Project FALCON (Flexible Approaches for Low Carbon Optimised Networks) 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.
Distribution Network Operators (DNOs), such as Western Power Distribution, are expecting large increases in the electricity flowing through their networks at peak times. This increase is expected due to customers adopting low carbon technologies such as electric vehicles and heat pumps. At the same time, the networks need to accommodate more generation which also requires alterations to the network. Traditionally, new generator connections and increased demand for electricity have been handled using reinforcement – essentially increasing the network capacity, for example with larger cables. Traditional reinforcement can be costly and disruptive and may be difficult to implement if the changes to the network are rapid and widespread.
FALCON is concerned with techniques which can be applied to resolve issues on the 11kV system. This is the backbone of how we deliver electricity to homes and businesses and making these networks more flexible is critical to support the low carbon transition.