote which is the pre-treatement preservative used on overhead line poles. Creosote has recently been banned within UK to be used at industrial stage due to certain formulation restrictions. This project is exploring alternative to creosote.

    View Project
  • Development of Oil-filled Cable Additive

    This project aims to reduce or eliminate non-catastrophic cable leaks through the introduction of self-healing fluids (SHFs). These have no impact under normal operation, but at a leak the SHF will crosslink within the defect to form a solid mass that will stop the leak.

    View Project
  • Development of Oil-filled Cable Additive – Phase 2

    The aim of Phase 2 is to trial few circuits and confirm the satisfactory operation of the new SHFs in fluid filled cables representative of those in distribution networks and in FFC circuits. The project will also ensure SHF production and quality assurance at industrial production level.

    View Project
  • Dual Fuel Transport

    This is a research project to explore the technical and commercial feasibility of converting between gas and electricity networks to optimise the utilisation of both networks through a Dual Fuel Transport Hub.

    View Project
  • Electric Vehicles

    Electricity networks are at the centre of the energy transition. Our EV strategy outlines how UK Power Networks is preparing for the electrification of transport.

    View Project
  • Engineered Pole Products

    The GB Electricity Distribution Operators rely on a tried and tested timber material to support distribution overhead lines, however, the sustainability of the forests these trees grow in, is shrinking. These trees rely on a slow growing environment and take around 120 years to grow to ensure they are of a suitable strength.

    View Project
  • Green City

    Green City is a joint project between gas and electricity networks to explore how we can work together to help improve efficiency and reduce costs to customers.

    View Project
  • High Voltage Feeder Monitoring to pre-empt Faults

    Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) experience faults on their electricity distribution networks, which result in Customer Interruptions (CIs) and Customer Minutes Lost (CMLs). Most CIs and CMLs are incurred on the high voltage (HV) network. DNOs implement a number of measures to reduce the amount of CIs and CMLs incurred, for example through switching via automation and or remote control, use of protection relays to identify faults and minimise impact.

    View Project
  • High Voltage Overhead Line Assessment

    The “HV OHL assessment” project aims to determine the typical deterioration rates of HV OHL conductors through testing a representative sample. The key objectives of these tests would be to determine the typical condition of conductors within specified age ranges.

     

    View Project
  • Link Alert

    Developing and trialling remote monitoring equipment into LV link boxes.

    View Project
  • Low Cost Fault Current Measurement of Wooden Poles

    The project aims to develop a low cost, robust device which can detect and record both intermittent faults in wooden poles.

     

    View Project
  • Mobile Field Control

    This project will trial the use of Mobile Field Control to improve customer service and operational efficiency.

    View Project
  • Network Vision

    A first-of its kind outage tracking and planning tool to maximise generation from distributed energy resources (DERs), which are often renewable energy.

    View Project
  • Optimise Prime

    Optimise Prime is the world’s biggest trial of commercial EVs. It seeks to understand and minimise the impact the electrification of commercial vehicles will have on distribution networks. It will develop technical and commercial solutions to save customer costs (estimated to £207m savings by 2030) and enable the faster transition to electric for commercial fleets and private hire vehicle operators. The project is also vital if the UK wants to meet its carbon reduction targets. The accelerated adoption of commercial EVs will save 2.7m tonnes of CO2, equivalent to London’s entire bus fleet running for four years or a full Boeing 747-400 travelling around the world 1,484 times. The flexibility provided by the project will also free up enough capacity on the electricity network to supply a million homes.

    View Project
  • Overhead Line Fault Location Concept and Directional Earth Fault Passage Indication

    The scope of the project is to address time spent searching for overhead line faults; the duration of the outage; and the inability, currently, to detect developing faults. The scope of the project is 11kV overhead lines, which may or may not be fitted with existing visual Fault Passage Indicators (FPIs) and automatic sectionalising links (ASLs), but where fitted these devices do not report in via SCADA to our control room.

    View Project
  • Phase Switch System

    National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios show that irrespective the scenario, demand is going to increase by 25% between now and 2038; it is expected that most of the new demand will be connected to low voltage distribution networks. This in turn is likely to cause a larger phase imbalance than currently observed. Domestic load is normally connected to one phase.  Once one phase of a transformer or underground cable reaches its maximum rating then LV network reinforcement needs to be considered.

    View Project
  • Power Potential

    The Transmission and Distribution Interface 2.0 (TDI 2.0) project, now known as Power Potential, is a world-first trial to maximise network capacity to connect more renewable energy and storage technology in the South-East region. By working jointly together, UK Power Networks and National Grid aim to open up new markets for distributed energy resources and generate additional capacity by alleviating transmission and distribution constraints. The outcome will be more renewable energy connected to the network and savings for our customers.

    View Project
  • Powerful CB: Power Electronic Fault Limiting Circuit Breaker

    UK Power Networks is developing and trialling a new fault limiting circuit breaker that is significantly smaller and more efficient than any similar device currently in use. The project aims to make it quicker and cheaper for distributed generation, especially Combined Heat & Power units, to connect to the network. This high-speed protection could allow hundreds of megawatts of low-carbon electricity sources to connect to the electricity network more safely and cheaply.

    View Project
  • RAFL2

    A novel method of locating overhead line faults, by triangulating the location of the fault using a set of receivers.

    View Project
  • Real Time Thermal Rating Cables (RTTR)

    Development of standardised DTS equipment specifications for monitoring our cables (increasing suppliers base).

    View Project
  • recorDER (formerly DER Asset Register)

    This is a joint NIA-funded project with UKPN, National Grid, SPEN and blockchain software developer – Electron – as partners. The aim is to design and build a blockchain-based register of transmission and distribution system energy resources (assets) that could become a standard to use by ESO, DNOs and other energy sector stakeholders.

    View Project
  • Shift

    The project seeks to test different smart charging market mechanisms and as such more than one trial is required to run in parallel. The scale of the project is also defined by the work required to develop new suitable customer proposition and innovative commercial arrangements. While all market stakeholders agree that a market-led approach to smart charging is favourable, they cannot pick a single market mechanism as the most appropriate one at this stage. As such, and since LV flexibility products and a market-led approach to smart charging providing flexibility to DNOs are at their infancy, a smaller scale will not be suitable to stimulate the market and gather enough evidence to inform future decisions.

    View Project
  • Storm Joint

    Trial of a new overhead line (OHL) repair process, which is performed fully from the ground. The new method involves using a specialist joint in combination with a pulley system to reconnect and lift the damaged conductors.

    View Project
  • SYNAPS Fault Detection, Classification & Location Solution

    Using AI and machine learning to reduce faults on the LV network, working with the Energy Innovation Centre and SSE.

    View Project
  • Transformer Care

    Traditional transformer monitoring equipment requires invasive probes to be submerged in the oil. New non-intrusive condition monitoring equipment which monitors the transformer`s voltage and current and uses a self-learning algorithm to predict future faults and identify losses.

    View Project
  • TransPower Vehicle to Grid (V2G)

    TransPower will investigate network impact and flexibility services for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) from domestic, commercial and public charging through demonstrator trials and collaborative research and development.

    We are leading projects on:

    • Bus2Grid: Supporting a project to turn a 30-bus garage into the first of its kind in the UK V2G bus garage.
    • E4Future: A  trial on 1,000 V2G fleet vehicles
    • PowerLoop: Domestic customer V2G trial involving customers in specific areas.
    • V2Street: Public charging networks with a local authority and a charge point provider. Targeted at the 60-70% of Londoners without off-street charging capability.

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  • Underground Fault Predictive Model and Earthing Assessments

    UK Power Networks experiences faults on Low Voltage (LV) and High Voltage (HV; Note 6.6 or 11kV) underground cables each year, with over 80% of these faults attributed to “age and wear” or “unknown” causes.

    A review of soil characteristics in combination with rainfall is likely to provide additional detail to be able to develop an operational faults forecast model. The data on soil characteristics can also be used to develop a soil resistivity assessment tool, for secondary substation earthing studies.

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  • Urban Energy Club

    Urban Energy Club will test how virtual allocation of shared asset can support a more inclusive approach of procuring network flexibility from domestic customers living in blcoks of flats. Trial participants will be recruited amongst residents living in a tower block, with a 2x 6KW/13KWh scale battery energy storage system integrated with a photovoltaic generation system virtually allocated across the participants. Customers will have the choice to join opt-in to a commercial arrangement.

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