By 2030, it is anticipated there will be up to 4.5 million electric vehicles in use across London, the East and South East of England. Where UK Power Networks delivers electricity. The charging of these vehicles could significantly increase peak demand for electricity. To accommodate this increased demand, UK Power Networks would traditionally reinforce the existing network assets to provide more capacity but new cabling and substations would mean roadworks and increased cost to customers.
As a Distribution Network Operator, UK Power Networks is tasked with ensuring a secure supply of electricity to customers within its network. The power demand from commercial/industrial users’ peak at different times to that of domestic users. These users are generally located in different geographical locations and served by a network of substations. UK Power Networks has identified that, potentially, the Soft Open Points Electricity Chamber as a form of Smart Network Active Response technology, can be applied to hundreds of substation sites across the UK to balance out the flow of electricity from different users.
If feasible, the technology can be applied to multiple sites across the networks and thousands of sites across the country. To address the challenges raised by future electricity demand such as electric vehicles, electric heating etc, Active Response will test and trial new designs of power electronic devices.
The project aims to demonstrate that by using advanced automation and installing new power electronic devices, we can connect networks together and move spare capacity around to where it is needed, reducing the need for time-consuming and sometimes costly reinforcement.
Learn more about the project: https://innovation.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/projects/active-response/