Mar 2013
Electricity Transmission
SmartZone Project
Mar 2013
National Grid Electricity System Operator
National Grid TO Innovation Team
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Innovation Funding Incentive
The Humber estuary is going to be a key import/interface region for offshore generation and as such will be a major beneficiary of developments in dynamic rating and congestion management. The ENSG report Our Electricity Transmission Network: a vision for 2020 provides greater detail on the network expansion.

There are a number of new technologies being considered which can be used to extract or utilise more capacity out of existing assets through better intelligence on the parameters which determine the thermal operating limits of assets.

Overhead line circuits are very dependent on weather conditions, so are obvious candidates for dynamic enhancement, especially since this will be coincident with the peak output for intermittent generation sources like wind.

Improved network data will enable a new breed of automatic control and protection schemes to be developed.

The SmartZone project will develop and pilot a range of intelligence based applications to enhance the boundary rating and network utilisation, this includes dynamic rating, new operational tripping and Wide Area Monitoring Control and Protection (WAMPAC) tools, with the intention to have these production ready for National Grid to deploy where constraints or connect and manage dictate. The trial will be a staged programme based in the Humber group to develop a fit for purpose communications and data management architecture capable of providing Smarter Transmission. The project will commence in 2011 and aims to have production tools by the end of 2014. The attached report expands on the work. In summary, the pilot will intend to:

  • Install a variety of sensors to collect system and asset data

  • Develop a number of applications which enhance asset performance of circuits and transmission boundaries or enable post fault capacity beyond current deterministic levels
  • Design the appropriate architecture and identify the upgrades necessary in the IS infrastructure to support these new tools

  • Understand the impact these applications will have on existing operation and procedures.

Stage 1 will look at the end to end issue around installing one application (2010- 11), while stage 2 will expand the range and scope of applications (2011-13) and stage 3 concentrates on the implementation programme into daily operation (2013-14).