UK Power Networks 2020

Reliable detection of high-impedance ground faults in power distribution networks is challenging, especially in grids with compensated earthing where fault currents are very small. MetrySense-5000 smart grid sensors and analytics solution has an exceptional world-leading performance of reliable detection of high impedance faults, including in grids with compensated earthing (using Petersen coil) which was proven in many countries including in the UK.

Metrycom Communications Ltd has was selected by UK Distribution Network Operator, UK Power Networks (UKPN) to supply its state-of-the-art MS 5000 Smart-Grid Sensors for trials on part of the company’s  11kV overhead line network in June 2020. UK Power Networks is the UK’s biggest single electricity distributor, making sure the lights stay on for more than eight million homes and businesses across London, the South East and the East of England.

As part of this program extensive testing has been carried out for UKPN by the University of Strathclyde’s Power Network Demonstration Centre involving a HIL (hardware in the loop) test testing on a real time model of UK Power Networks 33/11kV Benhall Primary Substation involving two sets of Metrycom’s MS-5000 sensors and three physical substation protection relays provided by UK Power Networks:.

The test scenarios covered included:

  • Phase to Earth Faults
  • Phase to Phase Faults
  • Two Phase to Earth Faults
  • Three Phase Faults
  • Three Phase to Earth Faults
  • Cross Country Faults
  • Very High Impedance Phase to Earth Faults

Following these successful tests Metrycom’s advanced Smart Grid Sensors are now being deployed in 2021 across three different 11kV networks connected to 3 of UKPN’s Primary substations to gain further field test experience

These innovative grid sensors provide faster and more accurate fault location information to the electricity networks’ control engineers, helping to get the power back on more quickly and safely in the unlikely event a fault should occur.

Metrycom’s Smart-Grid Sensors are induction powered from power lines, using currents as low as 3 Amps. The sensors use both cellular and mesh-radio connections to communicate a range of power quality and fault information, which is analysed by Metrycom’s advanced analytic software MetryView, to determine the location of faults on electricity networks significantly faster than using traditional methods.

In order to provide rapid fault location to UK Power Network’s network control room, Metrycom’s MetryView software will be connected to UKPN’s Network Management Systems. Metrycom’s software engineers are working closely together with both UK Power Networks to deliver this integration.

This project is being funded by Ofgem’s Network Innovation Allowance and is being run jointly with Western Power Distribution who are also carrying out trials on their 33kV network.