Smarter Network Design Methodologies

The brief

Smart metering can provide a much better understanding of the impact of changing customer behaviour and new low carbon technologies such as EVs, particularly at LV network level. Northern Powergrid secured Network Innovation Allowance funding, and contracted TNEI to collaboratively develop smarter design methodologies to incorporate smart meter data and overcome some of the uncertainties in LV and HV network planning and design.

The process

TNEI worked with Northern PowerGrid to conceptualise, develop and implement novel modelling techniques and algorithms that utilise smart meter data to statistically categorise customer demand. Our power system experts modelled representative networks and characterised the network response to demand parametrically, and then combined it with the statistically analysed smart meter data to produce a risk-based model of thermal and voltage capacity on the LV networks. The modelling techniques were articulated as a set of user requirements to inform a functional specification for new power system software. TNEI also developed a Multi-Voltage Level methodology to enable a more holistic assessment of the impact of a wide range of network loads/states on power flow and voltages, leading to improved recommendations on voltage control and management.

Benefits delivered

• Solutions for smart metering challenges which will significantly improve the design and planning assumptions especially at LV

• Methodologies which allow the modelling of more innovative solutions due to the improved knowledge and visibility of the holistic operation of the combined networks

• Improved forecasting of network reinforcement investment requirements due to use of smart metering data.