Oct 2015
Electricity Distribution
FORESIGHT – LV pre-fault recognition and management
Oct 2015
Dec 2020
Northern Powergrid
Rebecca Kelly
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Network Innovation Allowance
ED - Network improvements and system operability
Asset Management, Condition Monitoring and Network Monitoring

This project is to improve our understanding of indicative pre-fault behaviour and the development of management options for LV cable networks.

NPg has a population of such networks based on Consac and Aluminium waveform cables. These are more prone to some particular fault types than other cables. This project will utilize these networks as the chance of seeing real, active pre-fault behaviour is likely to be higher than for some other cable types. This reduces the level of technology deployment required to capture faults and contributes to keeping project costs down.

We have concluded, through an analysis of the expected failure types, that the learning developed is relevant to all types of LV cable networks and their management.

Primary project objectives of the project include:

* Detection and location of developing faults, enabling remedial works to be carried out as part of a planned programme of work before faults develop into loss of supply events.

* Demonstration of the use of a network of low cost sensing devices and associated communications.

* Development of a strategy and protocol for detection and location of incipient faults on the LV cable network.

 * Generation of knowledge relating to the evolution of LV cable defects into supply interrupting faults using a method which minimises the impact on customers.

* Development and testing of novel techniques with the potential to deliver a significant decrease in DNO CMLs and CIs originating from LV cable faults.

* Demonstration that low cost sensing devices combined with LV Reclosing devices deliver significant performance improvements.

* Investigate the effect of network reconfiguration options to optimise load and losses on the efficacy of the pre-fault detection method.

* Identifyand dissemminate conclusions that relate to the LV cable network management that are applicable to all GB LV networks.


For this project to be considered a success, we intend to progress through the project objectives listed above and deliver each. We will consider progress, and the likelihood of success,at each project stage. Whilst completion of all objectives is the ultimate goal, success may also be achieved by halting the project at an intermediate milestone, if we believe the technology development is unlikely to deliver the anticipated benefits.

Dissemination of the all learning developed, regardless of the project endpoint, is a key element of success.