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LoadShare

LoadShare is a first-of-its kind in Great Britain project trialling an innovative power electronics technology to release additional capacity on the network. It has already saved our customers more than £8 million in just one year – and has directly enabled enough renewable power to run an additional 45,000 homes.

Project-on-a-Page summary

Project data

Start date: 01/09/2017
End date: 01/05/2019
Budget: £2,418,081

LoadShare solved a critical pinch point on a power line near the Essex/Suffolk border, by allowing more electricity generated from renewable sources to feed into the system – without spending time and money building new electrical cabling and substations. The devices were installed on steel overhead pylon lines near Lawford running between large electrical substations.

As one of the three lines is shorter than the other two, it attracted more ‘load’ while the other two lines have ample spare capacity. Now UK Power Networks can balance the power flowing across the three, with the use of power technology devices attached to the overhead lines and installed in the electricity substations.

 

 

The two devices developed by Smart Wire (Power Guardian and Power line Guardian) are newly developed innovative solutions that consists of modules that can be wrapped around an existing conductor and enables the dynamic switching of small individual series blocks of impedance to control the flow of power through a particular circuit in real time. Power Guardian is ground mounted on post insulators and are ~450milli ohms per unit, whereas Power Line Guardian can be affixed to the overhead line conductor.

Curtailment studies show 1.8 ohms is required on PJ route to balance the circuit total impedance and MVA flows, which will solve our challenge of overloading and will also release extra capacity to open the circuit for more generation on the network. A number of different options were considered to add 1.8 ohms required on the PJ route but the quickest and cheapest solution identified is the installation of Smart Wire devices in combination.

It’s a truly innovative trial for the UK energy industry, as UK Power Networks became the first network operator to deploy Smart Wires technology in the UK. The project was developed in conjunction with Smart Wires by UK Power Networks’ engineers. The team created an advanced, in-house algorithm to make complex decisions depending on the conditions to optimise the system.

The devices consist of modules that can be wrapped around an existing conductors and enables engineers to control the flow of power through a particular circuit in real time.

UK Power Networks now plans to deploy this newly-developed innovative technology in other areas of the network to accommodate even more renewable energy generation at a reduced cost to consumers.

This project has demonstrated the possibility of releasing network capacity and installing extra embedded generation. The solution offers a reasonably fast minimum cost solution and the trial of an active network and enables a safe phased approach, involving initial installation and trials, before installing extra generation.

UK Power Networks now plans to deploy this newly-developed innovative technology in other areas of the network to accommodate even more renewable energy generation at a reduced cost to consumers.


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