Network capacity and circuit ratings are established using a standard design practice which calculates the rating based on worse case criteria, seasonal conditions and operational scenarios. While this is a conservative rating regime, this provides confidence that the network will be robust to most credible scenarios. As more intermittent and embedded weather related generation connects to the network, a more ‘flexible’ approach to ratings is required to enhance the circuit rating and associated transmission boundary capacity if the weather conditions are agreeable. Applying these concepts remains difficult to implement in planning and operational timeframes.
The Humber SmartZone Project aims to develop and demonstrate a proof of concept to provide flexible enhanced circuit ratings using a combination of wide area monitoring, predictive ratings and dynamic security analysis. The method coordinates asset performance with network awareness and monitoring to optimise the thermal capacity of circuits. This will be particularly beneficial for periods coincident with high volumes of wind generation on the network. This could potentially enhance the network performance without the need for building new capacity. In particular it will enable network reinforcement to be deferred or possibly avoided if the additional requirements are either marginal or wind generation related. The challenge remains how to develop this concept into a secure and reliable regional or national level network automation application.Project partners:University of Manchester