Enabling Our Distributed Energy Future – Mapping Low Voltage Networks Using AMI Data
Low voltage (LV) distribution networks are undergoing unprecedented changes due to the rapid uptake of rooftop solar PV, battery technologies, and electric vehicles and related products. Distribution network service providers (DNSPs) increasingly require better visibility into their networks, so they are able to maximise the capacity of LV networks to host and integrate these new technologies, ensure minimal expenditure for any upgrades, and maintain a safe and reliable electricity supply. However, LV networks can often be characterised by low levels of visibility. With DNSPs specifically indicating the following challenges:
- Assignment of customers to phases might not be accurate,
- Incomplete records of the topology of the network and the location of customers on the relevant LV distribution circuit is not accurate, and
- Impedance of distributions lines is unknown.
These challenges can impact the ability of DNSPs to efficiently incorporate new technologies into existing operations. However, due to the large penetration of AMI smart meters in Victoria, it is possible to improve LV visibility at relatively low cost with direct benefits to both customers and networks.
This project aimed to address some of the critical visibility challenges that currently exist for DNSPs, by using smart meter data. The project has developed:
- Clustering algorithms for phase grouping of customers,
- Topology estimation algorithms by identifying the complete connectivity graph of the network from the transformer to customers,
- Algorithms to estimate the impedance of distribution lines and service cables,
- An algorithm to detect and locate unmetered loads in a network, and
- Algorithms to detect and locate faults in LV networks
Join us to hear from researchers and DNSPs who collaborated on this project. You will be able to see the results of smart meter data analysis and how they are applied to facilitate the integration of distributed energy resources into LV networks.