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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number NIA_SHET_0033
Title Protection Solutions to perform for Lower Levels of Fault Current on AC Networks (PSL-FC)
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
SSEN Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source Ofgem
Start Date 01 July 2021
End Date 31 October 2024
Duration ENA months
Total Grant Value £671,000
Industrial Sectors Power
Region Scotland
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , SSEN Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission (100.000%)
  Other Investigator Project Contact , SSEN Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Scottish and Southern Energy plc (0.000%)
Web Site https://smarter.energynetworks.org/projects/NIA_SHET_0033
Objectives This is a development project as the intention is to evaluate how a range of P&C products operate in a simulated future electricity system scenario. There are three clear steps that form the back bone of this innovation.Step 1 – Validating the simulated future networkThis will be achieved by placing the P&C products being investigated in parallel with the live network and monitoring how they respond to real-time system changes. To ensure that a range of real-time system events are captured the P&C products will be installed for a minimum of eighteen months. The real-time system changes will be run on the simulated future network to firstly ensure it reflects the real-time network and then to investigate how the P&C products respond between the real-time system and the simulated network.Step 2 – Evaluating P&C operation on a future lower level fault current Alternating Current (AC) networkIf the first step is successful, then further research will be conducted by emulating different future electrical system scenarios that will lower the fault current level and investigating how the range of P&C products responds.If the P&C products struggle to detect lower levels of fault current, solution development work will have to be discussed with the P&C manufacturers and from a Transmission Network perspective more work will be required to determine other possible mitigation measures.Step 3 – Developing low level fault current testing and validation protocols for AC networksAlternatively, if the P&C products detect and operate to isolate the fault successfully, then work will commence to document the testing and validation of P&C products that are required to operate in lower level fault current AC networks. Also, the way the P&C products operate will be compared to todays traditional requirements, policies and procedures, for the purposes of identifying what changes need to be proposed. This will shape the next development stage and help to build a pathway to incorporating the P&C products that will operate in a lower level fault current network.Measurement Quality StatementThis project requires real-system electrical network parameters, the data will be taken from existing measurement transformers already installed on the network. The measurement transformers that will be used are the same ones that connect to the existing traditional P&C equipment and which also supply data to the fiscal meters.Data Quality StatementIn this project, real-time electrical system parameters taken via measurement transformers will feed directly into the P&C products under investigation.The data inputs and outputs from the P&C products under investigation will be managed and available on request in line with standard SSEN Data Sharing Protocols.The data outputs from the P&C products under investigation during the simulated system evaluation will also be managed and available on request in line with the SSEN Data Sharing Protocols. The transition from traditional fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy is changing the transmission network characteristics as there is a reduction in very large spinning machines which can inject high levels of current onto the network during a fault. Renewable forms of energy are typically very small machines, there may be a hundred or so individual units to equal the power capacity of a single traditional fossil fuel unit. When a single fossil fuel unit responds to a fault it sends a very large, sudden, single bolt of current, however a renewable generator made of a number of individual units can respond with a prolonged, marginal current spike as the individual units trip one after the other. The P&C systems are presently designed to monitor and react to a very large and sudden current event.The scope of this project is to simulate a future electrical network where the fault current spike is marginal but prolonged and evaluate how present P&C products function and respond. Based upon the findings it will determine if a P&C solution can be further developed to address the future network issue.The present mitigation measure for areas of the network that may be exposed to lower levels of fault current presently being investigated is a device called a Synchronous Condenser. A Synchronous Condenser can replicate a traditional fossil fuel power source and in the event of a fault it will respond with a very large, sudden, single bolt of current. A Synchronous Condenser also has associated challenges which need to be addressed before it could be used on the transmission system but it is estimated that such a device to install would be £15million.This project is addressing the challenges associated with areas of the network that may be exposed to lower levels of fault current via P&C products, which are more commonly procured and installed for around £200k. If this project can evidence that P&C products have the potential to be developed, build a simulation that can test future P&C products in a lower level fault current environment and identify the changes that need to be made to existing P&C policies and procedures, then this starts to open up an alternative solution to a Synchronous Condenser at a fraction of the cost.It should be noted that the P&C product solution may only be suitable in certain network locations. If this project is successful, then further cost benefit analysis combined with technical limitation and network situations need to be further investigated to more clearly define the true cost of the benefit to the consumer. • Validating the simulated future network model• Evaluating P&C operation on a future lower level fault current AC network• Developing low level fault current testing and validation protocols for AC networks
Abstract This project aims to investigate how effective and reliable new Protection and Control equipment is on a future electricity network, which has even more renewable generation and power electronic equipment, via a combination of network simulation and open-loop device trials.It is also the aspiration to determine new tests and validation processes for the Protection and Control equipment, in the future transmission system environment of low fault currents. Research would also be conducted into the shape and structure of new Protection and Control operating processes and protocols to help accommodate the transition of the network towards net-zero.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 14/10/22