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Real Time Fault Level Monitoring Phase 2 (RTFLM2)

Real Time Fault Level Monitoring Stage 2 (RTFLM2) will trial a new device capable of measuring fault levels in the network actively. It is a potentially world-first collaborative project with SP Energy Networks (SPEN) and could save energy customers as much as £9m.

Find out more from project partners SP Energy Networks

Project-on-a-Page summary

Project data

Start date: 01/03/2020
End date: 31/05/2023
Budget: £1,980,000 across both DNOs

All electricity networks have a certain ceiling, or ‘fault level’, to how much power can safely and efficiently flow through their hardware. As the energy system decentralises and more renewable generation is added to help support the government’s Net Zero carbon emissions 2050 target, more and more power is being added to the existing network.

To create more capacity to allow more renewable generation, we sometimes need to invest strategically to add new equipment or re-arrange our hardware. However, this can be expensive, time-consuming and challenging work.

RTFLM2 is a collaborative project with another network operator, SP Energy Networks, to trial an innovative way to actively monitor fault levels and maximise efficiency to allow more generation to connect. This project is a first-of-its-kind solution in GB.

The RTFLM Stage 1 project demonstrated a proof-of-concept prototype device that, installed in a specific area, could measure fault levels on the network in real time. This gives our engineers more information about fault levels, meaning we can make more strategic decisions and allow more generation to connect to the network. The first trial proved successful, allowing us to view tiny changes in network fault levels within a number of seconds. Two prototype devices were built with measurements taken at different points in SP Energy Networks’ SP Manweb network in the North West of England, which in technical terms is a similar network to ours.

RTFLM Stage 2 will extend those trials across multiple networks and network locations. Trials will be extended to include several different technical scenarios. SPEN also intend to undertake a combined trial with a separately NIA-funded project looking at Active Network Management based on Fault Level.

This is a first of its kind technology demonstration in the UK. We believe it could be a world first as well. The project is the first one to demonstrate a new type active fault level measurement device installed on the network. Generally speaking, this trial will help us produce faster and more accurate results than ever before.

The trial should prove the new device has the capabilities to:

  • Measure fault levels on a wide basis on interconnected networks, to improve knowledge of fault-level-restricted areas against the existing approaches based on modelling
  • Measure changing fault levels in real time, changing how we manage the network and allowing us to release currently restricted capacity to facilitate new connections.

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