33kV Fault Current Limiter
National Grid Electricity System Operator
National Grid TO Innovation Team
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Innovation Funding Incentive
Gas Transmission Networks
Government targets for reducing carbon emissions mean the UK needs to
reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and adopt cleaner energy sources.
Generators using renewable energy are sited near their energy sources (on hills
for wind, by the sea for tidal and wave power, near landfill sites or digesters for
gas, etc). Combined heat from the process of generating electricity, need to be installed in locations where there
is a need for heat. These sites are rarely connected to the NG system
and in any case connecting to this voltage level would be unfeasible for
generators of moderate capacity (typically under 50MW) which are likely to be
connected in Sheffield.
Key learning to be delivered by the project is the understanding of the
circumstances under which the Superconducting Fault Current Limiter (SCFL) can
be used to mitigate fault level issues which are a barrier to Distributed Generation
(DG) connection and how the SFCL can then be designed into and operated.
Specifically the following learning outcomes would be expected:
- Identification of network and physical circumstances where use of the SFCL
could be used to mitigate fault level issues and address potential future DG
- Identification of design, construction, commissioning, protection, control and
operational issues associated with use of such equipment. If the trial proves
successful in mitigating faults this could also reduce the need for transmission
reinforcements across GB
- Assessment of actual carbon benefits/confirmation of initial carbon case
- Assessment of impact of equipment on policies, codes of practice, section level
procedures, financial authorisation processes (including the financial justification)
and identification of required revisions
- Dissemination will be through the production of a how to manual that details
the new knowledge outlined above.
- This project trials a specific piece of new equipment that has a direct impact on
the operation and management of the distribution system and potentially the
- Phase 1 aims to identify suitable locations for the SFCL installation and undertake a
feasibility and systems readiness study to analyse the network, outline the
optimum application and specification, and confirm the business and carbon
cases. This has been completed.
- Phase 2 intends to design, build, install and commission a three-phase 33kV SFCL on
the CE distribution network. It is proposed, subject to site surveys and
agreement with NG and other partner organisations, that the unit is
installed at a 275/33kV substation in South Yorkshire to limit the fault current to
within the rating of the 33kV switchgear. This is currently managed through an
operational management switching procedure which in some circumstances may
increase the risk of loss of supplies to customers.