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Efficient and Effective

Mobile Field Control

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

Project-on-a-Page summary

Project data

Start date: 01/03/2018
End date: 01/12/2020
Budget: £1,539,960

Peaks and troughs of workload especially in storm situations can pose challenges due to extensive numbers of
calls required between Field Engineers and Control Engineers.

Field Control is currently performed using paper documents and doesn’t allow Control Engineers to have visibility of the delegated network
in real-time. As a result, when the Field Control is handed back to the responsibility of the Control Engineer a confirmation of all
network switches, under the control of the Field Operator, is required, which can be time consuming.

Recently, mobile solutions including electronic devices/tablets have been introduced to a number of Field Engineers, however the
present mobile solutions, cannot use Field Control. Mobile Field Control will combine the use of Field Control and mobile solutions to provide a more efficient control of the distribution network.

The project will build on current capabilities in UK Power Networks’ mobile solution known as PowerOn Mobile. The following innovative
functionality not demonstrated or proven elsewhere will be part of the Mobile Field Control solution.

  1. Ability to delegate Control to Field Engineers and return delegation via electronic devices.
  2. Under Field Control the Control Engineer and Field Control Engineer can see the live running conditions in real time, where
    communications are available.
  3. Field Control Engineers to remotely tele-control operations on the Network using the electronic device.
  4. Safety documents can be issued and cancelled by the Field Control Engineer via the electronic devices.

To address the challenges raised by the increase in electric vehicles, Active Response will test and trial new designs of power electronic devices and network optimisation and automation software. It will be the first time these new devices, known as Soft Open Points and Soft Power Bridges, and software have been used on a distribution network.

The project aims to demonstrate new ways network operators can maximise the capacity of their existing assets. By using advanced automation and installing new power electronic devices we can connect networks together and move spare capacity around to where it is needed, reducing the need for time-consuming and sometimes costly reinforcement.

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