UK Power Networks Partners with Aclara

LONDON, November 16, 2017

Aclara, a world-class supplier of smart infrastructure technologies to water, gas, and electric utilities globally, is partnering with UK Power Networks on a groundbreaking project to help distribution network operators reduce the length and frequency of power outages by locating faults faster.

Funded by energy regulator Ofgem, the £2.6 million (about $3.4 million) project employs the Aclara Grid Monitoring platform and sensors, to collect and analyze data related to transient faults (short variations of fault current that do not produce sustained power outages). Transient events are caused by severe weather conditions, tree contact, and malfunctioning assets.

UK Power Networks, which distributes approximately 27 percent of the UK’s electricity to more than 8 million homes and businesses, has installed 400 Aclara power sensors, which are part of the Grid Monitoring platform, to monitor 45 feeders on its overhead networks. Data captured during the project will be used in algorithms to give near real-time visibility and improved awareness of what is happening on the distribution network. Read more about the Aclara Grid Monitoring platform at UK Power Networks in this case study.

UK Power Networks project manager Peter Lang said: “Our goal is to reduce the duration of supply interruptions by directing linesmen to the most likely fault locations. The trial will demonstrate Aclara’s “distance to fault” algorithm to improve restoration times.

‘We are regularly reviewing Aclara power sensor input as part of UK Power Networks’ overall quality of supply improvement program and hope to make more strides in preventing network-failure conditions.”

Kumi Premathilake, senior vice president of advanced metering infrastructure for Aclara added, “This project provides a unique opportunity for Aclara to partner with one of Europe’s most important power companies to deploy and further develop the game-changing Aclara power sensor technology. These powerful sensors are easy to install and provide insight into areas of the distribution network that cannot be reached with other technologies”.

The overhead line project recently was Highly Commended at the Real IT Awards (RITA) in the Innovation in Technology category. It also was shortlisted for a prestigious 2017 UK Innovation Award in the Losses Category.

About UK Power Networks

UK Power Networks is the country’s biggest electricity distributor, making sure the lights stay on for more than eight million homes and businesses across London, the South East and the East of England.

Network operators aren’t the same as energy suppliers; network operators manage local power lines and substations, while energy suppliers sell the electricity that runs through the power lines.

UK Power Networks is the first electricity distributor to be named in the Sunday Times’ 25 Best Big Companies to Work For, and made industry history by becoming first company to win Utility of the Year two years running (2015 and 2016, also 2012).

The company invests more than £500 million in its electricity networks every year, offers extra help to vulnerable customers at times of need, and is undertaking trials to ensure that electricity networks support the transition to a low carbon future. It also moves cables and connects new electricity supplies.

About Aclara

Aclara, an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, Inc., is a world-class supplier of smart infrastructure solutions (SIS) and services to more than 800 water, gas, and electric utilities globally. Aclara SIS offerings include smart meters and other field devices, advanced metering infrastructure and software and services that enable utilities to predict and respond to conditions, leverage their distribution networks effectively and engage with their customers.