TPS and Northern Powergrid are developing an innovative solution and new technologies to help secure the electricity supply to isolated areas.

TPS and Northern Powergrid feasibility study to secure power in isolated areas

Left to right: Andrew Webster, Innovation Project Manager at Northern Powergrid, and Dr. Nigel Jakeman, Engineering & Business Development Director at TPS

Innovation is in the heart of the North East! Turbo Power Systems (“TPS”) is supporting Northern Powergrid’s initiative to increase the resilience of local power networks through the implementation of battery storage solutions and other low carbon technologies. Within this framework, TPS will focus on developing a new power electronic system under Northern Powergrid’s Active Network Management (ANM) program.

TPS’ commitment comes in response to Northern Powergrid’s initiative for increased resilience in areas that are more susceptible to power cuts due to their geographic nature (e.g. outlying coastal area) and commitment to improving its service for people in isolated communities.

TPS will implement a solution that meets the requirements of the low voltage (LV) network, a solution that is based on its award winning Dual-Terminal PED (Power Electronic Device). The Dual PED has already been successfully trialled by UK Power Networks in London and Brighton as a Soft Open Point by interconnecting two LV networks at Normally Open Point locations. This means that, for the first time ever, two substations were capable of sharing power automatically using a power electronic device and this was just one of the benefits amongst all others created.

TPS’ Dual PED design will be enhanced to achieve the functional and connectivity requirements of Northern Powergrid’s ANM system. Within this project, TPS’ objective is to identify and build an integrated solution with connectivity capability to the network’s highly efficient communication architecture, whilst capturing the proven benefits and value engineering from the earlier Dual PED delivery.

Within this project, TPS and Northern Powergrid will also establish the further developments required to produce a preliminary design for managing local LV AC and LV DC networks. The ultimate goal is to develop and implement a new PED technology that will replace the current 11kV/400V transformers in the networks, and fully integrate with the ANM scheme to secure the supply of mains quality electricity in isolated locations.

Dr. Nigel Jakeman, TPS Engineering & Business Development Director, commented:

This is a forward-thinking initiative and we’re happy to be working with Northern Powergrid to help deliver improvements that will benefit customers. Power Electronics is a pivotal element in the electricity distribution network of tomorrow and this program demonstrates the key role it can play in securing supply even in the most vulnerable of locations.

Iain Miller, Head of Innovation at Northern Powergrid, said:

We’re focused on driving forward innovations that can make a difference for our customers and this is a potential game changer. The equipment being developed with TPS and control systems being developed with Smarter Grid Solutions won’t merely restore electricity to customers after a fault on the grid; they will prevent customers going off in the first place. As we become more and more electricity dependent in our everyday lives that is really exciting.

“This project could also provide the groundwork to enable our customers to engage more fully with our network through new capabilities, such as peer-to-peer trading. We’re thrilled that this project will improve the lives of electricity customers who may experience more power cuts due to the geographic nature of the community where they live.

 

For further information, please contact:

Nigel Jakeman, Engineering & Business Development Director

+44 (0) 191 482 9240 / njakeman@turbopowersystems.com

Or

Ioana Briciu, Marketing Assistant

+44 (0) 191 482 9278 / ibriciu@turbopowersytems.com

Or

Rosie Williams, Northern Powergrid PR Account Manager

+44 (0) 7990788411 / rosie.williams@greenhousepr.co.uk

TPS join consortium to support a Low-Carbon future through Vehicle-to-Grid system – Let’s turn car parks into power stations!

Smart Hubs vehicle-to-grid system

Left to right: Dr. Nigel Jakeman – TPS Engineering & Business Development Director, and Dr. Neal Wade – Newcastle University Lecturer in Power Systems

Turbo Power Systems (TPS) has joined forces in a national consortium which includes our North-East-based neighbours – University of Newcastle, aiming to deliver an exciting new project called Smart Hubs. The term “Smart Hubs” refers to a car park installation comprising Solar Photovoltaic Canopies, Electric Vehicle Charge Points and Energy Storage. These are all inter-connected with the electric grid using Smart Power Electronic Devices to intelligently manage energy demand and supply.

There are multiple factors that will drive the need for smarter electricity management in the distribution network of tomorrow. A few examples of such factors are: the increasing penetration of Renewable Energy generators, such as Solar Photovoltaics, and the anticipated move to Electric Vehicles (EV), as we strive to achieve the challenging goals of the UK to reduce greenhouse gases emissions.

The Smart Hub has been conceived as one such method to facilitate the integration of Low Carbon Technologies into the Distribution Network of tomorrow. The project will focus on developing a Smart Hub to support practical installation of Electric Vehicle charge point (7-300kW/unit) clusters. It will be designed for infrastructure companies that are servicing the public, but also for the private sector.

The global market for Electric Vehicle infrastructure is expected to see an annual growth rate of over 27% during 2016-2026. Additionally, integration of EV with the distribution network is projected to contribute to electricity network supply capacity, whilst helping replace the network inertia lost with the switch from centralised generation to decentralised generation from renewables. This principle is called Vehicle-to-Grid and will see the vehicle generate electricity back into the grid at times of need. Moreover, Smart Hubs will facilitate power trading for electric vehicle owners to provide two-way fiscal benefits.

The project seeks to combine three technology streams that are currently hindered by cost barriers: Solar Power, EV charging and Battery based Energy Storage. Through integration into a Smart Hub, the infrastructure costs are shared and reduced due to the creation of an interconnected DC distribution network. Smart Hubs provide an intelligent and secure power supply for EV transport by utilising distributed renewable generation at source for charging of Electric Vehicles.

This project supports the government’s targets for decarbonizing energy supply and transportation systems by enabling cost-efficient deployment of Low Carbon Technologies through smart integration and energy management technologies.

Dr. Nigel Jakeman, TPS Engineering & Business Development Director, commented:

“We’re delighted to be a part of this project in which Smart Hubs will demonstrate the integration of Low Carbon Technologies into the distribution network in an intelligent and efficient manner. We look forward to working with our collaborators, including our local partner, Newcastle University, to deliver this enabling technology. The benefits of this project will be three-fold to reduce and secure energy costs, enable practical integration of Electric Vehicles and to help strengthen the resilience of our electricity distribution network for the future security of our supply.”

Dr. Neal Wade, Lecturer in Power Systems at Newcastle University, mentioned:

“In the Smart Hubs project we are using the world class power system modelling and laboratory facilities at Newcastle University to demonstrate and generalise this DC microgrid concept. Building on our expertise in Energy Storage, Renewable Energy Integration and Electric Vehicle Charging we will work with the project partners to show the potential for this novel solution. We are delighted to be working on this nationally important project with our local partner Turbo Power Systems as part of our portfolio of Energy Systems research.”

 

For further information, please contact:

Nigel Jakeman, Engineering & Business Development Director

+44 (0) 191 482 9240 / njakeman@turbopowersystems.com

Or

Ioana Briciu, Marketing Assistant

+44 (0) 191 482 9278 / ibriciu@turbopowersytems.com

TPS and UKPN are collaborating on the innovative Active Response research project

Active Response research project

TPS and UK Power Networks are collaborating on a revolutionary research project to release spare network capacity and significantly reduce customer bills whilst achieving a greener electricity supply by 2030.

The idea behind the Active Response research project is to identify where spare capacity on the electricity distribution network can be released to support the predicted increase in Electric Vehicles. The four-year program will trial a responsive and automated electricity network that will release spare capacity to where the demand requires. This will be made possible using Power Electronic Devices to move electricity from heavily loaded substations to nearby substations with spare capacity.

Further building on the achievements of Flexible Urban Networks (FUN-LV), TPS’ award-winning smart grid converters will provide the hardware platform for Active Response. Creating Soft Open Points on both the Low and Medium Voltage network will enable the power in each substation feed to be balanced whilst maintaining supply voltage within statutory limits.

Active Response constitutes a pioneering approach that can proactively move spare capacity around the distribution system to support areas that are using more electricity. This means providing additional capacity in residential areas in evenings and at weekends when people are charging their cars, and then moving that spare capacity to where it is needed during the day – such as city centres, commercial hubs or electric fleet charge points.

This innovative project could save customers nationwide £271 million by 2030 and cut more than 448,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by 2030.

UK Power Networks’ head of innovation Ian Cameron said: “A low carbon transport revolution is coming and UK Power Networks want to make sure electric vehicle users can charge when and where they want at the lowest possible cost. Active Response is one of our key projects to enable this, by allowing us to research how we can move any spare capacity around the network to where it is needed.”

Engineering and Business Development Director for TPS, Dr Nigel Jakeman, stressed “We are delighted that Ofgem have awarded Active Response and again to be working with UKPN to continue the commercialisation of the Soft Open Point converter, not just for Low Voltage distribution but now also for Medium Voltage sub stations”. Continuing he said: “This is another step toward TPS becoming a major supplier of Smart Grid Power Electronic solutions and we welcome approaches from industry professionals wanting to be a part of this exciting future”.

TPS is looking forward to working with its partners UK Power Networks, Ricardo and CGI on this project.

 

For further information please contact marketing@turbopowersystems.com.

 

We Shoot, We Score – Losses Category Award is ours!

Celebrations are in order as TPS have won in the Losses Competition at the UK Energy Innovation Awards 2017.

Turbo Power Systems (TPS) supported by its partner, UK Power Networks, are delighted to announce that once again we are a winner at the annual Energy Innovation Centre Awards. Held at the Rum Warehouse, Titanic Hotel in Liverpool on 28th September 2017, TPS was awarded winner of the inaugural Scottish & Southern Energy sponsored “Losses” award. Another first for TPS!

TPS has won Losses Category Award at UK Energy Innovation Awards 2017

Left to right: Jason Bradbury – Channel 5 ‘The Gadget Show’, Ian Cooper – UKPN, Nigel Jakeman – TPS, Fainan Hassan – TPS, Stewart Reid – SSE

Building on the success of winning the award for “Best Electricity Network Improvement” in 2015, our Soft Open Point converters were recognised this time around for the significant impact that they have on improving losses on the electricity distribution network. Presenting the award on behalf of Scottish & Southern Energy was managing director Stewart Reid.

On an evening to celebrate innovation hosted by Jason Bradbury, star of Channel 5’s Gadget Show, eleven awards were handed out to service and product providers to recognise their efforts as adding value to the UK utilities sector through applied innovation.

Nominated in the final category of the evening, TPS were proud to be announced winner of the losses award. Collecting the award were Engineering Manager for Smart Grid and Energy, Dr Fainan Hassan and Engineering & Business Development Director, Dr Nigel Jakeman. Responding to the success, Dr Jakeman said “It’s a real honour for TPS to be awarded winner of the first ever Losses Award”, continuing “EIC do a fantastic job supporting and recognising innovators in this sector, so to have them and the utility sector recognising the significance of our technology once again serves as real testament to the future importance of these converters in the electricity distribution network of the future”.

TPS would like to thank UK Power Networks for their support in winning this prestigious award.

For further information please contact marketing@turbopowersystems.com.

Turbo Power Systems (TPS) collaborate on a UK solar power project

TPS collaborate with Imperial College London, 10:10, Network Rail and other partners to investigate the use of track-side solar panels to power trains.

Network Rail is currently investing billions in electrifying the UK’s railways, in bid to significantly reduce the number of trains running on diesel fuel, curbing costs, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions in the process.

The project will look at connecting solar panels directly to the lines that provide power to trains, a move that would bypass the electricity grid in order to more efficiently manage power demand from trains. It is the first in the world to test the completely unique and innovative idea, which could have a wide impact with commercial applications on electrified rail networks all over the world.

Initially the project will look at the feasibility of converting “third rail systems”. These supply electricity to the locomotive through a power line running close to the ground. They have the advantage of matching the way electricity is supplied by solar panels as direct current, and using a similar voltage to the rail network of 750V DC.

There are several major technical hurdles that will have to be addressed before the system could be accepted for operation, for instance, maintenance personnel safety. Interfacing a PV system to a utility network has taken many years to develop protocols and algorithms, which allow the PV system to come online when the grid is healthy and offline if the local grid has become disconnected from the main utility network.

 

Business photograph designed by Victor217 – Freepik.com

TPS excels in this particular area. It has a staff member Tony Lakin who is the UK expert to the International Standards Committee IEC TC82 who will provide the specialist expertise. Tony said “this is a requirement because the grid must not be able to power back up again autonomously, if an engineer has disconnected the mains supply to enable safe working on the disconnected area. The same considerations apply to the third rail system; you do not want the local energy system repowering the rail if remedial work is being carried out on it, the maintenance engineers would not be happy”!

Another consideration is that third rail on most rail networks is also used for signalling purposes, so injecting power into this rail raises electromagnetic compatibility issues. TPS is ideally placed to solve these problems because it already manufactures convertors to pick up power from the third rail and distribute it to on-board systems within the rail vehicle. The interface to the rail forms a key role in their design process and TPS have many years of know-how in implementing safe and successful systems. TPS experience combined with Imperial’s capability gives an unparalleled amount of engineering expertise to this project.

Imperial’s experience is on integration and management of renewable energy sources in electricity grids, while TPS work on the distribution and management of power in the railway sector. “TPS and Imperial really give us the full technical package,” says Leo. “We couldn’t have better partners to work out how we can integrate solar power with our trains.”

The Renewable Traction project will start on 1 February 2017. It is a collaboration between 10:10, Turbo Power Systems (TPS), Community Energy South, Network Rail and Energy Futures Lab. It is funded through Innovate UK’s Energy Game Changers programme. It will release the results of their feasibility study in late 2017.

Find out more about this project here: Plugging solar power into our railways

 

Photos and graphics subject to third party copyright used with permission or © Imperial College London.

 

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