Integrated Operation and Planning for Smart Electric Distribution Networks (OPEN)

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: Sch of Engineering

Abstract

The UK has a commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 relative to 1990 levels. DECC's 2050 Pathway Analysis shows the various ways through which we can achieve this target. All feature a high penetration level of renewable generation and a very substantial uptake of electrification of heat and transport, particularly from 2030 onwards. This will place unprecedented demand and distributed generation on electricity supply infrastructure, particularly the distribution systems due to their size. If a business as usual model is to apply, then the costs of de-carbonisation will be very high. Being equally confronted by the pressure of global climate change and sustainable development, the Chinese government has declared that by 2020 the carbon emission per-unit GDP will reduce to 40-45% of that in 2008. However China also needs to meet a 10% annual demand increase which has been on-going for the past 20 years, and this rate of growth is expected to continue for at least another 10 years. Therefore reinforcement of current distribution networks in an economic and sustainable way while meeting customers' rising expectation of supply quality and reliability is one of the basic requirements of Smart Grid development in China. It is a matter of urgency to investigate how to develop and adapt the current distribution network using Smart Grid interventions in order to facilitate timely connection of low carbon and sustainable technologies in a cost-effective manner. This is a global challenge faced by UK, China and many other countries.

Our consortium brings together leading researchers from the UK and China to jointly investigate the integrated operation and planning for smart distribution networks to address two key research challenges:

(1) Conventional network operational and planning approaches do not address the emerging opportunities offered by increased measurement and control and do not deal with the inevitable uncertainties of smart distribution networks.
(2) A general understanding of how national or regional electricity distribution infrastructure should be developed and operated using Smart Grid interventions is required urgently by those making policy within Distribution companies and in Government/Regulators. Such an understanding cannot be gained from running conventional power system analysis tools and then manually assessing the results.

New techniques and approaches will be investigated to address these important questions

(1) Distribution state estimation and probabilistic predictive control approaches will be used to determine the location and control policies of smart grid interventions including Soft Open Points and electronic embedded hybrid on-load tap changers.
(2) Novel dynamic pricing techniques will be proposed to resolve conflicts between energy markets and network operation and find synergies where these exist.
(3) A very fast network assessment tool and a rolling planning tool that will bridge the gap between planning and operation will be developed.
(4) New visualisation and reporting techniques will be developed to give network planners, operators as well policy makers clear insights as to how Smart Grid interventions can be used most effectively.

Complementary, cross-country expertise will allow us to undertake the challenging research with substantially reduced cost, time and effort. The research will build upon the long-time well established collaborations between partner institutions of the two countries. Our ambition is to provide a strategic direction for the future of smart electricity distribution networks in the 2030-2050 time frame and deliver methodologies and technologies of alternative network operation and planning strategies in order to facilitate a cost effective evolution to a low carbon future.

Planned Impact

The potential beneficiaries will be
(1) Utility companies and energy suppliers, who will benefit from improved visibility and controllability of distribution networks, actively mitigating network constraints and planning future networks with minimum risks, as well as greater utilisation of renewables and active participation of customers;
(2) Manufacturers who are directly involved in the development and deployment of Smart Grid interventions;
(3) Academia who will benefit from the theoretical contributions from this project.
(4) Policy makers who will benefit from the fast network assessment tools developed and the results of case study provided, to gain a better understating of how national or regional electricity distribution infrastructure might be developed and operated using Smart Grid interventions, and
(5) Demand customers who will benefit from improved continuity and quality of electricity supply of distribution networks.

Our consortium brings together leading researchers from the UK and China, and the two nation cross-fertilisation will make sure that the impact of our research is not only limited to developed nations but also to developing nations transition to a low carbon economy. The project is supported by a Steering Group which represents the main potential beneficiaries and are in an exceptional position to support the research, maximise dissemination opportunities and enable impact.

We will establish the OPEN as a visible focal point for Smart Distribution/Smart Grid research in the UK, China and internationally. We will learn from international experience; publicise the existence, objectives, activities, and findings of the OPEN project through the project web site, presentations at relevant meetings, publications in professional journals/conferences, and disseminate results through the leading research consortia in both countries, e.g. EPSRC HubNet in the UK and the Chinese National Basic Research Programme in China, both of which are led by the project partners of the OPEN project. The dissemination events are aiming at a diversity of academic, industry, policy individuals and organisations, for the UK, China and internationally.

Consortium members have extensive industrially focussed partnership experience (e.g. Energy Networks Strategy Group and the Electricity Networks Association), and have extensive experience of impact on policy and practice, whereby effective knowledge exchange has been achieved. Contributions will continue to be made through Grid Code and Engineering Recommendations revisions in the UK, participation in drafting the distribution network planning guidance for State Grid, Southern Grid and Microgrid connection standards in China, and also technology evaluation and demonstration. Engagement in DECC/OFGEM Smart Grids Forum, Low Carbon Network Fund bids, Innovation Funding Incentive projects, and the Energy Technologies Institute infrastructure programme, all provide the academics with pathways to impact. The focus on tangible technological outputs, together with the informing context of case studies, provides a strong delivery mechanism for communicating new thinking. This will be welcomed by the decision takers as they appraise the feasibility of emerging technology options.

The exploitation and application of the research outcome will benefit international activities on research and development of smart distribution networks. Opportunities for exploitation will be pursued through licensing, spin-outs, etc. The opportunities for further development of technology will furthermore be effected by the senior academics providing strategic input into EPSRC, DECC, TSB, NFSC, the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, etc, whereby follow-on funds can be identified in a timely fashion.
 
Description The OPEN consortium brought together leading researchers from the UK and China to jointly investigate the integrated operation and planning for smart distribution networks to address two key research challenges:

(1) Conventional network operational and planning approaches do not address the emerging opportunities offered by increased measurement and control and do not deal with the inevitable uncertainties of smart distribution networks.

(2) A general understanding of how national or regional electricity distribution infrastructure should be developed and operated using Smart Grid interventions is required urgently by those making policy within Distribution companies and in Government/Regulators. Such an understanding cannot be gained from running conventional power system analysis tools and then manually assessing the results.

New techniques and approaches have been investigated to address these important questions

(1) Distribution state estimation and probabilistic predictive control approaches have been developed to determine the location and control policies of smart grid interventions including Soft Open Points and electronic embedded hybrid on-load tap changers.

(2) Novel dynamic pricing techniques have been proposed to resolve conflicts between energy markets and network operation and find synergies where these exist.

(3) A very fast network assessment tool and a rolling planning tool have been developed to bridge the gap between planning and operation.

(4) New visualisation and reporting techniques have been developed to give network planners, operators as well policy makers clear insights as to how Smart Grid interventions can be used most effectively.

Complementary, cross-country expertise allowed us to undertake the challenging research with substantially reduced cost, time and effort. The research output have provided a strategic direction for the future of smart electricity distribution networks in the 2030-2050 time frame and delivered methodologies and technologies of alternative network operation and planning strategies in order to facilitate a cost effective evolution to a low carbon future.
Exploitation Route These findings have formed a foundation for an Ofgem Network Innovation Competition demonstration project.
Sectors Education,Electronics,Energy

 
Description The ideas investigated during this grant are now emerging into several demonstration projects funded by LCNF and NIC.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Electronics,Energy
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description EU FP7
Amount £56,827 (GBP)
Organisation European Research Council (ERC) 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 01/2015 
End 09/2016
 
Description EU Horizon 2020
Amount € 3,500,000 (EUR)
Organisation European Research Council (ERC) 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 02/2015 
End 01/2018
 
Description High Energy And Power Density (HEAPD) Solutions to Large Energy Deficits
Amount £1,005,833 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/K036211/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2014 
End 06/2017
 
Description LCE-05-2017 - Tools and technologies for coordination and integration of the European energy system
Amount € 4,000,000 (EUR)
Funding ID 774309 
Organisation European Commission H2020 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 10/2017 
End 03/2021
 
Description National Grid NIA project
Amount £212,518 (GBP)
Organisation National Grid Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2014 
End 03/2016
 
Description RCUK/China NFSC EV
Amount £1,005,771 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/L001039/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2013 
End 12/2016
 
Description SUPERGEN +
Amount £776,993 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/M015025/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2015 
End 04/2016
 
Description UK-China energy storage
Amount £1,019,958 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/L014351/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2014 
End 06/2017
 
Description National Grid NIA 
Organisation National Grid Network Innovation Allowance (NIA)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Developed software models of dynamic demand; Validated the dynamic demand model using single machine simplified GB power system model; Validated the dynamic demand model using the whole GB model in National Grid; Quantified the impact of dynamic demand on GB power system operation; Research papers has been published in IEEE transactions and IEEE international conferences; Workshop was organised for National Grid for result dissemination.
Collaborator Contribution Provided technical support on the development of dynamic demand models; Provided the whole GB power system model for our research; Provided secondments opportunities for the researcher.
Impact Cheng M, Wu J, Galsworthy S, Ugalde-Loo C, Gargov N, Hung W, Jenkins N, Power System Frequency Response from the Control of Bitumen Tanks, IEEE Trans on Power Systems, accepted, (2015) Cheng M, Sami S, Wu J, Virtual Energy Storage System for Smart Grids, Applied Energy Symposium and Summit 2015: Low Carbon Cities and Urban Energy Systems, Fuzhou, China, Nov 15-17, (2015); Cheng M, Wu J, Galsworthy S, Jenkins N, Hung W, Availability of Load to Provide Frequency Response in the Great Britain Power System, the 18th Power Systems Computation Conference (PSCC'14), Wroclaw, Poland, August 18-22, (2014);
Start Year 2014
 
Description Applied Energy UNiLAB 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Applied Energy Global UNiLAB of Multi-Energy Microgrid is an international virtual lab of collective intelligence, in order to enhance international collaboration for scientific excellence and demonstrate innovative technologies in Multi-Energy Microgrids. It is a joint initiative by the Applied Energy UNiLAB of Distributed Energy & Microgrid (DEM) and the UNiLAB of Synergies between Energy Networks.
Multi-energy Microgrids are able to make a good use of local distributed energy resources, especially renewable energy, optimize the synergies between different energy systems (e.g. electricity, gas, heating and cooling systems), enable the applications of novel techniques (e.g. Peer to Peer energy sharing or trading) and provide services to other Microgrids or to the bulk energy networks. Multi-energy Microgrids have the potential to change the paradigm of the whole energy system.
Prof. Jianzhong Wu is one of the Co-Directors of this UNiLAB and disseminated the research output of the IOSM project, HubNEt and the OPEN project through this UNilAB.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Chair of a panel on multi-vector in ICAE17 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Chair of Panel "Synergies between Energy Networks" in 9th International Conference on Applied Energy (ICAE), Cardiff, UK, 22 Aug, 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Keynote in Beihai 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Keynote Speech entitled "Robust Analysis of Smart Distribution Networks" in 2nd International symposium on smart grid methods, tools and technologies, Weihai, China, 4-7 July, 2017
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Keynote in an international conference in Shenyang 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Keynote Speech entitled "Synergies between Multi-Energy Networks" in the 33rd Annual Conference of Electric Power and Automation, Shenyang, China, 14th Oct 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Keynote on VESS in Beijing 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Keynote Speech entitled "Virtual Energy Storage Systems for Power System Frequency Response" in 2017 China International Electrical and Energy Conference, Beijing, China, 26th Oct, 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description UNiLAB Panel 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Chair of Panel "UNiLAB of Distributed Energy and Microgrids" in International Symposium of Renewable Energy Integration through Mini/Microgrids (REM), Cardiff, UK, 19th Oct, 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description UNiLAB panel in Beijing 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Chair of Round Table "Applied Energy UNiLAB" in 2017 China International Electrical and Energy Conference, Beijing, China, 26th Oct, 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Urban Innovation in Brazil Partnership Building Visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Invited by the InnovateUK and Scottish Power Energy Networks, joined the "Urban Innovation in Brazil Partnership Building Visit" organized by Newton Fund and KTN, and as one of the 14 UK delegated, visited Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte during 21st - 27th Jan 17
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017