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Network Equilibrium


Project runs from March 2015 - June 2019

Project description

Network Equilibrium was awarded £13m Low Carbon Networks Funding in November 2014.  The project will develop solutions that will be demonstrated across Somerset and Devon in the trial area.

Network Equilibrium Trial area across Somerset and Devon.

The focus of Network Equilibrium is to balance voltages and power flows across the distribution system, using three methods to better configure the network, helping to integrate additional distributed generation within electricity networks more efficiently and deliver major benefits to distribution customers.

The Problem

UK electricity distribution network infrastructure has been designed and developed for passive power distribution requirements.  Voltage profiles and power flows are planned for the worst credible scenarios. As a result, the integration of significant levels of low carbon technologies (LCTs) within our present electricity networks can cause voltage management and thermal issues if networks are not reinforced or operated actively.

Conventional network reinforcement can increase network capacity. However in an increasing number of cases the reinforcement options are either prohibitively expensive or it takes multiple years to plan and construct, delaying new connections until the work is carried out.

Innovative solutions have shown how additional network capacity can be unlocked. For a business as usual (BAU) roll-out DNOs need to develop solutions, which are robust, take a strategic engineering approach, considering the whole system and not solving constraints on a piecemeal basis.  Network Equilibrium is expected to result in solutions that can be subsequently rolled out as BAU techniques.

The Methods

Network Equilibrium consists of an analytical study (Voltage Limits Assessment) and the designing and demonstrating three resilient methods (Advanced Planning Tool, System Voltage Optimisation and Flexible Power Link) for managing power flows and controlling voltages across the trial area, approximately a third of WPD’s South West distribution network. 

Method one - Enhanced Voltage Assessment (EVA)

Method two - System Voltage Optimisation (SVO)

Method three - Flexible Power Links (FPL)

Benefits of Network Equilibrium

For more information on this project please contact us at  01332 827446


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