Electric Vehicles


Project Data

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Envision is developing a software based machine learning tool that will generate greater Low Voltage (LV) network insights faster and cheaper compared to traditional methods of physical monitoring. The project is a key step to widening the flexibility market and building a smart grid that enables cleaner, greener energy resources to connect quicker and at lower cost.

What is the project about?

Detailed ‘visibility’ of our network is critical as we plan ahead to facilitate a low carbon, Net Zero future. In simple terms, ‘visibility’ means collecting data about what’s happening on our network at any given time. The data can include anything from how power is flowing through the network to where demand for electricity is high and at what times of the day.

We are exploring ways in which our own data can be used to model demand and enhance the visibility of our Low Voltage (LV) network. Using external data to enhance what we already know will allow us to build an even more detailed picture of what is happening on our network now and improve our service for customers.

As more renewable energy sources connect to the network and more people switch to electric vehicles and heating, having exact data means we can plan targeted investment in infrastructure across our network at the right time and in the right places.

Envision is split into two work packages (WP):

  • WP1 – developing and trialling a software-based, machine learning tool to enhance visibility and unlock fresh insights into demand on our network so we can continue to facilitate Net Zero. Using the tool will significantly lower costs and produce results sooner.
  • WP2 – exploring what third-party data is available by speaking to those who hold the data. This could include data from distributed energy resources (DER), those who install electric vehicle charging points, local heat networks and community energy schemes. The information collected will help us understand if and how new datasets could improve network visibility.

If you own electricity data related to distributed generation and storage, electric vehicles and heating, please get in touch. We would be delighted to discuss how we could work together. Please email: innovation@ukpowernetworks.co.uk

How we’re doing it

Envision will take place in three concurrent stages:

  1. Develop and deploy the machine learning software tool and link it to data sources with data pipelines in order to model the network. Once the tool is built, it will enable us to use the data to make better network reinforcement decisions.
  2. Understand what third-party data could be used to unlock greater insights and improve our service. Examples of third-party data might include asset and load profiles, inverter specifications, and ramp rate from distributed energy resources.
  3. Assess how the tool and data could be used in conjunction with the other hardware already deployed on our network to provide further data insights.

What makes it innovative

Envision is developing a first-of-its-kind machine learning-based software tool that provides a predictive model of the low voltage network to discover greater insights than ever before. Thus proving that artificial intelligence can be of significant value when applied to network-specific use cases.

What we’re learning

Envision will create new insights into our Low Voltage (LV) network by establishing software tools that we can use for forecasting. Forecasting allows us to plan ahead and invest strategically to facilitate the Net Zero carbon emissions revolution. The project will also help us understand how the software can be put to best use, how it integrates with our other devices, what additional data streams we can add to it and how it can deliver value to our stakeholders.

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