Notes on completion
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First Tier Pro-forma
Project title
Participant DNOs
Project summary
Please provide a narrative which explains the Problem(s) which being addressed by the Project.
Registration Date
LV Current Sensor Technology Evaluation
Collaboration UKPN (London Power Networks plc.) and Western Power Distribution (South Wales)
As UK distribution networks migrate to a Smarter Grid, there is an increasing requirement to
improve the visibility of the Low Voltage (LV) network. There is currently limited monitoring of the
low voltage distribution network and as customers change their usage habits and more renewable
generation connects to the network it is imperative that we are aware of and understand the
impact it will have.
The Project Direction from Ofgem for Western Power Distribution's (WPD) Tier 2 Network
Templates project resulted in a consultation with the other DNOs to see if there were alternative
methods of obtaining current measurements without the need for customer interruption. The
responses to this consultation were all very constructive, but there were no products identified
which could adequately replace the use of fixed ring CTs in the timescales of the project. The
alternatives were either too costly, or were not available in the quantities required for this project.
UK Power Networks (UKPN) was seperately investigating commercially available LV monitoring
solutions that do not require customers to be interruped during installation.
The two DNOs decided to collaborate to evaluate a range of LV monitoring solutions under
laboratory conditions at the National Physical Laboratory and in the field on their low voltage
networks, equipping at total of 28 substations with sensors from 7 different manufacturers.
The LV distribution network has not been designed to accomodate large amounts of Low Carbon
Technologies over a short space of time, and it has not previously been necessary to carry out
monitoring. It is therefore not easy to provide cost effective retrofit solutions without impacting
At present there is no simple, non-intrusive, low cost or remotely accessible way to monitor
individual LV ways.
Monitoring consists of voltage and current measurements, combined with metering and
communications infrastructure. Providing voltage connections at LV is less challenging, but
obtaining current measurements can prove difficult. The traditional method of collecting accurate
current data is to install fixed-ring CTs. This method can result in outage lasting approximately 3
Scope and Objectives
Please describe the scope and objectives of the Project should be clearly defined including the benefits which should directly
accrue to the Distribution System.
Success Criteria
Please give details of how the DNO will evaluate whether the Project has been successful.
This section should set out the Method or Methods that will be trialled in order to solve the Problem. The type of Method
should be identified where possible e.g. technical or commercial.
Problem(s) continued
This project seeks to find alternatives to solid core current transformers. This could reduce or
eliminate the outage time required for installation.
There will be a two stage evaluation:
1) The first stage will be a laboratory comparison of sensors or solutions at the National Physical
Laboratory (NPL). This will compare the solution's technical capabilities such as accuracy,
temperature coefficient, reaction to humidity, reaction to fault current, effect of orientation and
proximity to other conductors, under controlled conditions.
2) The second stage will compare the sensors or solutions during a 12 month live trial. Each
manufacturer will equip 4 substations, two on WPD and two on UKPN LV networks (a total of 28
substations will be equipped). The live trial will evaluate the engineer training required, ease of
installation, ease of maintenance, data collection, software provided, day-to-day usage and
accessibility of results.
The systems provided by each manufacturers vary in their design.They range from full solutions
(sensors, communications and software tools etc.) to sensors only with a conditioned box (amps
output only). When required WPD and UKPN will provide remote communication systems to
enable data collection.
The sensors being evaluated were selected following a call for proposals issues through the ENA
and OJEC notification processes; they are either Rogowski coils or split-core current transformers.
1. The project aims to evaluate innovative current sensor technologies in a controlled laboratory
environment and field situations.
2. The project will evaluate sensors from 7 manufacturers and the field trials will last for 12
3. The objective is to generate knowledge of LV monitoring techniques enabling wider roll-outs to
facilitate a low carbon future and minimising disruption to customers.
4. A full report detailing the results of individual tests, and a comparative assessment will be
The project will be successful when:
1. DNOs approve safe installation procedures.
2. Testing and report of lab evaluation is completed by NPL.
3. A 12 month field trial is completed.
4. A full project report has been written - evaluating and comparing sensor results from
laboratory and field trials.
5. The results of the project influence DNO LV monitoring policies.
The DNO should highlight any material, known risks that could impact the Project’s costs and/or programmes.
Scale of project
Please justify the scale of the Project. In particular, the DNO should explain why there would be less potential for new learning
if the Project were a smaller scale.
Geographical area
Details of where the Trial(s) will take place. If the Project is a collaboration, the DNO area(a) in which the Trial(s) take place
should be identified.
Potential for new learning
Detail what the parties hope to learn and how the learning will be disseminated.
This should be between 5-8 to be eligible for Tier 1 Funds.
Predicted start and end dates.
DNOs should provide an estimate of the expected project starting and completion dates.
Start Date: End Date:
Project partners and external funders
Please give details of actual or potential Project Partners and External Funding Support as appropriate
UKPN and WPD will collaborate with equal participation.
NPL will carry out the laboratory evaluations.
7 sensor/solution manufacturers have expressed interest in participation.
This project will provide a comparison and benchmarking of various types of sensor both from
laboratory tests and field trials points of view.
The project aims to create knowledge of safe working procedures, installation methodology,
equipment capabilities and manufacturer variations. UKPN and WPD will select substations with
different design/dimensions of LV boards to maximise the potential for new learning.
The knowledge will allow DNOs to make informed decisions as they increase monitoring of their
LV Network.
The interfaces between the monitors from the suppliers and the communication systems being
used by WPD and UKPN could be complicated, with further work being necessary, although this is
also part of the learning gained from the project.
New sensors systems are released prior to the final report being produced.
7 manufacturers have been identified to participate in this evaluation. For each manufacturer,
there will be one set of each equipment tested at NPL and four substations will be equipped for
the field trials (28 substations will be equipped in total).
This will allow each type of monitoring equipment to be tested in a range of substations. These
will predominantly be ground-mounted substations, but some pole-mounted substations will be
tested if the equipment is suitable for outdoor use.
The trial will take place in South-East Wales and London.
Please tick if the project conforms to the default IPR arrangements set out in
the LCN Fund Governance Document?
The DNO should indicate if the Project does not conform to the default IPR conditions. A justification for alternative arrangements and why the Project
should still be approved must be provided, in accordance with paragraph 2.18 of the Governance Document.
Please tick if you do not consent to the First tier pro-forma being published in
If you do not consent please identify any information in the completed First Tier LCN
Project Registration that you do not wish to be published.
The DNO must demonstrate that it (or its Project Partners) will face commercial harm from its disclosure and that
information is considered eligible for exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental
Information Regulations 2004.
All information submitted within the First Tier LCN Project Registration Pro-forma will be made available on the Ofgem
website, unless Ofgem has agreed otherwise as part of the Registration process set out above.
Estimated Project funding
An indication of the revenue allowed for within the DPCR5
settlement that is likely to be saved as a result of the project.
An indication of the total Allowable First Tier Project
Expenditure that the DNO expects to reclaim the for the
whole project.
Revenue allowed for in
the DPCR5 Settlement (£)
Indicative total Allowable
First Tier Project
Expenditure (£)
Please tick if the project involves making payments to related undertakings
The DNO must set out all payments that it proposes to make to itself or any Related Undertaking. Further, if a payment is to
be made to any Related Undertaking that is a Distribution System User, the DNO must demonstrate that it has offered the
same terms to similar Distribution System Users on the part of the network that is within the Project boundary and has used
reasonable endeavours to identify such Users.
£250,000 per DNO
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