National Grid Electricity System Operator
National Grid TO Innovation Team
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Innovation Funding Incentive
In order for the electricity transmission grid to function correctly and provide security of supply, the amount of generation input and consumption off-take from the grid must be balanced at all times. As the generation-side of this equation moves to more volatile weather-dependant sources, additional mechanisms for achieving power balance will become more crucial.
Demand-side management is expected to play a major role in the energy balancing mix and it will become increasingly important to be able to control the timing and levels to which households draw power from the grid for applications such as space and water heating. By having access to facilities which can adjust demand, or minimise peaks, it is believed that critical maximum temperatures in expensive assets such as transformers can be controlled, thereby extending their lives.
Whilst large industrial loads have contributed to balancing services for many years and the theory of demand-side management and ‘smart-grid’ technologies have been developed, the complexities of controlling individual appliances within a domestic or SME environment has yet to be deployed into mature services. The emphasis is on controlling individual appliances in a way which does not affect their enjoyment by consumers, whilst successfully aggregating these power control functions into useful and measurable mechanisms for the grid operators.
Project “Roger” seeks to develop, install and verify that coordinated control of appliances in domestic and commercial premises can be detected and operated to provide the System Operator with a balancing product. More specifically, it is to evaluate whether Grid-Metrix technologies from Reactive Technologies Ltd are able to provide measurements of power consumption of distributed loads in a realistic distribution/transmission network setting. This will enable a more accurate assessment of loading on substation transformers.
The project will install 30 demand devices of 3 kW range rating at normal 240V single phase distribution levels within a single grid supply point area. The on/off state of these devices will be
controlled in a coordinated manner by a simulated services aggregator function, which will send programme signals to a controller box. During the trial period, the electricity demand
profile will be sampled from meters in substations and state-ofthe-art signal processing algorithms previously deployed in mobile telecommunications devices will be tested for their detection capabilities.
The project aims to prove that small loads in the kW range in a domestic and small and medium enterprise (SME) setting:
- Can be controlled by remote signal / or by timesynchronised
- Can be coordinated to act together in a manner useful to
- Produce signals which new cutting-edge technologies
in signal processing may detect at the meter-points in
transmission and distribution substations.