go to top scroll for more


Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number NIA_WPD_028
Title Primary Networks Power Quality Analysis
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
National Grid Electricity Transmission
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source Ofgem
Start Date 01 March 2018
End Date 01 June 2021
Duration ENA months
Total Grant Value £1,358,400
Industrial Sectors Power
Region London
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , National Grid Electricity Transmission (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Western Power Distribution (0.000%)
Web Site https://smarter.energynetworks.org/projects/NIA_WPD_028
Objectives This project will build on existing best practice, overcoming the limitations outlined above, and evaluate how harmonics and power quality can be monitored and analysed in a cost-effective way across wide areas of the network. The core method for this project shall achieve this by: 1) installing communicating power quality monitors throughout two areas of primary network, and 2) through developing a system that automates power quality data retrieval and analysis tasks. The two areas of primary network will be selected so that comparisons can be made: one area will be chosen with a high penetration of LCTs, whereas the other area will be chosen with a low penetration of LCTs. The core method is supported by several other activities: Investigation of transducer characteristics for harmonics detection; Selection of two contrasting areas for trial power quality monitor installations; Creation and use of detailed models of the two areas for power quality and harmonics analysis; Quantification of the harmonic contributions of different types of power electronic devices. The projects scope consists of the following work packages: 1. Investigating transducers (VTs etc.) to confirm that harmonics are being passed through to power quality monitors without introducing further harmonics or eliminating them;2. Selecting two areas of WPDs network (BSPs through to the LV side of Primary substations) for comparative assessments of harmonics and power quality. One area will be selected as a control case with a low penetration of LCTs, whereas the other area will have a high penetration of LCTs;3. Creating detailed models of the two areas for power quality and harmonics analysis;4. Installing communicating power quality monitors within the two areas to generate data for comparison with the models. Also, comparing co-located power quality monitors with each other for consistency of results;5. Generating power quality heat maps and decision support tools, including the modelling of future impacts of LCTs (with a 2030 horizon) based on sources such as WPD and DECC future energy scenarios;6. Quantifying the harmonic content contribution of different types of power electronic devices and creating a series of templates for use in future analysis; and7. Automating data retrieval and analysis tasks, which are currently manual and time-intensive, to allow valuable engineer resource to be used more effectively. The objectives of this project are to:1. Understand the power quality / harmonics impact of LCTs throughout primary networks in a systematic way;2. Understand the behaviour of PQ monitoring transducers in a systematic way;3. Automate power quality / harmonics data retrieval and analysis processes;4. Develop a decision support tool for modelling and forecasting harmonic / PQ effects
Abstract The harmonic content of waveforms and power quality (such as flicker, voltage sags and swells, voltage unbalance) within the primary network is not routinely monitored at present. However, WPD is now required to publish harmonic data in order to facilitate LCT connections. In addition, there is uncertainty that power quality (PQ) monitors are giving an accurate reflection of power quality and harmonics in different levels of the distribution network. This uncertainty arises from the transducers providing inputs to the monitors, rather than the monitors themselves. The impact of power electronic devices on the harmonics and power quality of primary networks is currently uncertain. As more and more low carbon technologies (LCTs) are connected with power electronic inverters, the effects on the network, moving forwards, are increasingly unclear. In some situations, the interaction of devices may be constructive and reduce harmonic / power quality issues. In other situations, the devices may interact in a more destructive way. There is also uncertainty surrounding the localisation of harmonic / power quality issues and whether these issues will become more widespread. Existing business practices use snapshots of PQ data for analysis (for example, a week of data is used to represent the entire year of network operation). The major drawback with this approach is that the data captured during the short monitoring period may not be truly representative of the worst-case network operating conditions, seen during other times of the year. In addition, current business practices are labour-intensive in terms of retrieving data from site and analysing the data. Moreover, current techniques do not give WPD full visibility of power quality / harmonics away from the LCT points of connection.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 02/11/22