Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number NIA_SPEN_0047
Title A Transition to LVDC - Phase 2
Status Completed
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
SP Energy Networks
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source Ofgem
Start Date 01 November 2019
End Date 31 March 2022
Duration ENA months
Total Grant Value £500,000
Industrial Sectors Power
Region Scotland
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , SP Energy Networks (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , SP Energy Networks (0.000%)
Web Site
Objectives Package 1: Cable Laboratory Testing• Laboratory testing of both 3-core and 4-core cable at increasing DC voltage levels and loads.• The impact of DC on cable rate of ageing will be determined using partial discharge and cable temperature monitoring.• The impact of cable failure will be tested to understand the HSE & O&M requirements for converted DC circuits. The energy released from DC fault is normally higher than in AC due to the high transient discharge currents and steady state fault currents without zero crossings. The test will provide understanding the impact of such phenomena which will give design engineers and district staff the confidence that circuits can be operated at DC without additional unmanageable risk. Package 2: Test Outcome Analysis and Network Reinforcement CBAs • Case studies for network reinforcement with detailed CBAs to demonstrate the financial benefit that would be realised using a DC reinforcement/design approach as opposed to a traditional LVAC reinforcement method. • Recommendations for network applications which would benefit the most from the deployment of LVDC distribution. LVDC Phase 2 will have two major work packages that will be delivered in order to complete the project objectives.LVDC Phase 2 – Work Package 1:The most populous mains and service cables on our LV network: 3 core XLPE CNE Waveform mains cables 4 core PILC SNE mains cables Single core XLPE CNE Hybrid service cables 2 core PILC SNE service cables,as well as prevalent linkboxes and joints will be subject to tests at voltage of: ±707 Vdc & ±500 Vdc Bipolar. The tests will include:-Establishing cable initial health through a combination of: o Time Domain Reflectometry o Conductor and Insulation resistance o Cable capacitance o Tan δ- Partial Discharge- DC Loading Operation Cycles for the above voltages - Accelerated aging of cables through: o Voltage loading & o Thermal loading-DC Fault behaviour & analysis LVDC Phase 2- Work Package 2:The outcomes of these tests will inform what cables are attractive for conversion to LVDC and thus lead onto Package 2 where case study CBAs will identify areas where LVDC can provide cost savings over traditional network reinforcement. Coupled with rural areas where longer LVDC feeders provide a better alternative to LVAC. These outcomes will aid in the transition to LVDC being BaU by providing a road map to standards and governance for LVDC and a much deeper understanding of what LVDC can provide. To compile a testing specification which covers the predominant AC assets within the LV network;Conduct a tender exercise for a testing facility to complete the testing specification created;To complete the testing specification and compile a report on the findings from the laboratory testing;To create a series of case studies and a cost-benefit analysis which will conclude where converting existing assets to LVDC would be techniclly and economically viable.
Abstract Building upon the learning in A transition to LVDC, LVDC Phase 2 will conduct laboratory tests on the LV cables & network apparatus most prevalent on SPENs network to gain an understanding of how SPENs LVAC cables & network apparatus behave and perform when energised with LVDC. The outcome of the tests will then inform which areas of the network would be suitable for conversion to LVDC through case-based cost benefit analysis, as well as building a case for new LV schemes to be LVDC by design from their initiation.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 09/11/22