The final installations of LV-CAP™ devices into low voltage substations as part of the OpenLV project have been completed. This is a huge milestone which has been achieved as a result of the hard work of project partners Western Power Distribution (WPD) and EA Technology. 

Businesses and universities are continuing to make novel use of data from local substations. The project has deployed its first app developed by a third-party business, with more app deployments to follow over the summer. 

The OpenLV project has recruited 23 organisations, including businesses and academia, who were attracted to gaining access and visibility to local electricity network data. The project is promoting innovative thinking for the use of electricity data by making 10 of the 80 units installed available for wider industry learning. The selection of the substations for these 10 units was driven by the requirements of the participant organisations – for some organisations this was locational and for others it was based on network characteristics. According to Egnida Group Ltd, who are participating in the project, the breadth of network types, geographical topography and demographic diversity that the project data covers makes participating in the OpenLV project very attractive.

The businesses participating in the OpenLV project range from small start-ups to global corporations, who are either using real-time data for research and trials, historical data to conduct network analysis, or developing apps which can be remotely installed onto the LV-CAP™ devices. 

Engineers at Upside Energy are developing an app to be hosted on the substation in Crantock, Cornwall. The app will send a signal when particular network conditions are met on the local network. The signal will be used by Upside Energy to control intelligent hot water tanks installed in domestic properties attached to the LV network fed by the monitored substation. This trial is being run in conjunction with a large housing association in Cornwall.

Nortech Management Ltd has developed a Maximum Demand Indicator (MDI) app which monitors voltage and load values, and reports them to iHost. The app was deployed to an OpenLV substation in April 2019. Currently MDI readings are collected annually from substations via a process that requires an engineer to visit each substation. The MDI app could provide DNO planning engineers with accurate regular MDI readings without necessitating the substation to be visited. The app will be rolled out to the remaining project substations over the summer.

Energeo Ltd has developed a prototype Energy Project Identification platform. The platform identifies solar energy and ground source heat pump potential; building performance (eg heat loss); and assesses characteristics such as building age, materials type, tenure and occupancy. Energeo Ltd wants to integrate grid performance and data from the OpenLV project into its Energy Performance Identification platform, aiming to improve the process of identifying energy project opportunities.

Several of the universities taking part in OpenLV are in the process of submitting papers based on their analysis of data provided by the project. The University of Girona in Spain is using data from OpenLV to conduct research into fault detection and location in LV power distribution networks. The university was attracted to OpenLV because real-time data is more valuable than using synthetic data in research. The data will be used to characterise distinct system operations and detect events related to abnormal operating conditions.

If you would like to get involved in OpenLV, please get in touch –