Nov 2019
Electricity Distribution
A Transition to LVDC - Phase 2
Nov 2019
May 2021
SP Energy Networks
Michael Eves
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Network Innovation Allowance
ED - Transition to low carbon future and ED - New technologies and commercial evolution
LV & 11kV Networks
Building upon the learning in ‘A transition to LVDC’, LVDC Phase 2 will conduct laboratory tests on the LV cables & network apparatus most prevalent on SPENs network to gain an understanding of how SPENs LVAC cables & network apparatus behave and perform when energised with LVDC. The outcome of the tests will then inform which areas of the network would be suitable for conversion to LVDC through case-based cost benefit analysis, as well as building a case for new LV schemes to be LVDC by design from their initiation.
  • To compile a testing specification which covers the predominant AC assets within the LV network;
  • Conduct a tender exercise for a testing facility to complete the testing specification created;
  • To complete the testing specification and compile a report on the findings from the laboratory testing;
  • To create a series of case studies and a cost-benefit analysis which will conclude where converting existing assets to LVDC would be techniclly and economically viable.
LVDC Conversion as opposed to traditional LVAC reinforcement can provide potential project cost savings of up to approx. 50% per case study. Of the SPEN circuits which are forecast to be reinforced by the end of ED2, if we assume 5% are successfully converted to operate on LVDC then the potential savings of approx. £11.25 can be realised over the next decade.

Network loss reduction as a result of negating the AC to DC conversion at LCTs such as PVs, Battery Storage and EV chargers has the potential to save SPEN customers £2.75m per annum upon roll out.

Longer rural feeders can be facilitated through a LVDC network meaning in a rural radial setting, secondary substation builds can be avoided which offers saving of approx. £50k per case.

Learning and outcomes from LVDC can enhance and enable the flagship NIC project LV ENGINE.

The Converters used to rectify the network area to DC is integrated with advanced measurement techniques and ICT giving visibility of the LV network like never before. Increase controllability and stability in line with SPENs DSO vision.