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SILVERSMITH - Investigating Innovative LV Technologies

  • 06 February 2023

  • Thomas Stone


SILVERSMITH (Solving Intelligent LV – Evaluating Responsive Smart Management to Increase Total Headroom) Project 

Client need

SILVERSMITH is an NIA project EA Technology are delivering 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 is aiming 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 needs to extensive network reinforcement and also minimising costs to consumers.  

Our approach

SILVERSMITH consists of a literature review of existing technologies, combined with a Request for Information aimed at technology providers which were carried out earlier 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 have utilised the Transform Model® to perform a Cost Benefit Analysis for National Grid 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 allowed for identification of technologies which have the potential to extract best value from the existing LV network.  

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 has been conducted and will be made available by National Grid in due course.  

Figure 1: Comparison of technologies selected by the Transform model to resolve network constraints.

Analysis has been conducted that has identified the constraint types that technologies were deployed to resolve. 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 are conducting a load flow analysis using DIGSILENT on representative feeders. Again, a comparison will be made between the technologies deployed when considering existing technologies only, against existing plus new technologies. Using a second method to assess which technologies get deployed will allow National Grid Distribution to compare results, giving confidence in results where solutions are selected by both methodologies. The load flow analysis is ongoing.

Further details on the SILVERSMITH project, including project reports, can be found on National Grid Electricity Distribution’s website here: National Grid - Solving Intelligent LV - Evaluating Responsive Smart Management to Increase Total Headroom (SILVERSMITH)


EA Technology have extensive experience in utilising a wide range of tools to perform analysis of electricity networks. EA Technologies have experts in parametric (Transform) and load flow (DIGSILENT) modelling, ensuring that both methodologies could be conducted by a single consultancy. EA Technology will utilise different teams to ensure independence between the two methodologies. EA Technology will produce 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 will be 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.

Thomas Stone
Consultant, Net Zero Transition