Apr 2011
Electricity Distribution
Low Voltage Network Templates
Apr 2011
Jul 2013
Western Power Distribution
WPD Future Networks Team (01332 827446)
Click here to send a question to the contact.
LCN Fund Tier 2
Comms & IT
The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan highlights the importance of a transition to a low carbon economy. In order to meet emissions targets, over 40% of electricity must come from low carbon sources by 2020. The electricity network as it stands today is well suited to centralised, high-carbon generation, such as fossil fuel power stations. However, to meet carbon targets, low-carbon generation must be brought online, but this type of generation brings challenges to the network. Low-carbon energy, such as wind, solar and wave renewables, and energy conservation measures, such as external wall insulation, bring different and varying stresses and benefits to the network as compared to traditional generation. In addition, we have little information about how these stresses actually affect the network.

The part of the network that will be most affected by these necessary changes is the Low Voltage (LV) network that supplies homes and businesses. To complicate matters, the LV network is also the part of the network which there is the least information about, or knowledge of the ‘headroom’ available to accommodate a low carbon future. We do not accurately understand the impact of low-carbon initiatives on the LV network, and have little insight into the supply performance of the LV network against the European power quality standard EN50160. Therefore, there is not a clear picture of how best to design or manage the network to meet these challenges. Nor can NG be informed of how much LV microgeneration is running in GB. Having knowledge of this microgeneration would optimise the UK’s spinning reserve.

The project aims to give Western Power Distribution:

  • A view of the power flows and voltages of the LV network in South Wales, together with visibility of impacts arising from Welsh Assembly Government low-carbon initiatives covering some 3,000 homes, and including 1,000 PVs installations

  • A comparison of non-stressed and stressed network locations, and thereby measure the impact of these low-carbon stresses

  • Present National Grid with the ‘hidden’ generation available in the monitored areas, which will provide the ability to contribute to network efficiency and reduce the need for high-carbon spinning reserve generation

  • Store project data, Western Power Distribution's partners will create a number of reusable network templates, based on the ENA’s templates, composed of varying characteristics about the nature of the network. Ultimately, with the aid of these templates, DNOs across the country will understand, the characteristics of the network and its varying capabilities to absorb low-carbon stresses and changes in demand, and thus, eventually, streamline the connection of low-carbon generation

News Articles

"Project Completed: Conclusions and Closedown Report"
Updated 31 Oct 2013
The Project resulted in the installation of over 800 substations monitors and 3600 voltage monitors together with associated communication and data handling infrastructure. The University of Bath undertook the statistical analysis of over 500,000,000 measurements, leading to a wide range of valuable findings that have been shared with industrial, academic and regulatory stakeholders throughout the project.
"LV Network Templates Knowledge Sharing Event"
Updated 04 Jul 2013
A dissemination event was held on 14th May with a variety of attendees who represented a range of DNO and LV Template relevant industries.
Western Power Distribution Innovation Latest News
Updated 15 Jan 2013
The latest news on Western Power Distribution projects as awarded under the Low Carbon Network Fund.