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What is Respond?

The Department of Industry wrote in 2005 that active fault level management will help distribution network operators to quickly connect customers’ low carbon demand and generation and at a lower cost than traditional reinforcement. 

In November 2014, Electricity North West was granted funding from Ofgem’s Low Carbon Networks (LCN) Fund for the £5.5 million ‘Respond’ project. By combining innovative technical and commercial solutions with existing assets, the Respond project will make that vision a reality.

Respond utilises an intelligent Fault Level Assessment Tool coupled with two novel technical solutions and a revolutionary commercial concept. This commercial concept will benefit customers by establishing a new market in which they can participate to solve network fault level issues.

The Fault Level Assessment Tool will be installed in Electricity North West’s control room and is responsible for assessing the fault level in near real time. It will use the configuration from our network management system (NMS) and generation/demand data to conduct this assessment. 

Based on predefined settings within the software, the tool will then instruct one of the three fault level mitigation techniques to “enable” or “disable” via the NMS. The techniques will only be enabled at times when the fault level approaches or rises above equipment fault level ratings. The three techniques are known as Adaptive Protection, the IS-limiter and the Fault Current Limiting service.

Adaptive Protection – also known as sequential tripping. This technique re-sequences the operation of circuit breakers and will be retrofitted into existing substation equipment.

Fault Current Limiting service (FCL service) – industrial, commercial and generation customers can operate their equipment so they can offer fault level management services to DNOs using new technology which will be trialled under Respond. This commercial solution will enable customers to earn rewards and will benefit all distribution customers through reduced reinforcement costs. Find out more here.

IS-limiter – a current-limiting fuse which detects the rapid rise in current when a fault occurs and responds within 1/200th of a second to break the current. The IS-limiter is an existing technology used on private networks in the UK and extensively on public networks in Europe, USA and Australia as a fault current mitigation technique. This will be the first installation of an IS-limiter on a GB DNO network. As part of the Respond project we are aiming to demonstrate how these devices can be deployed safely and legally and unlock the benefits this technology can provide for customers.

The Respond method releases the same capacity as traditional reinforcement but up to 18 times faster and at much lower cost – up to 80% cheaper – potentially saving GB £2.3 billion by 2050.

The project will run from January 2015 until October 2018.

Image supplied courtesy of ABB

Image supplied courtesy of ABB