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Reference Number NIA_UKPN0090
Title Flex Heat Networks
Status Started
Energy Categories Other Power and Storage Technologies (Electricity transmission and distribution) 100%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Project Contact
No email address given
UK Power Networks
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source Ofgem
Start Date 01 July 2023
End Date 31 August 2025
Duration ENA months
Total Grant Value £501,600
Industrial Sectors Power
Region London
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , UK Power Networks (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , UK Power Networks (0.000%)
Web Site https://smarter.energynetworks.org/projects/NIA_UKPN0090
Objectives "This project will be developing the following activities:1. Perform a market procurement exercise to identify a suitable heat network developer/operator to become a project partner (The continuation of the project is subject to finding a suitable project partner for the trial)2. Desktop analysis and engagement with heat network developers to: understand in more detail the challenges faced with regards to grid connections in the context of the rapid electrification of heat, understand the typical load profiles, key design and operational variables of a heat network. 3. Develop an optimisation methodology for supporting the design of heat networks by considering trade-offs between the electricity connection costs and optimal heat network performance. [4. Validate the optimisation methodology via a techno-economic analysis of one example heat network for two scenarios, brand new buildings/retrofitted buildings or those with low level of insulation. This process will seek to analyse what is the cost of optimising the heat network design to minimise connection costs vs business as usual, from the perspective of the heat network developer. 5. Scale up the business case for UK Power Networks areas determining the increased capacity and associated reduction/deferral in reinforcement by applying the optimised load profile at substation level for the scenarios agreed in the feasibility stage To proceed to Gate C (stage gate), the following conditions need to be met:1. A heat network partner has agreed to support the project by providing data and make the site available for trial2. The techno-economic analysis shows a clear positive business case, with benefits to be delivered in UK Power Networks areas. If proceeding to Gate C, then the following activities will take place: 6. Engagement with DSO control team and network planners to determine the impact of optimised heat network electrical profiles on the connections assessment and connection offers (timed/profiled), as well as network planning processes. 7. Develop a trial strategy and trial design through engagement with heat network developer chosen as trial partner in feasibility phase and internal UK Power Networks teams 8. Run a one -year trial within the heat network site to determine if the optimised profile can be adopted by the heat network developer, throughout the whole year (four different seasons) 9. Summarise trial results and engagement with UK Power Networks internal stakeholders (DSO connections, network planning & innovation) to discuss key factors to consider in the implementation plan. 10. Understand and map out the regulatory, commercial, and technical barriers that would need to be addressed in the design of the connection offer to the heat networks 11. Develop a clear BAU transition plan establishing the required operational procedures that is supported by key internal UK Power Networks stakeholders & heat network developers. Create a methodology/toolbox to assist heat network developers and BAU team managing profiled connections in defining their optimal electrical profile, monitoring the heat network connection, and requirements needed." "As defined in method, this project is delivered through three main Workstreams (WS) with the following deliverables:WS1: Feasibility Phase:1. Data Collection and Stakeholder Interviews 2. Optimisation methodology and techno-economic analysis, including full description, results and recommendations 3. Business case scale-up 4. Final report and presentation WS1WS2: Trial Design and setup:5. Trial strategy & design document (trial entry & exit criteria, data requirements, and data analysis approach)6. Solution build report (current approaches and proposed updates, requirements & process for adopting optimised load profiles)7. Final report and presentation WS2WS3: Trial Delivery & BAU transition: 8. Installation of monitoring units and integration with visualisation tool in a heat network site9. Trial Data results – field evaluation report providing feedback from field trials from analysis of data and engagement with trial participants.10. Final trial report – final trial report summarising trial results & conclusions.11. Methodology/toolbox developed to assist heat network developers and BAU team managing profiled connections.12. BAU implementation plan – report with BAU implementation plan incl. activities, timelines, risks & mitigation, responsibilities for deployment after engagement with internal teams." "The project aims to explore the impact of fully or almost fully electric heat networks on the electricity distribution network and how to manage them flexibly. The key objectives are as follows: Gain a better understanding of modelling heat network connections by identifying optimization variables that balance electricity connection and reinforcement costs with performance efficiency. [Feasibility Phase- gate B to C
Abstract The project aims to investigate how all-electric heat networks could affect the power grid and how the Distribution Network Operator can manage them flexibly. The project will conduct a thorough analysis to determine if its possible to free up capacity in the network by using a smarter design thats suitable for flexible connections. UK Power Networks will partner with a Heat Network developer/operator that has an operational heat network in the area to test and validate a design optimization methodology through a one-year trial.

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Added to Database 01/11/23