An autonomous power management system designed to maximise network capacity without the need for centralised manual control is set to be trialled on the UK electricity grid for the first time.
Called the Faraday Grid the new technology is composed of individual units called exchangers that have been designed as “plug and play” replacements for existing transformer infrastructure.
The Faraday Exchangers are a new form of smart technology and can communicate with each other, automatically regulating energy flow across the grid to ensure maximum capacity and minimal energy loss.
UK Power Networks has agreed with Faraday Grid to install a number of Faraday Exchanger units across the London grid as a proof-of-concept.
Faraday Grid founder and chief technology officer Matthew Williams told New Civil Engineer: “The exchangers are able to control voltage, remove harmonics, control power factors and balance the grid, all within a single device.
“The Faraday Grid uses autonomous decentralised control architecture, essentially the same principle that the internet works on in that you don’t have a centralised controller.
“Every Faraday Exchanger is its own boss and does what it needs to do, it does not need the context of the whole system, but each exchanger is looking to achieve a common goal and will work together, it makes the system scalable and highly adaptable.”
UK Power Networks head of innovation Ian Cameron added: “We have recognised that Faraday’s technology has the potential to be transformational for distribution networks and the wider energy system. The technology is aligned to our ambition to become an energy platform business. We are delighted to be the company’s lead UK partner for testing and demonstrating its impacts in a distribution network.”
Some of the new units will be trialled on the London network in early 2019.
Faraday Grid has previously received £1M in funding from the UK governments Innovation agency, Innovate UK.
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