Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks
SSEN Future Networks Team
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LCN Fund Tier 2
ED - Transition to low carbon future
Network Automation, Substations and Transformers
The Low Energy Automated Networks (LEAN) project aims to deploy technology to reduce electrical losses on the 33kV/11kV networks. Approximately 6% of electricity generated is lost each year in the GB distribution network, incurring costs in the region of £1bn to customers. Most of these losses occur within transformer and lower voltage circuit operation.
Southern Electric Power Distribution (SEPD) will appraise two methods to reduce losses. The Transformer Auto Stop Start (TASS) method relates to switching off one in a pair of transformers in selected primary substations to reduce fixed losses. The Alternative Network Topology (ANT) method may be deployed alongside TASS where appropriate, to further reduce losses and maintain network supply integrity. These methods could save over 31,000MWh of electricity over 45 years, worth over £40m to GB customers. This equates to savings of 6,421 tonnes of CO2.
The type of trial proposed has never been deployed within GB or overseas and poses an element of risk, which may deter DNOs from integrating such technology directly into business as usual activities. However, the methods offer worthy benefits from the reduction of losses if the solution is proven. For this reason, the LEAN project is ideally suited to the aims of the Low Carbon Network Fund.
Knowledge capture and dissemination will be key to the successful integration of the LEAN solution into GB DNOs’ business as usual activities. The project therefore incorporates extensive knowledge capture and includes the production of a Network Losses Evaluation Tool to assess the costs and benefits of the methods considered.
Southern Electric Power Distribution’s Low Energy Automated Networks (LEAN) project seeks to develop, deploy and demonstrate innovative methods of reducing electrical losses within the 33kV/11kV distribution network. GB losses currently cost around £1 billion per year and account for 1.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the UK. Forecasts show that the transition to a low carbon economy will lead to significant increases in electricity demand and a corresponding rise in losses. Traditionally, DNOs have tried to reduce losses through long-term asset management, replacing end of life transformers with lower loss models.
LEAN aims to demonstrate new methods that can be applied to existing assets to reduce losses. The principal method for the LEAN project involves the use of a Transformer Auto Stop Start (TASS) system. SEPD will deploy a second method, Alternative Network Topology (ANT), where found to be appropriate. LEAN builds on learning captured from previous SEPD LCNF Tier 1 and IFI projects.