Polesight - Improving Reliability of LV Overhead Networks
13 March 2023
Northern Powergrid (NPg), a Distribution Network Operator (DNO) serving the north-east of England, were keen to further develop the analytical techniques EA Technology developed during the world leading Foresight project on their Low Voltage (LV) underground services.
Where Foresight analysed LV underground, urban networks connected to ground mounted substations, the Polesight project will analyse LV overhead networks more commonly found in rural areas but also feeding older properties in some towns. Equipment will be deployed at pole mounted substations in rural locations, villages and town peripheries. The project will analyse faults using existing algorithms to see where OHL faults differ from those seen underground.
Having more information on faults and outage causes will enable NPg to fix faults on their network faster and more efficiently. This will lead to a more resilient and reliable network for their customers.
EA Technology will specify, design, build and supply Guards and VisNet Hubs to monitor select pole mounted substations.
EA Technology will monitor the data from Guards and VisNet Hubs monitoring OHL LV circuits to identify characteristics and trends. Some of these circuits will experience overhead line faults during the project and will be harvested and analysed for supporting evidence to further develop algorithms for predictive insights.
Where faults occur or possible pre-fault activity is noted, EA Technology will liaise with NPg to review the incident to find common signals preceding faults to enable pre-emptive interventions.
EA Technology has extensive experience of developing analytical models for underground service faults. Using existing models from the Foresight project it will be possible to compare and contrast how faults develop and appear on OHLs with those underground.
The project aligns with Northern Powergrid’s innovation strategy as part of their continued commitment to find ways to deliver improvements and best value to their customers via the deployment of a more intelligent and flexible smart grid. Faster localisation and restoration of faults, plus detecting and locating developing LV faults before they result in supply interruptions will significantly improve quality of supply to their customers. This project will ensure that all customers are able to benefit from proactive fault management methods.
Why this is relevant to your project
Learning gained from Polesight will allow Guards and VisNet Hubs to be used to more accurately monitor networks where they are installed. It will also support Northern Powergrid in improving their understanding of how faults develop and can be proactively managed ahead of a full fault occurring and taking customers off supply. This will enable distribution network operators to improve the reliability and resilient of the energy supply for their connected customers.
Francis Shillitoe, Polesight Project Manager from Northern Powergrid says;
"As we decarbonise, reliability of the electricity network is more important than ever. Foresight allowed us to start addressing underground faults before they impacted customers and the natural progression to allow us to address other network types is Polesight. Many of our LV networks are a mixture of underground cable and overhead line. Polesight will allow our linesman to deploy network monitoring and diagnostics at HV pole mounted substations without requiring HV or LV outages, an important consideration for rolling out these devices at scale and allow us to further develop analytical methods for pre-fault detection on these mixed networks. An added benefit is that the devices also act as LV monitors so we can improve our visibility of demand and voltage at pole mounted substations."
Louise Guthrie, Project Manager at EA Technology says;
"Projects like Polesight are crucial to improving the understanding of how faults develop on Low Voltage (LV) networks. Investigations into pre-faults on Overhead Lines will allow EA Technology to tailor analytic techniques previously developed for LV underground cable networks for their overhead counterparts. This learning will be used to improve the reliability and security of the LV network, where monitored by EA Technology products. It is exciting to continue to work with Northern Powergrid in this follow up project to the successful Foresight Project."