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Experts head to national summit on smart grids

Experts shaping the future face of Britain’s electricity networks have headed to Manchester this week to share their latest research with the industry.

From Press releases - 12 October 2016 12:00 AM

Experts shaping the future face of Britain’s electricity networks have headed to Manchester this week to share their latest research with the industry.

UK Power Networks has ten speakers presenting recent findings from pioneering electricity distribution trials to a major gathering of industry specialists at the annual Low Carbon Networks and Innovation conference at Manchester Centre from October 11 to 13.

Over a quarter of Britain relies on the company’s networks to keep electricity flowing to their home or business and its innovation team is exploring cutting-edge ways to keep delivering reliable electricity supplies to customers for least cost in a low carbon future.

Suleman Alli, director of strategy and support services at UK Power Networks, said: “We want to continue playing a leading role in supporting the country as it moves to a low carbon future. Our experts are constantly searching for new ways to make our networks work harder for our customers.

“As more renewables connect to our networks and as people use electric cars our networks will be in greater demand. We aim to meet these new challenges while keeping down the cost of delivering reliable electricity supplies.”

One of UK Power Networks’ flagship projects is Britain’s ‘big battery’ at Leighton Buzzard – the Smarter Network Storage facility. There will be a scale model of the device on the company’s stand (D05) and a video will offer glimpses inside the grid-scale electricity storage facility which is proving the value of electrical storage for electricity networks.

A virtual reality headset on the stand will enable visitors to take a tour of the Flexible Urban Networks at Low Voltage (FUN-LV) project. This is a ‘power sharing’ trial taking place in Brighton and London which is maximizing output from existing electricity substations, to keep delivering supplies for the lowest cost. Lightly-loaded substations were programmed to share the ‘workload’ with more heavily-loaded sites, automatically kicking in whenever pre-set thresholds were met.

Today (Oct 12) UK Power Networks has seven presenters:
• Energywise: engaging with fuel poor and vulnerable customers, Giulia Privitera, innovation engineer, 9.40am-10.15am, Room Cobden 3
• Electricity storage: Smarter Networks Storage facility at Leighton Buzzard, Sotiris Georgiopoulos, head of smart grid development and Adriana Laguna, low carbon technologies manager, 11-11.40am, Room Cobden 3
• Meshing networks using power electronics: Peter Lang, senior technology transfer engineer, 9.40am-10.15am, Room Exchange 11
• Flexible Urban Networks at Low Voltage (FUN-LV): David Boyer, innovation lead, Thazi Edwards, innovation engineer, 11am-12:30pm, Room Charter 1
• Low voltage faults and customer service improvements: Ismini Dimitriadou, innovation engineer, with FUN-LV, David Boyer and Thazi Edwards

Tomorrow (Thursday, October 13) UK Power Networks has four further presenters:
• Kent Active Management System: Alex Jakeman, innovation engineer, 9.40am to 10.15am, Room Cobden 3
• Underground cable replacement, prioritization model: David Boyer, innovation lead, Maxi Faridi, innovation engineer, Luke Hughes, senior asset engineer, 09:30-11:00am, Room Charter 1

Organised annually by the Energy Networks Association, on behalf of the UK electricity and gas network operators, the conference explores findings from electricity and gas network innovation projects. For more information visit the website: