The University of Strathclyde’s Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering has accessed funding through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to conduct research into distribution network loading characteristics utilising real-time data from the OpenLV project. The project will be conducted through the University’s Power Networks Demonstration Centre which presents the opportunity to research, test and demonstrate hardware, software and integrated systems solutions in a safe, controlled environment with access to real 11kV and LV distribution networks.
What is the challenge?
It can be difficult to fully understand network constraints with limited visibility of network data. Therefore, access to data from Western Power Distribution’s (WPD’s) LV network was attractive to the University of Strathclyde because the geographical and meteorological diversity of the network region would allow the university to undertake research demonstrating the feasibility of feeder dynamic phase balancing using flexible loads. The research will show the level of unbalance LV feeders can experience, provide forecasts for LV loads and embedded photovoltaics (PV) generation, understand the degree of flexibility that is required to avoid curtailing generation on a feeder and detailing how the network can be balanced to avoid localised or wider system problems.
What is the proposed solution and how is OpenLV enabling it?
The University of Strathclyde has conducted end-to-end analysis to assist in understanding network constraints, improving power quality, bettering phase balancing through redistributing load or exploiting storage to reduce the need for network upgrades. OpenLV has enabled this through providing the University of Strathclyde research team with one-minute frequency data from eight LV-Cap™ units representative of the diversity of WPD’s LV network.