Jul 2011
Electricity Distribution
Early Learning of Low Voltage Network Impacts from Estate PV Cluster
Jul 2011
Feb 2013
Western Power Distribution
WPD Future Networks Team (01332 827446)
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LCN Fund Tier 1
Low Carbon Generation
A new low carbon housing development of some 20 houses has been developed by Melin Homes in Crickhowell, South Wales. The estate features high efficiency houses each equipped with PV. Traditional network studies indicate that voltage limits would be exceeded without an overlay of existing 95sq mm Low Voltage (LV) cable.

The scheme provides a low cost opportunity for early learning of PV voltage impacts and validity of existing design assumptions. Installation of two different size LV cables in parallel to the existing cable, with linking facilities at each end, provides a real life, on load, capability to change the impedance of the feeding LV cable and measure resulting changes in voltage performance.

The project seeks to test the accuracy of present modelling through real life voltage and load measurements on one feeder of an LV system The objectives are to seek early data on behaviour of multiple densely populated PV units on a single estate and to test the validity of the traditional network modelling that indicated that no more than 12 units could be accommodated. Such data will benefit modelling with a additional impact on reductions in reinforcement cost for future LV PV connections.