Oct 2011
Electricity Transmission
33kV Superconducting Fault Current Limiter
Oct 2011
Oct 2015
National Grid Electricity Transmission
Barry Reeves
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Network Innovation Allowance
The Government’s targets for reducing carbon emissions means the UK needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and adopt cleaner energy sources. Generators using renewable energy are sited near their energy sources (on hills for wind, by the sea for tidal and wave power, near landfill sites or digesters for gas, etc). Combined heat and power schemes, which recover waste heat from the process of generating electricity, need to be installed in locations where there is a need for heat. These sites are rarely connected to the National Grid system and in any case connecting to this voltage level would be unfeasible for generators of moderate capacity (typically under 50MW) which are likely to be connected in Sheffield.

The project is largely funded by the Low Carbon Network Fund, which has been made available by Ofgem.

Specifically the following learning outcomes would be expected for this project;

• Identification of network and physical circumstances where use of the SFCL could be used to mitigate fault level issues and address potential future DG connection issues.

• Identification of design, construction, commissioning, protection, control and operational issues associated with use of such equipment.

• Assessment of actual carbon benefits/confirmation of initial carbon case.

• Assessment of impact of equipment on policies, codes of practice, section level procedures, financial authorisation processes (including the financial justification) and identification of required revisions.

• Dissemination will be through the production of a "how to" manual that details the new knowledge outlined above.

Demonstration Objectives:

This project trials a specific piece of new equipment that has a direct impact on the operation and management of the distribution system and potentially the transmission system.

Phase 1: to identify suitable locations for the SFCL installation and undertake a feasibility and systems readiness study to analyse the network, outline the optimum application and specification, and confirm the business and carbon cases. This has been completed.

Phase 2: is to design, build, install and commission a three-phase 33kV SFCL on the CE distribution network. It is proposed, subject to site surveys and agreement with National Grid and other partner organisations, that the unit is installed at a 275/33kV substation in South Yorkshire to limit the fault current to within the rating of the 33kV switchgear. This is currently managed through an operational management switching procedure which in some circumstances may increase the risk of loss of supplies to customers. 

The success criterion for this project is highly likely and the supplier is confident of a successful outcome.