Apr 2011
Electricity Distribution
Low Voltage Network Solutions
Apr 2011
Mar 2014
Electricity North West Limited
Electricity North West Innovation Team
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LCN Fund Tier 1
LV & 11kV Networks
The decarbonisation of transport, heating and electricity generation suggest changes in the network requirements of Low Voltage (LV) connected customers. These will introduce significant challenges for the networks from higher and more variable loading.

The generic problems associated with changes in demand and generation on the future LV network are well known. What is not clear is when the problems arise, and how DNOs will address these problems in an economic and sustainable way. The potential solutions are expected to comprise new technologies and operating techniques.

In order to begin to understand what these changes will mean to networks, network operators will need to measure the existing demand and voltage characteristics of networks at an increasingly granular level, and to develop models which enable them to forecast the effects of future scenarios for the penetration of customers low-carbon technologies. At present, analogue data such as voltage and current is not routinely captured beyond the primary substation level. However, it is expected that as demands increase, it will be the low voltage networks that will experience both thermal and voltage problems ahead of the higher voltage networks. Given this, it is paramount that network operators quickly begin to fill the gaps in their understanding of the characteristics of low voltage networks and assets.

This project will deploy a range of distributed measurement, sensing and analogue recording instrumentation, which will provide Electricity North West Ltd with greater understanding of the existing operating characteristics and demands of its LV networks and the tools to manage these issues.

Electricity North West Ltd will identify a statistically meaningful sample of representative LV network feeders from its total population of over 120,000 feeders, and use these to map the characteristics of the total population. Electricity North West Ltd will use the data to develop planning and modelling tools and techniques, which will be essential to allow DNOs to manage these complex networks more appropriately in the future. The Project will allow Electricity North West Ltd to use and validate the results of WPDs Tier 2 LCNF Low Voltage Template project, for application on Electricity North West Ltd's network.