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Efficient and Effective

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.

Project-on-a-Page summary

Project data

Start date: 01/03/2011
End date: 31/03/2012
Budget: £2.89 million

The project will establish the best way of monitoring our distribution network. By improving our understanding of how much our network is being used, our engineers will be able to identify substations with spare capacity more easily. The project is also trialling optical sensors that could provide monitoring at underground and overhead sites without remote telemetry.

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.

Our research will cover Remote Terminal Units, low voltage monitoring, systems, communications and IT.

Improving our remote telemetry is key to a ‘smarter’ electricity network which responds to swiftly changing electricity demand and generation. Improvements to our IT architecture mean we can now collect and store more data to gain a better live picture of how our network is performing. The challenge in this project is enhancing those capabilities.

  • Maximise the capabilities of remote telemetry (Remote Terminal Units) at our substations
  • Demonstrate the benefits of smart collection, use and visualisation of data
  • Use software to improve our understanding of network performance
  • Evaluate alternative solutions for sites in the South East and East of England
  • Decide what data should be collected and how often
  • Provide further sources of data for the Low Carbon London project
  • Share our findings with relevant groups


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