Trial test-bed in Ireland for Voltage Control

State of the Art:

Planning and deployment of networks in today’s utility systems follows the same principles as it did in the 1950’s. Many utilities feel that the methodology for planning and sizing networks has no need to change. Few have recognised the substantial change which is occurring at a consumer and generator level. Due to pressures for emission reduction and renewable integration, assumed steady-state, dispatch able load is becoming less preferential and scarce in the energy mix. The diversity of energy use within customer premises is dramatically changing in favour of stochastic loads and aggregated control. Yet networks deployed for a vastly different use case to todays are in place since the mid 1900’s and are expected to satisfy changing requirements. Operating in a traditional fashion introduced substantial implications to grid lifecycle, capacity and system wide voltage, incurring premature replacement and reinforcement work. A new RE-SERVE approach is needed to enable yesterday’s grid to support tomorrows use cases while incurring the optimal level of network replacement. Globally, system operators face the challenge of allowing flexible users the greatest possible freedom to control load without compromising electrical network performance and integrity, increasing electrical network investment costs, introducing a standard model and interface through which Demand Side Management Aggregators/Demand Side Users will be guided in the future to ensure optimal access to ESB’s Networks, introduction of verifiable electrical load and generation state throughout the whole Setting a precedent that Demand Side Management activities will be contingent on real-time system operator judgment as to whether network standards will be breached in the event of such switching, and to safeguard the electrical system from significant changes in load/generation.


Within the RE-SERVE project, ESB will testing the SERVO platform, allowing energy actors (prosumers, aggregators, generators, market participants and system operators) the greatest possible freedom to control generation and load without compromising network existing performance and integrity.The objective is to test new techniques for Voltage and system Stability by Design using SERVO.  The SERVO platform will be used, in a field trial, to implement the concepts of voltage control and system control developed in WP3 and WP4 ensuring that 100% of network availability across the nation of Ireland is exposed to customers and aggregators without incurring unavoidable increases in electrical network costs.  As part of the trial, ESB will deploy SERVO giving national cover over all of the distribution system.  Ten further LV level monitoring devices at ten locations nationally will be implemented to verify automated modelling systems, to run systematic tests of the effectiveness of the system with respect to the parameters surrounding:voltage stability and variance, introduction of DER and RES towards 100%, the control of DR activities and the balancing DR against renewables throughout the Irish network  Servo is a platform and methodology, which will allow the above to happen using a novel approach to control the electrical system and energy actors in a real-time fashion.  RE-SERVE will identify and develop secure structured processes and  standards depicting relationships between all energy actors which will run in parallel to market mechanisms, a stability support mechanism. To accomplish this, the platform will utilise standards and protocols  traditionally used in the financial and communications arena and will reside on innovative cloud based, secure platforms.