Enhanced Management and Performance for a Sustainable UK Energy Infrastructure

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: Electronics and Computer Science

Abstract

Electricity transmission and distribution companies in the UK face serious challenges in continuing to provide high reliability from ageing networks. This is made more difficult by increasing economic and environmental pressures. The problems will become worse as the operating conditions of the networks are changed, to allow for the production of more electricity from renewable sources.To meet this challenge, network owners and operators need better knowledge of plant ageing and improved techniques to monitor its condition.As power is generated in different locations, so the pattern of current flow through the network changes. This alters the temperature of plant items (like transformers, overhead lines and underground cables), which make up the network. Other changes in operating conditions, such as when switches are operated, will affect the stresses seen by plant. We will investigate the effect of the new operating demands on individual items of plant in order to predict their effect on the reliability of the network.We will also investigate some innovative techniques for monitoring plant condition. These will range from techniques which give a general indication of the health of an entire substation, down to those which give detailed information on a specific item of plant. The work will look at new sensors, data capture, data management and data interpretation. Network owners and operators also need improved methods of protecting and controlling the network. New software tools will help them plan replacements as parts of the network wear out. Our work will help get the most power through the ageing network and allow owners to invest in new or replacement plant in a cost-effective way. All this has to be done while maintaining or improving the security of supply and taking into account interactions between gas and electricity networks. Software tools will be developed to calculate the optimum size and location of new generating plant and to calculate the cost that should be charged to transport electricity from a particular location.Finally, research into electrical plant with reduced environmental impact will allow the use of environmentally friendly replacements. There are three main aspects to this work: exploring methods of reducing the use of SF6 (a greenhouse gas), examining techniques for transmitting more power down existing lines and investigating methods of reducing environmental impacts (for example, oil leaks) from underground cable.EPSRC has assembled a team of six universities, which have the skills needed to tackle these challenges. These universities have worked closely with major electric utilities and equipment manufacturers to prepare this proposal. The industrial partners will provide a valuable contribution, both through funding and also by supplying their technical expertise and guidance.Our work will benefit electricity utilities, which will spend less on maintenance and get more for their money when buying new plant. Consumers will gain through improved reliability of their electricity supply. UK manufacturers will be able to exploit the new condition monitoring and diagnostic techniques. Society in general will benefit through reductions in environmental impact.

Publications

10 25 50

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Kopsidas K (2011) Evaluating opportunities for increasing power capacity of existing overhead line systems in IET Generation, Transmission & Distribution

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Strachan S (2008) Knowledge-based diagnosis of partial discharges in power transformers in IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation

 
Description The project deliverables may be summarised as:

A suite of intelligent diagnostic tools for electrical plant

Integrated network planning and asset management

Reduced environmental impact electrical plant

Models and recommendations for network operation and management
Exploitation Route Each year the consortium has held an internal technical meeting in November for the whole activity. The three meetings held so far, in The University of Strathclyde, Central Networks, Ratcliffe, and The University of Manchester, each attracting over 70 people. Numerous seminars have been held, for example, a review of the work on optimising power flow and the use of high temperature conductors on overhead lines was reviewed in the context of other research in the field. Dr Phil Taylor of Durham presented at this event, which was attended by 35 people. BBPNL and Eve (suppliers to the utilities) were also present.



Demonstratorsare being developed showing the network operators how improved technologies in their networks can support the demands of renewable energy and distributed generation connection. At the same time, opportunities for improved asset management through identification of risks at plant level and optimising network efficiency are being illustrated. Demonstrators also allow for technology transfer between the utilities and the universities, and have required collaboration between all the institutions.



The following demonstrators are being developed:



A National Grid (NG) substation is being used as a demonstrator for on-line monitoring and data acquisition. This is the first on-line, agent-based condition monitoring architecture for multiple sensor/data acquisition systems in the power utility sector. The architecture allows flexible deployment of new sensor systems, data management and diagnostic techniques. This has been driven by Strathclyde but also features sensors from Liverpool. The demonstrator site will include PD monitoring, allowing online anomaly detection with knowledge-based interpretation of PD behaviour. This now has software pulling live data back from the NG transformer every 5 minutes and showing this visually in a condition monitoring user interface. Linking the data to the machine learning and diagnostic agents is now a focus and reflects the overlap of academic and applied activity. Six distribution substations are being monitored with units from Liverpool. A method of analysis is being used that will assist in determining the "state" of substations relative to one another. In Strathclyde a prototype demonstrator system has been constructed for UHF monitoring of electrical discharges across multiple switchgear units. This is likely to be deployed in a Western Power substation first.



The detection, control and protection of synchronous islands has been demonstrated both within the laboratory and on a 50 kVA diesel generator installed outside the laboratory in Queen's, Belfast. The demonstration employed a real-time phasor measurement system developed by Queen's as part of the AMPerES project, and novel governor technology developed in a complementary project. This system allows synchronous operation with the utility whilst electrically isolated. The demonstration has successfully illustrated: Real-time dissemination of phase information over an IP network; Detection of a loss-of-mains condition by differential phase measurement; Synchronous operation of an islanded network part, even when subjected to significant load perturbations.



The use of software tools developed in Manchester will be demonstrated through analysis of a 33 kV wood pole line, and a 110 kV lattice line with power flow restrictions. This tool is presently being used in conjunction with National Grid and United Utilities to identify the benefits of novel high temperature, low sag conductors working at normal operating temperatures. Once verified the tool will be given to the Utilities.
Sectors Energy

URL http://www.supergen-amperes.org/
 
Description The following demonstrator projects have been implemented: • The detection, control and protection synchronous islands have been demonstrated on a 50kVA diesel generator installed outside the laboratory at Queen's University. The demonstration employs a real-time phasor measurement system. • Optimized design of existing overhead lines is being demonstrated by Manchester through analysis of a Scottish Power wood pole line, and a National Grid lattice line. • A unique installation for transformer monitoring at National Grid comprising of two 275/132kV, 180MVA transformers, lead by Strathclyde is implementing results of research on condition monitoring architectures, diagnostics and machine learning. • Six substations are being monitored for SP and one for NG by Liverpool University. • Southampton, Strathclyde and Liverpool have been applying knowledge gained on partial discharge in cables to enhance EdF Energy's cable monitoring systems. The resulting data will be used to prove data acquisition technology and develop interpretation tools. Knowledge transfer projects have been undertaken with National Grid's Control Centre (3 months) and Planning division (2 months). These were funded by Durham University's Technology Transfer Office under EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Secondment account (EP/H500340/1)
First Year Of Impact 2008
Sector Energy
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description EPSRC
Amount £270,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/G029210/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £43,044 (GBP)
Funding ID KTS scheme 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £270,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/G029210/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £389,490 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/I000585/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £4,723,735 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/I013636/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £389,490 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/I000585/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Knowledge Transfer Partnership
Amount £139,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 6232 
Organisation Knowledge Transfer Partnerships 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Knowledge Transfer Partnership
Amount £139,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 6232 
Organisation Knowledge Transfer Partnerships 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description National Grid
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation National Grid Transco 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description National Grid
Amount £103,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 227819/FFR 
Organisation The National Grid Co plc 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description National Grid
Amount £103,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 227819/FFR 
Organisation National Grid Transco 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description National Grid
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation The National Grid Co plc 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Scottish & Southern Energy plc
Amount £30,316 (GBP)
Funding ID KTS scheme 
Organisation Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Scottish & Southern Energy plc
Amount £30,316 (GBP)
Funding ID KTS scheme 
Organisation Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Technology Strategy Board
Amount £192,156 (GBP)
Funding ID TS/G000239/1 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Technology Strategy Board
Amount £133,396 (GBP)
Funding ID 6822 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description University of Strathclyde
Amount £9,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Strathclyde 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description National Grid Transco 
Organisation National Grid Transco
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2006