The increased use of renewable energy is vital to meet emission reduction targets and ensure security of supply in Europe. However renewables are intermittent and unless the energy flows are measured and controlled, the increased use of these distributed generation resources will cause costly power quality degradation, ultimately leading to wide-spread blackouts. Smart Grids are the mechanism to reliably utilise large amounts of renewable energy and new measurement tools as proposed in this project are essential for their stable operation.

The emergence of GPS synchronised measurements has opened up many new measurement opportunities to determine grid parameters and behaviour over a wide geographical area.  This is a common theme to the techniques that will be developed in this project which will ultimately lead to new grid management methods to help design, control and stabilise Smart Grids of the future.

Scientific and technical objectives of the Smart Grids II project

The common theme to the measurements to be developed in this project is the use of multiple digitising instruments placed at geographically remote locations around an electricity grid. These instruments are time-synchronised to form a wide-area measurement system using GPS.

Specifically the project has the following objectives:

  • PQ Propagation. Determination of PQ propagation mechanisms associated with a selection of disturbance sources in a variety of distribution and transmission networks. The results will be reconciled against network topology, drawing conclusions to support future network planning and standardisation.
  • PQ Disturbance and Fault Location. Amplitude and phase measurements for multiple GPS synchronised instruments will be used to determine power flows associated with major PQ disturbance / faults and their locations will be estimated.
  • Network impedance and system resonances. Wide-area measurements and the analysis of system impedance and resonances in HV/MV/LV networks. Results will be evaluated against network design data and models.
  • PMUs in Distribution Networks. Selection, comparison and validation of new PMU algorithms suitable for use in LV and MV distribution networks. These networks are characterised by smaller distances and hence require higher phase sensitivity whilst at the same time accounting for a higher level of PQ disturbances.
  • Dynamic calibration of PMUs. Develop extensions to a laboratory PMU calibrator to provide new calibration support for the dynamic performance of PMUs.
  • On-Site Calibration of PMUs. Undertake on-site measurements using reference PMUs, suitably modified to calibrate/verify the operation under realistic conditions including PQ disturbances.
  • PMU/PQ Transducer Characterisation. Develop/apply wideband evaluation facilities for transducers and optimise non-invasive transducers specifically applied to the PMU/PQ measurement chain.
  • Digitised Waveform Corrections. Develop and evaluate signal processing methods to apply transducer frequency response corrections to sampled complex wave shapes typically present in PMU/PQ measurements. Reconcile the propagation of transducer uncertainties through complex PQ and PMU algorithms.
  • Standardisation Input. Provide metrology input and pre-normative research to the evolution of International (CEN, CENELEC, IEC, IEEE) standards concerning PMUs for network controllability and PQ in a Smart Grid context