The OpenLV solution (LV-CAP™)


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The OpenLV project is trialling a new software platform that can act as in interface between a Distribution Network Operator’s (DNO) substation assets and its customers. LV CapTM(Low Voltage Common Application Platform) was developed as part of an Innovation UK project by a collaboration between EA Technology, Nortech and the University of Manchester. The initial project sought to develop a low cost, robust monitoring and management system that could be deployed across the Low Voltage distribution network. The OpenLV project is building on this project, taking the platform into a real-world trial.

Uniquely, the LV CapTMplatform provides a substation monitoring and operating system that has been designed to be hardware agnostic and, in a method analogous to a smartphone, to be able to host multiple apps. These apps could perform many different functions that could benefit the DNO directly or a wide range of other organisations that might include communities, Parish Councils, housing associations, Universities or businesses.

The LV CapTMplatform allows hosted apps to share monitored data and each other’s outputs. The platform was designed so that calculations and decisions can be made locally, speeding up reaction times and reducing the amount of data that needs to be sent to central aggregation servers. It provides a secure environment for the maintenance and management of apps, while continuing to ensure the security of the electricity network.

Apps can be deployed and updated on to the LV CapTMplatform remotely, potentially reducing the number of times that DNO personnel need to visit substations. The system has been designed so that apps can be designed by any interested party and supporting documentation has been made available to assist potential app designers. The selection of apps on the platform will be unique in the same way that the apps on different smartphones reflect the preferences, interests and lifestyle of its owner. The apps on a platform may reflect the interests and aspirations of the community that a substation serves, the loads fed by it, the generation attached to it or the requirements of the DNO that maintains it.