Jan 2015
Electricity Distribution
Low Energy Automated Networks (LEAN)
Jan 2015
Mar 2019
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
Southern Electric Power Distribution proposes to demonstrate and deploy the Low Energy Automated Networks (LEAN) solution. This consists of two methods 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.

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 .

This type of trial has never been deployed in GB or overseas and poses an element of risk, which may deter DNOs from integrating LEAN into business as usual activities. However, the methods offer worthy benefits 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 are 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 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 seeks to demonstrate new methods that can be applied to existing assets to reduce losses in the shorter term. The principal method for the LEAN project involves the use of a Transformer Auto Stop Start system. SEPD will deploy a second method, Alternative Network Topology, where appropriate. LEAN builds on learning captured from SEPD’s previous LCNF Tier 1 and IFI projects, which are reviewed in Appendix 2.