Feb 2019
Electricity Distribution
HV Feeder monitoring to pre-empt faults
Feb 2019
Feb 2022
UK Power Networks, Eastern Power Networks, London Power Networks, Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution, South Eastern Power Networks, Southern Electric Power Distribution, SP Distribution and SP Manweb
Chino Atako, Georgios Simopoulos
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Network Innovation Allowance
ED - Network improvements and system operability
Fault Management and Network Monitoring
Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) experience faults on their electricity distribution networks, which result in Customer Interruptions (CIs) and Customer Minutes Lost (CMLs). Most CIs and CMLs are incurred on the high voltage (HV) network. DNOs implement a number of measures to reduce the amount of CIs and CMLs incurred, for example through switching via automation and or remote control, use of protection relays to identify faults and minimise impact.  However, these measures mostly only address scenarios where the fault has already materialised. Further improvements in network performance and reduction in operating costs could be achieved if DNOs are able to monitor key network characteristics, e.g. voltage and current in real-time, and carry out interventions (e.g. asset or component repairs) before a fault materialises.  Monitoring network characteristics in real-time presents some practical challenges and considerations. For example:

•              What are the typical network characteristics that are identifiable before different types of faults?
•              How would the location of the emerging fault be identified?
•              What are the operational processes and steps that would need to be followed to successfully pre-empt an emerging fault?

This project aims to test a solution, “Distribution Fault Anticipation” (DFA), to monitor feeders to pre-empt faults. The DFA solution consists of a disturbance recorder (which can be installed on HV or 33kV feeders to monitor network characteristics) and a “Master station” (a cloud-based service which provides the secure conduit and main data repository between the DFA and the DNO). This will be trialed alongside a network analysis tool (ASPEN Distriview) and Fault Passage Indicators (FPIs) to monitor a selection of HV and 33kV feeders and expectantly identify the location of network issues before they manifest into faults.
The objectives of the project are to:

•       Validate the process of sampling network characteristics (such as voltage and current), using DFA devices, in real-time to identify pre-fault disturbances;

•       Validate the process of analysing system performance, and sending notifications of pre-fault disturbances, in real-time;

•       Prove the analytical capability of the DFA devices to identify different types of pre-fault conditions in real-world environments;

•       Develop and validate a process to use outputs of multiple tools (DFA devices, FPIs, protection, modelling tools etc.) to identify the source and location of pre-fault disturbances;

•       Develop and validate an operational process for responding to DFA outputs and carrying out repairs to pre-empt faults.