Hitachi trials smart grid technology in UK

13 February 2013
By Sofia Mitra-Thakur
Mobile version
Share |
Andres Larriera, head of Smart Grid Venture, Hitachi Europe

Andres Larriera, head of Smart Grid Venture, Hitachi Europe

Hitachi Europe is expanding trials of its smart grid technology in South West England and South Wales.

Hitachi Europe, a subsidiary of Hitachi, will conduct a series of field tests via its Smart Cities Energy Group, in partnership with Western Power Distribution (WPD).

Hitachi says the tests will enable the simpler and cheaper integration of renewable sources of electricity into local distribution networks, which are being led by WPD under the UK energy regulator’s Low Carbon Networks Fund (LCNF).

The three-year project integrates for the first time in Europe Hitachi’s advanced power electronics and control systems, which reduce voltage fluctuations on distribution lines where renewable energy sources such as wind turbines or solar PV are connected.

During the first phase of the project one D-STATCOM (Static Synchronous Compensator for Distribution Networks) successfully reduced voltage fluctuation on long rural feeders connected to a wind farm on an 11kV distribution network.

This summer, three more D-STATCOMs will be added to the trial. 

The new sites will combine small to medium scale wind farms and domestic properties with solar PV systems to test Hitachi’s smart grid solution in more complex scenarios.

The new tests will focus primarily on the interdependence of the D-STATCOM devices and their control capabilities using Hitachi’s Voltage and Reactive Power Control System (D-VQC).

The D-VQC enables optimised control of multiple devices in the same network to ensure they work in harmony. 

While not included in this project, Hitachi also manufactures batteries able to store excess energy from high levels of renewables generation during times of low power consumption.

The D-STATCOM uses advanced IGBT (insulated gate bipolar transistor) technology to provide continuous reactive power to the network, allowing it to compensate for the voltage rise and flicker caused by the intermittency inherent in renewable energy generation.

Kiyoshi Yamamoto, managing director of Hitachi Europe said: “Hitachi is delighted at the continuing success of the smart grid trials with Western Power Distribution, made possible thanks to the support of Ofgem.

“This project combines Hitachi’s smart grid capabilities of advanced ICT and control systems technologies with Western Power Distribution’s network experience. The result is a solution that will allow renewables to be connected to district electricity networks in a cost-effective way, bringing benefits for network operators and the environment.

“This collaboration is testament to the commitment we share with our partners to innovate solutions which both enhance society, and are environmentally beneficial.”

Roger Hey, Future Networks manager at Western Power Distribution, said: “Seeking innovative solutions to improve the efficiency of the electricity network and supporting a greener future is key to all Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) such as us.

“The expansion of the project to incorporate more complex scenarios is made possible by the hard work of WPD and Hitachi, and we look forward to implementing this solution into our networks further.”

Andres Larriera, head of Smart Cities Energy group, Hitachi Europe said: “This is a project where we can leverage Hitachi global learning in smart grids to help WPD achieve their low carbon network goals by enabling the integration of more renewables in their distribution lines.

“This collaboration will accelerate the development of Hitachi customised solutions that can be integrated into a DNO’s existing infrastructure and we are pleased to be teaming up with WPD to deliver business value to their smart grid initiative.”

Hitachi’s D-STATCOM was initially developed in Japan as part of research to integrate solar PV power into distribution networks.

Used alongside the D-VQC system, Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) will potentially have a more cost-effective and flexible alternative to network reinforcement.

Local electricity grids have to be reinforced in some situations to accept the power from new renewable sources of electricity. This can be an additional cost and barrier to the introduction of renewable sources of electricity.

Hitachi expects the demand for dynamic voltage control systems in Europe to grow as more renewables are connected to distribution networks.

The move towards more renewables is underpinned by feed-in tariffs and the increasing commercial viability of smart grid technologies for DNOs and their customers.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1604

"Should the UK's engineers be in or out of Europe? The IET sets out its official position on the EU referendum this week - will you agree?"

->

E&T jobs

  • Solutions Engineer

    Bristol Water
    • United Kingdom
    • £41,000 - 49,000

    We serve a population of over one million people and all the associated businesses in an area of 1,000 square miles centered on Bristol.

    • Recruiter: Bristol Water

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Mechanical Engineer

    Bristol Water
    • United Kingdom
    • £41,000 - 49,000

    We serve a population of over one million people and all the associated businesses in an area of 1,000 square miles centered on Bristol.

    • Recruiter: Bristol Water

    Apply for this job

  • Software Renewals Manager

    BAE Systems
    • Preston, Lancashire, England
    • Negotiable

    Software Renewals Manager Would you like to work in a resourceful and developing role within IT Services? We currently have a vacancy for a Software Renewals Manager at our site in Preston Channel Way. As a Software Renewals Manager, you will be responsi

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Technical Manager

    Aggregate Industries
    • Hulland Ward, Ashbourne
    • Attractive salary plus comprehensive benefits

    A key Technical Manager role driving product improvement and compliance with Aggregate Industries, market leader in Construction Solutions.

    • Recruiter: Aggregate Industries

    Apply for this job

  • Field Application Engineer

    Intel
    • Madrid

    Responsible for giving product presentations to the customer describing how Intel products provide the optimum solution to their application.

    • Recruiter: Intel

    Apply for this job

  • Engineers and Scientists

    European Patent Office
    • Munich and The Hague
    • See job description

    We are looking for Engineers and scientists in various technical fields for our locations in Munich and The Hague.

    • Recruiter: European Patent Office

    Apply for this job

  • Director of Product Management

    EMS Recruitment Group
    • West Yorkshire
    • Circa £70,000 PA + car allowance, excellent benefits including lucrative bonus scheme

    Our client is the undoubted world leader in their field. A highly innovative and progressive specialist electro-mechanical product manufacturer....

    • Recruiter: EMS Recruitment Group

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Engineer

    Premium job

    Scottish Prison Service
    • Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh
    • £40,654 to £48,579 plus annual supplement of £10,000

    Build Your Engineering Career. The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) is an Agency of the Scottish Government, working in partnership.....

    • Recruiter: Scottish Prison Service

    Apply for this job

  • Sales Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Precision Microdrives
    • London (Greater)
    • £25,000 - £30,000 starting salary, inclusive of on-target commissions.

    Precision Microdrives (PMD) is a fast growing technology company that designs, produces and trades miniature electro-mechanical mechanisms

    • Recruiter: Precision Microdrives

    Apply for this job

  • Installation and Commissioning Engineer

    Premium job

    Crest Solutions
    • Corby
    • Competitive

    You will be involved in installation, commissioning & servicing of printing and machine vision related solutions.

    • Recruiter: Crest Solutions

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T