LV Interconnected Pairs is a technical project that will help us restore power faster in urban areas.
Power cuts are rare, especially in urban areas where most of the electricity network is buried underground. For example, London has the UK’s most reliable electricity network, with customers experiencing a power cut just once every seven and a half years, on average.
When power cuts do happen we’re determined to restore supplies as quickly and safely as possible. Right now, we attend faults which happen on the low voltage part of our network first (which is connected to houses and businesses) before we attend to larger faults on the high voltage network. We do this because it allows us to restore supplies more quickly to as many customers as possible.
Interconnected pairs is trialling a new way to share technology between our substations so we can automatically restore power without having to send engineers in person to low voltage faults.
We’re trialling a method which allows our substations with automated software to share the technology with a substation which don’t have the software.
In this way, the automated substation can briefly ‘donate’ its technology to a ‘receiver’ substation which needs it if a fault occurs. This means the two substations become an ‘interconnected pair’.
By being able to share the technology for a short time, more of our substations will be automated. That means we can use the technology to automatically restore supplies if a fault occurs – meaning we can get more customers back on supply safely and quickly.
This is the first time we’ve trialled this method on our network. s. If successful, the technology could be rolled out to different parts of the our regions, and to other DNOs. Within our areas alone, we believe there are up to 1,000 suitable substations.
The project will help us understand how the method can be used and what benefits it can provide for our customers.
We will complete a detailed design, implement the design and then test and trial at a maximum of 30 sites across London.
This represents about 10% of the total number of sites we believe it could be useful for in the capital alone, but we’re narrowing down our focus for the trail to make sure it can provide benefits for our customers before rolling it out.