TPS enters E-LOBSTER consortium to enhance distribution grid stability and reduce electricity losses in Railway networks and Power distribution networks

E-LOBSTER - connecting railway network, electricity grid and EV

Have you ever imagined connecting Railways, Electric Vehicles Chargers, Solar Photovoltaic Cells, Storage Systems and the Electricity Grid?

Well…. TPS and its partners did it!

The entire world is trying to develop more efficient, reliable and greener energy systems and, at the same time, cope with an increasing demand for power.

In addition, the use of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) is increasing rapidly and, despite the positive impacts, the introduction of these new power flows on the grid is challenging under the current network configuration. To overcome this, the European Electricity Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) and Light-Railway networks are independently developing several programmes. Through these schemes, they are targeting electricity loss reductions, cost optimizations, grid stability control while upholding the demands of Electric Vehicles (EV), energy storage systems and prosumers.

Given this background, a new consortium has emerged to support the combination of all those needs in a project called E-LOBSTER. The name stands for “Electric LOsses Balancing through integrated STorage and power Electronics towards increased synergy between Railways and electricity distribution networks”. Within this consortium, TPS will once again collaborate with Newcastle University and 7 other members: RINA, Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), The University of Birmingham, Lithium Balance, Metro de Madrid, Spanish Railways Foundation (FFE) and The International Association of Public Transport (UITP).

This project intends to create an economically viable and easily replicable Transport-Grid Inter-Connection System that will establish synergies between three main players within the Energy and Transport sectors:

– Electrified urban transport networks (metro, trams, light railways etc.)
– Power distribution networks
– EV charging stations

Creating a connection between these players will enhance distribution grid stability through the inter-exchange of electricity and will lead to a much lower requirement for network reinforcements or upgrades. The enabler to deliver the objectives of the E-LOBSTER project is the use of smart Power Electronic Converters supplied by TPS. This solution will operate under an integrated Railway and Grid Management System which will optimize the capacity of both networks by improving the exchange of electricity between them, while supporting local RES self-consumption.

TPS’ role within this project will be to design, manufacture, deliver and test prototypes of Power Electronic Converters to facilitate resource sharing between the Electricity Distribution and Railway networks, aiming to achieve an integrated system.

E-LOBSTER will demonstrate the functionality of this new system in a real underground railway in Madrid. The railway would be connected to a local power distribution network with a high penetration of RES. The knowledge generated from the project will be further examined with the purpose of developing a superior design for a full-scale system, paving the way towards replication across the EU.

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 774392.
Dr. Nigel Jakeman, TPS Engineering & Business Development Director, commented:

“Another great success for TPS, enabling us to further build on the benefits of our family of Smart Grid Converters. On this occasion, we are using our awards-winning Power Electronic Converters in an application that can benefit both Distribution Network Operators and Rail Operators alike. Other projects where we have used our Smart Converters are Renewable Traction Power and Flexible Urban Networks. We’re looking forward to working with our partners and demonstrating this truly novel and value adding system.”


For further information, please contact:

Nigel Jakeman, Engineering & Business Development Director

+44 (0) 191 482 9240 /


Ioana Briciu, Marketing Assistant

+44 (0) 191 482 9278 /

TPS will develop a Smart System that will allow Electric Vehicles to give power back to the National Grid. Let’s power-up using Low Carbon Technologies!

Vehicle-to-Grid - Smart Hubs Demonstrator project - TPS

More success for TPS and our partners! ….. following on from our recent funding award Smart Hubs, which creates a DC micro grid integrating electric vehicles (EV), battery storage, PV solar cells and smart converters; the project has now won further recognition from Innovate – the UK Research and Innovation body – taking this ground-breaking approach closer to commercialisation.

Our newly awarded project Smart Hubs Demonstrator will deliver these systems into real life applications to demonstrate the benefits afforded to creating a DC micro grid to integrate electric vehicles, battery storage and solar PV generation in a public car parking area.

The consortium – which includes, along with TPS, system integrator Flexisolar, energy aggregator Flexitricity and also Smart Power Systems – will demonstrate its full capabilities and expertise in delivering and operating a full-scale system that can seamlessly manage supply and demand of power on a DC network, maximising returns to the car park operator whilst relieving strain on the local AC electricity distribution network.

Solar carports are stand-alone structures which provide shelter for cars, but they are also designed to support a roof covering of solar panels. Moreover, these carports can also support energy exchange between Electric Vehicle owners. The Smart Hubs Demonstrator project will illustrate how the energy, which is stored in EV batteries and bulk battery systems, can be utilised by the electrical grid system during peak times. EV owners would be able to charge their cars while parked in the solar carport, however, when not being used, the car can remain connected thus allowing the power grid to utilise a proportion of the stored capacity in the vehicle during times of higher demand.

This type of energy exchange between the electricity network, EVs and battery storage systems represents the main functionality of this particular Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) system. V2G is an exciting initiative which will support the reinforcement of the distribution network while maximising the benefits and incentives to both consumers and Distribution Network Operators alike.

The consortium aims to combine the following:
– Clean energy generation from Solar Carports.
– The versatility of Energy Storage systems available via EV Charge Points.
– Grid asset optimisation using intelligent smart grid converters.

For this project TPS will be utilising the latest generation of Power Converters to allow capacity sharing between the above-mentioned energy sources. These Power Converters are being developed for another one of our flagship projects – Active Response – where we are collaborating with UK Power Networks to release spare network capacity, significantly reduce customer bills and ultimately achieve a greener electricity supply in the near future.

Smart Hubs has been created to facilitate the integration of Low Carbon Technologies into the distribution network whilst minimising their impact on the ageing network infrastructure. Smart Hubs Demonstrator aims to push forward the opportunity for V2G systems to be implemented across up to six (6) locations during the project. It is designed to develop a two-way V2G charger using cutting-edge Silicon Carbide (SiC) power electronics, which is a new technology that will replace conventional silicon in power electronics, and at the same time bring a suite of benefits to this project including: lower energy consumption, small space envelope and lighter equipment with improved reliability.

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

These are exciting times for the power electronics industry and in particular for TPS. Together with our project partners, we find ourselves delivering ground breaking solutions in the Smart Grid arena, this time illustrating the benefits of integrating Low Carbon Technologies into a DC microgrid system delivering benefits to multiple stakeholders including consumers, DNOs and energy resellers. The principle of supporting the electricity distribution network using Vehicle-to-Grid technology is in itself a key future technology as we strive to deliver cost effective methods of keeping the lights on across the UK.


For further information, please contact:
Dr. Nigel Jakeman, Engineering & Business Development Director
+44 (0) 191 482 9240 /


Ioana Briciu, Marketing Assistant
+44 (0) 191 482 9278 /

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 /


Ioana Briciu, Marketing Assistant

+44 (0) 191 482 9278 /


Rosie Williams, Northern Powergrid PR Account Manager

+44 (0) 7990788411 /

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 /


Ioana Briciu, Marketing Assistant

+44 (0) 191 482 9278 /

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