Western Power Distribution – FALCON PROJECT

Flexible Approaches for Low Carbon Optimised Networks

  • PhD Student: Lee Jenkins 
  • RA: Dr Bai
  • Staff: D Strickland, A Cross, J Yang,  N Fahmi
  • Sponsor: LCNF/Western Power Distribution


Project FALCON, led by Western Power Distribution, aims to investigate how new 11kV network techniques work in practice and, by simulating their use in different scenarios, will determine the best ways to manage the network problems expected to arise from increased low carbon technologies and generation. Traditionally, new generator connections and increased demand for electricity have been handled using reinforcement which can be costly and disruptive. Six alternative techniques (four engineering and two commercial) will be analysed using;

  • The technique trials data, which involves installing equipment, recruiting commercial customers and operating the techniques on the WPD network in the Milton Keynes area.
  • The simulation tool and the supporting Network Modelling elements, to calculate the likely load increases, determine constraints on the network and model the result of applying the possible techniques. 

Aston University is assisting WPD and other partners with modelling and analysis of the four engineering techniques:

  1. Dynamic asset ratings - that free up capacity.
  2. Automatic load transfer - can redistribute load between 11kV feeders.
  3. Implementation and operation of a meshed (interconnected) 11kV network.
  4. Deployment of battery technologies. 

Traditional reinforcement may be the most appropriate technique in some cases.  The alternative techniques may be more effective where used in combinations with each other. Adopting a wider range of techniques would allow WPD to be more flexible in meeting the challenges arising from adopting low carbon technology to the benefit of their customers.