Driven by the increasing number of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) installed in the LV network, for example, photovoltaic systems (PVs), network management becomes more complicated .
Excess generation from a PV system leads to current injection back into the network, contributing significantly to phase imbalance, but even if there is no overproduction, the mere decrease in consumption is enough for consumers to be impacted by real effects on the network. Another concern is the ever-growing number of electric vehicles (EV) making use of the LV network for charging. These large loads can destabilise a previously balanced system if they are not considered .
Previously Powerco had minimal visibility over its LV network, so they embarked on a project to address the significant shortcoming to enable visibility of the network.
The key objectives of the project were.
- To have visibility over the LV network and understand the impact DERs have associated with two-way power flows or the addition of new major loads such as rapid chargers for EVs.
- Support Powerco’s evolution to an open-access network, which in turn will be an enabler for a future distribution system operation (DSO) function.
- Understand the performance of the LV network and seeing the full reliability impact on its customers.
- Ultimately translate into having a proactive approach toward problems and provide a basis for accurate planning using data-driven decisions.
- Monitor LV circuits and initiate Outage Management System notifications to a customer outage