The OpenLV project will trial a new open and flexible solution that will be installed in Low Voltage (LV) substations. This solution will provide enhanced monitoring of the LV network and enable the industry to develop applications or apps to provide benefits to: 1) Individual customers, 2) Community energy groups, 3) Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) and the 4) The wider industry.
This solution is analogous to a smartphone. In the case of a smartphone, the development and rapid acceleration seen in apps has been provided by a wide variety of organisations, covering a huge array of services.
The growth in smartphone apps shows the importance of: 1) Having an open operating system (OS) that can be deployed on multiple vendors’ hardware and 2) The ability to have a central system or store to deploy apps and make them available to new users.
Whilst the platforms are common, the apps used are highly tailored to suit the unique nature of a user’s own needs – no two phones are identical, as no users are identical.
This project, OpenLV, will trial a similar, open platform, but for a LV substation.
The OpenLV solution will be deployed in 80 LV substations. These devices will be used to show how the overall solution can:
“New technology is changing the way we generate, distribute and consume energy… The age of exclusive control by big energy companies is over; we need to maximise our ability of consumers to play an active role in managing their energy needs.”
(Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
BEIS & Ofgem, “A Smart, Flexible Energy System”
The OpenLV solution will provide consumers with network demand information for their local network and provide them with the ability to develop and deploy new apps to meet their local energy needs.
The Future Power Systems Architecture (FPSA), commissioned by DECC and published by the IET in July 2016, outlines four core evolutionary pathways for power sector evolution over the next 15-20 years. Two of these pathways are:
OpenLV will provide a technological solution that will enable the goals of the above pathways to be realised.
The OpenLV project is funded by Ofgem through the Network Innovation Competition (NIC). The OpenLV project is led by EA Technology, a trusted third party innovation technology deliverer, and will be delivered in partnership with Western Power Distribution. Key project suppliers include Nortech and Lucy Electric GridKey.
The OpenLV project will deliver the following benefits to: 1) End customers, 2) DNOs, 3) Third party developers and 4) Platform providers.
End customers include households, small/medium businesses, etc. The benefits envisaged are:
DNO benefits envisaged are:
Third party developer would include anyone (from sole trader to corporate entity, amateur to academic) capable of creating an app. The benefits envisaged are:
Platform provider(s) benefits envisaged are:
The security of the OpenLV solution is being taken very seriously and robust measures are in place to protect against any risks. These measures include independent, specialist evaluation of system architecture, documentation, source code and third-party application containers.
Prior to deployment as business-as-usual the LV-CAP™ platform will incorporate the necessary improvements identified as part of the independent evaluation.
The OpenLV project is also, as part of the cyber-security elements of the project, reviewing key existing cyber-security standards, recommending improvements, and is ultimately looking to provide guidance for the industry in the areas of best practice, procurement considerations and minimum acceptable standards.