July 7th 2014
GridON’s breakthrough fault current limiter (FCL), which suppresses the damaging currents resulting from electricity network faults, has successfully completed its first year of operational service on UK Power Networks’ primary substation at Newhaven, East Sussex, proving both reliable operation and extremely effective performance in limiting several network fault events.
By suppressing the damaging currents which result from electricity network faults, the FCL overcomes operational constraints on the network without the need for network upgrades, which can potentially cost millions of pounds.
- During its first year of operation, the FCL experienced several network fault events, during which it reduced the fault currents by up to 46%, performing exactly as specified and designed
- It instantly suppressed the current to the required level during the entire fault duration (more than 750 milliseconds in all cases) and, very importantly, recovered to normal operation immediately upon fault isolation and clearance
- It also demonstrated perfect reliability throughout the entire year, under both normal and fault conditions
Further to the testing carried out at a certified, third party laboratory in 2013, during which the device was subjected to more than 50 fault tests, these network faults in service at Newhaven not only demonstrated that the FCL performed excellently but also proved that the network itself and all its protection systems behaved as expected, further reinforcing confidence in the product and its deployment in the network.
GridON’s first installed FCL was developed and manufactured, together with Wilson Transformer Company, under a project commissioned by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).
Since the UK Power Networks installation, GridON has sold a fault current limiter to Western Power Distribution for a primary substation in Birmingham, UK, and is receiving sustained interest in potential unit sales from both distribution and transmission network operators around the world.
“GridON is extremely pleased with the performance of its fault current limiter during multiple fault events at UK Power Networks,” said Yoram Valent, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of GridON. “Following the excellent experience with our FCL in live operation for over a year, we are confident with its maturity for widespread implementation.”
“We are really pleased that GridON’s FCL has performed exactly as we expected it to,” said Martin Wilcox, Head of Future Networks at UK Power Networks. “Following the pre-trial testing we were confident that the FCL would handle network faults as predicted and are pleased to be able to confirm this is the case. We look forward to continuing to assess its performance on our network.”
Nick Eraut, ETI Project Manager - Energy Storage & Distribution, said: “These very positive results from the first year of operation provide real evidence of the advantages of GridON’s FCLs and justify genuine confidence for them to be deployed now as part of business-as-usual activities. The successful development of innovations such as this FCL will help to minimise the costs of future network upgrading and help to ensure that the UK has an affordable and adaptable energy infrastructure.”
Andrew Ellis, Head of Electrical Power Engineering at E.ON Technologies, which is providing technical consultancy services to the project, said: “The excellent performance of GridON’s fault current limiter in reducing fault currents during the recent fault events in a real network demonstrated that this new technology is fully ready for wider implementation in distribution networks”.
Read more on the GridON website here