Western Power Distribution

Metrycom Communications Ltd was selected by UK Distribution Network Operator (DNO) Western Power Distribution (WPD) to supply its state-of-the-art MS 5000 Smart-Grid Sensors for trials on part of the company’s 33kV overhead line network in June 2020. WPD is one of the largest DNOs in the UK and is responsible for the electricity distribution network across the Midlands, the South West of England and South Wales, serving 7.9m customers and operating more than 220,000 miles of cable and overhead power lines.

Following an initial deployment in September 2020 on WPD’s 33kV mesh networks, which contain multiple sources of distributed generation, further sensor deployments are planned for 2021 to gain additional field test experience, including the use of radio as well as cellular connections.

These innovative grid sensors provide faster and more accurate fault location information to WPD’s control engineers, helping to restore power more quickly and safely, in the unlikely event of a fault.

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. This system can determine the location of faults on electricity networks significantly faster than traditional methods.

To provide rapid fault location to WPD’s network control room, Metrycom’s MetryView software is now connected to WPD’s IT Management Systems and Metrycom’s software engineers are working closely together with engineers at WPD to finalise this integration.

This project is being funded by Ofgem’s Network Innovation Allowance and is being run jointly with UK Power Networks which is also carrying out trials on its 11kV networks.