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Smart Street trials

Smart Street trials

The project involved a series of trials to test the technology on six primary substations and 38 related distribution substations, representing around 67,000 customers.

During the technology build we installed 498 Weezaps and 126 Lynx devices. We also installed 49 end-point monitors, 84 low voltage capacitors, six high voltage capacitors and five on-load tap changing transformers. All of this equipment was integrated into our network management system and was controlled by Siemens Spectrum 5 from our control centre.

The primary substations involved in the Smart Street trial were:

  • Egremont
  • Wigton
  • Hindley Green
  • Green Street, Wigan
  • Denton East
  • Longsight

The new equipment was installed and the system configured between late 2014 and late 2015, with live trials beginning in January 2016. The trials were carried out on a two-week-on and two-week-off basis until early 2018.

Engaging with our customers

Understanding whether customers were affected by the trials was crucial to the viability of the Smart Street solution. We engaged with customers in the trial areas to let them know about the project and used focus groups or 'engaged customer panels' to help decide the best way to communicate information about Smart Street.

Engaged customer panels were held during the trials to collect qualitative information from customers. The aim of the research was to test if customers observed any changes in their electricity supply. All the customers who took part in our panels confirmed that they had not noticed any changes.

We raised awareness of the project with all our customers throughout the trials using our website, leaflets and social media to ensure they were kept up-to-date.

Monitoring the Smart Street trial areas

As part of the trial we needed to collect and analyse a varied and significant amount of data so that we could share our findings with the rest of the industry.

This included information on voltage and power quality so that we could quantify the effects of Smart Street on the regional and national electricity networks and our service to customers.

The final month's data is available below. For previous months' data, please contact us.