SILVERSMITH - Investigating Innovative LV Technologies
03 August 2023
SILVERSMITH (Solving Intelligent LV – Evaluating Responsive Smart Management to Increase Total Headroom) Project
SILVERSMITH was an NIA project EA Technology delivered for National Grid Electricity Distribution, the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) for the East and West Midlands, South Wales and South West England.
The SILVERSMITH project aimed to identify technologies that will maximise usage of the existing LV network under the forecast growth of LCTs connected to the LV network, thus minimising the need for extensive network reinforcement and also minimising costs to consumers.
SILVERSMITH consisted of a literature review of existing technologies, combined with a Request for Information aimed at technology providers which were carried out early in the project. This was followed by two distinct methodologies to assess the potential effectiveness of the new technologies in managing LV network constraints.
EA Technology utilised the Transform Model® to perform a Cost Benefit Analysis for National Grid Electricity Distribution’s four license areas. Firstly, Transform was used to perform a counterfactual analysis with Business as Usual (BaU) technologies widely used on the network in 2022/2023. This has been compared against a Transform study performed with the addition of novel technologies identified by the literature review and Request for Information process. This comparison allowed for identification of technologies which have the potential to extract best value from the existing LV network under the forecast growth in volumes of LCT adoption.
Figure 1 shows the solutions deployed in the time periods 2022-2028, 2029-2033, 2034-2040 and 2041-2050 in the BaU and BaU plus novel model runs. BaU solutions are solidly coloured whereas Novel solutions are coloured with a diamond pattern. Significant deployment of novel technologies is witnessed, showing that novel technologies offer cost effective options to network operators looking to manage their LV distribution networks. Further analysis looking into which technologies get deployed on what LV network archetypes was conducted and is available from the project reports published on National Grid Electricity Distribution’s website1.
Figure 1: Comparison of technologies selected by the Transform model to resolve network constraints.
Analysis was conducted that identified the constraint types that technologies were deployed to resolve. Figure 2 in an interactive plot the solutions deployed to resolve the network constraints encountered across the West Midlands in the Best View DFES scenario.
Please click on our interactive graphic below - best viewed on a computer or tablet.
Figure 2: Solutions deployed to resolve each constraint type in West Midlands, Best View DFES scenario
In addition to the Transform study, EA Technology conducted a load flow analysis using DIGSILENT on representative feeders. Again, a comparison was made between the technologies deployed when considering existing BaU technologies only, against existing plus novel technologies. Using a second method to assess which technologies get deployed allowed National Grid Electricity Distribution to compare results, giving confidence in results where solutions are selected by both methodologies. Results and discussion from the load flow analysis can also be found in the project report available from National Grid’s website.
EA Technology have extensive experience in utilising a wide range of tools to perform analysis of electricity networks. EA Technologies utilised their experts in parametric (Transform) and load flow (DIGSILENT) modelling, ensuring that both methodologies could be conducted by a single consultancy. EA Technology utilised different teams to ensure independence between the two methodologies. EA Technology produced an integrated report to bring together and compare the findings from the two approaches used in this project.
Why this is relevant to your project
While the results from this project were directly applicable to National Grid Distribution’s license areas, EA Technology’s analysis can be extended to other GB license areas and indeed further afield.