Nortech Management Ltd is a specialist provider of monitoring technology products and services to utilities, generators and system integrators. As well as jointly developing the original LV-CAP solution and supplying its iHost platform to the project, Nortech has taken an active role in developing apps.
What is the challenge?
Maximum Demand Indicators (MDI) are very basic devices that measure the maximum current at a substation but do not provide any information on the timing, duration, or frequency of the peak demand. The reading taken is the highest load seen since the MDI was last reset. These readings are important to Distribution Network Operators (DNOs), allowing them to profile demand and identify overloads on the network, which could lead to further issues. Currently, MDI readings are collected infrequently via a manual process that requires an engineer to visit each substation. This method presents challenges with data accuracy, cost and the timeliness of information availability.
What is the proposed solution and how is OpenLV enabling it?
Nortech Management Ltd has developed the Smart MDI app, which automatically collects regular readings without engineer intervention. DNO planners can then access a wider range of MDI information, when they require it, without having to send an engineer to the substation. Frequent readings give greater visibility of demand across more meaningful timeframes, for example changes throughout a single day and differences between weekday and weekend demand. Taken together these improvements allow planners to more accurately assess voltage and load values thereby avoiding overloads and safely making better use of under under-utilised assets.
Real time data from the OpenLV project allows the Smart MDI app to access busbar voltages and feeder phase current values, average them over 10 and 30 mins and to then calculate a range of demand values. This information is transmitted to the iHost system where it is displayed.
The app was deployed at an OpenLV substation in April 2019 and will be rolled out to the remaining OpenLV project substations during summer 2019.