Electrical Review - June 2016

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Informing the electrical industry for over 140 years

June 2016 Volume 249 | No 6 www.electricalreview.co.uk

New from SJP Business Media Smart Cities World www.smartcitiesworld.net

Opinion EU – Should we stay or should we go?

Technology to market Tropical islands rely on energy storage for transition to solar power

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NEWS Smart cities launch from SJP Business Media

SMART GRIDS Should ESOS be be viewed as more than red tape but the prompt to a green future?

08 GOSSAGE Gossage:gossip

10 BUILDING SERVICES Time is right for the sector to get up-tospeed with BIM

EDITOR: Elinore Mackay 020 8319 1807 elinorem@electricalreview.co.uk PRODUCTION MANAGER Alex Gold 020 7933 8999 alexg@sjpbusinessmedia.com

24 SMART METERING Smart metering in Ireland needs smart communications

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12 OPINION EU - should we stay or should we go?

26 TRAINING At a critical juncture


Subscription rates: UK £191 per year, Overseas £216

TECH TO MARKET Tropical islands rely on energy storage for their transition to solar power

Electrical Review is a controlled circulation monthly magazine available free to selected personnel at the publisher’s discretion. If you wish to apply for regular free copies then please visit: www.electricalreview.co.uk/register Electrical Review is published by

32 2nd floor, 52-54 Gracechurch Street London EC3V 0EH 020 7933 8999 Any article in this journal represents the opinions of the author. This does not necessarily reflect the views of Electrical Review or its publisher – SJP Business Media ISSN 0013-4384 – All editorial contents © SJP Business Media Jan-Dec 2015 5,784

16 MICROGRIDS Time to grasp the UK microgrid opportunity

LIGHTING Dimming down for energy savings


Follow us on Twitter @elecreviewmag

Join us on LinkedIn http://linkd.in/H1viOF

20 SMART CITIES The network is the cornerstone of smart cities www.electricalreview.co.uk

4 | NEWS

CEF supports BBC DIY SOS programme in Wales CEF has supported the Fairlie family of Monmouth, Wales, as part of BBC’s DIY SOS programme with products supplied from its Cwmbran branch. The BBC sent out an appeal for local tradespeople and suppliers around Monmouth to offer their products, services and time to help on its latest project, and the CEF team of Paul Fieldsend, Simon Evans, Darren Humphreys, Richard Lloyd and Gareth Handy were there to answer the call. Branch manager Paul Fieldsend said: “We are really pleased that we were able to supply so much of the electrical equipment that was needed on the project. Our branch was delivering to the site even after hours to help ensure that work could be completed within its nine-day deadline.” The DIY SOS team is well-known to BBC viewers, as Nick Knowles and his crew regularly set to work to improve the homes of

families in need of help around the UK. The Monmouth project focused on Charlotte Fairlie and her husband Rob. Charlotte suffered a stroke after giving birth to her twin sons, but she is now back at home and learning to walk again, cared for full-time by Rob and her sister. Unfortunately, their house was too small for her essential physiotherapy needs. The DIY SOS team stepped in with the original aim of adding a two-storey rear extension to the two-bedroom house. However, it turned out to be a much bigger project than anticipated and all will be revealed when the episode comes out in six months time. This new space will allow Charlotte to have treatment at home, while also creating space for their growing boys. Paul Fieldsend says: “When the day of the big reveal arrived, CEF Cwmbran had donated around £3,000 of kit including ca-

bling, accessories, lighting and fans. We even supplied armoured cabling to be used to take electricity out to the garden and shed.” Regular CEF Cwmbran customer O.D Electrical also donated their skills on-site to help achieve a successful outcome. Fieldsend added: “The show really doesn’t work without local companies and people pulling together. I was so pleased that one member of the DIY SOS team, Billy Byrne, actually came down to our branch to say thanks for all our help. It was great to be part of this worthwhile project.”

Bsria head of sustainable construction to present at Facilities Management Forum

Smart cities launch from SJP Business Media

Bsria’s head of sustainable construction, Joanna Harris, will be presenting at the Facilities Management Forum at the Whittlebury Hall Hotel & Spa, Northampton on Monday 11 and Tuesday 12 July. Harris will discuss how to influence the design of a facility and the environment that can improve workplace wellbeing, drawing on good examples from recent new build projects that have been monitored and published, concluding with how on-going management of the workplace environment can promote wellbeing. Harris said: “I am delighted to be

SmartCitiesWorld is a new brand from SJP Business Media, dedicated to the topic of how technology and innovation is changing urban spaces to be more connected, efficient, secure and sustainable places to live. SmartCitiesWorld focuses on the infrastructure required to create and enable a smart city. Its aim is to provide senior professionals with a central resource of news, opinions, trends, features and reports and to create a community around this content to enable more partnerships both commercial, public and private.

speaking at the forum. I’m passionate about facilities that meet the needs of the users and the facilities management industry has a large part to play in improving users experiences. “I am keen to pass on lessons learned and influence the delegates to engage in the design and construction process much earlier and ensure standards are not let to slide during operation.” The event is an opportunity for industry to share its experience with a pre-qualified audience. The seminars are 45 minutes and are intended to be an education programme for the delegates.

For further details visit www.smartcitiesworld.net

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Electrical Review | June 2016

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6 | NEWS

All Cables Are Not The Same (ACANTS) launch

Prysmian is staging a series of roadshows to demonstrate how cables that may look similar can perform very differently, highlighting the potential dangers of selecting poor quality products. The All Cables Are Not The Same (ACANTS) roadshow was launched in April, with further events planned to take place around the country over the summer. ACANTS was devised in reaction to an influx of sub-standard cable products from across Europe and beyond. While many of these products may look similar and make similar claims to those of legitimate cable manufactured to stringent quality standards, the actual performance can vary widely. Prysmian identified a need to demonstrate to the whole supply chain the importance of selecting the right cable and conceived the roadshow format. Hosted by the BBC’s Dallas Campbell, the inaugural ACANTS roadshow took place at Port Solent near Portsmouth in front of an audience including wholesalers, installers and some of the UK’s largest electrical contractors.

Future events will be staged at a series of locations across the UK including Manchester and London. Using videos and live demonstrations of testing procedures, the roadshows vividly illustrate how differently individual cables perform. The premise was simply to collect cable samples from the market and test them in Prysmian facilities for the characteristics they should offer or claim to offer to see the results. Several types of test were undertaken, with some being filmed in the Prysmian fire test laboratories. Films of the most dramatic fire testing were screened, highlighting the financial and life threatening effects of choosing the wrong cable. Martin Boorman, product sales manager at Prysmian, said: “The event was a resounding success. Simply showing people how much difference there is in the performance of similar looking cables proved a real eye-opener and we are looking forward to bringing ACANTS to new audiences as the roadshow programme is developed.”

Celebrity engineer Kate Bellingham to chair Building Services Summit 2016 Former BBC presenter and engineer Kate Bellingham is to host a series of panel discussions at this year’s Building Services Summit. Bellingham is one of the UK’s best-known engineers and a passionate communicator about the importance of the industry. Following a four-year spell on the BBC’s flagship science programme Tomorrow’s World, Bellingham has spent considerable time pushing for the greater involvement of women in engineering. In 2011, she won an outstanding achievement award for her campaigning and charitable efforts on this issue. The Building Services Summit 2016 is being jointly organised by the Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA); Building Engineering Services Association (BESA); and the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA). The Summit will focus on how the construction sector can deliver buildings that operate more effectively and efficiently in the long-term. Presentations from government, research bodies and building managers will be supported by panel discussions. Other bodies including the Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA) are also lending their support. Confirmed speakers for the event include senior civil servant, Roy Evans, of the Cabinet Office who will be presenting on the government’s Soft Landings programme; and Paul Kavern of the British Library, who will be offering a view on how the Library has faced its challenges as a building. Tomas De Staic from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), will also be presenting on managing the public sector real estate in an energy efficient way. Topics that will be discussed by speakers, panelists and the audience include: • How can we move away from retentions? • Do building regulations stifle innovation? • What are the alternatives to the current processes of construction? • Can better training help alleviate problems? The Building Services Summit is being held at the British Library on 23 November. For details visit www.buildingservicessummit.co.uk

Electrical Review | June 2016


GOSSAGE Half angel, half bird My many thousands of devoted readers will recall I have long been sceptical about the practical effects of the government’s Contracts for Difference flagship scheme. All too often it has been a case of the taxpayer generously subsidising electricity generation that would have occurred regardless. So, just nice little earners for supply companies. However in the 2014 round, the 448-megawatt £2bn Neart na Gaiothe project (off the Forth estuary in west Scotland) was one of seven offshore windfarms awarded subsidy contracts, and one of just two to win subsidies in competitive auction. Its contract guaranteed it a price of £114 per megawatt hour for its electricity, making it one of the cheapest off shore wind projects around. The only caveat being the developers, Mainstream Renewable Power, had to agree to follow a critical path timetable, to ensure the full project was under construction by 2018, and in operation by 2020. The Scottish government swiftly gave planning consent. All seemed fine and dandy. Until the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds lodged a judicial review against that planning consent, arguing insufficient attention was being paid to our feathered friends. The court case was heard back in May 2015. But the judge, Lord Stewart, has yet to issue his ruling. Everything is stalled. Which in turn has led to the government agency overseeing the subsidies, the Low Carbon Contracts Company, to cancel the contract as Mainstream Renewable are now in breach of their critical path timetable. If this is confirmed, it means almost one-quarter of the renewable energy facilities promoted by Contracts for Difference will not now be delivered.

Nice work if you can get it Fancy being an electricity consumer being paid over £100 for each megawatt hour you consume? If so, you should have been a German electricity user during the daytime of Sunday May 8. That morning of fair weather and high winds saw wind, solar and hydroelectric power plants (of various sizes) producing 54.6 gigawatts (GW) of power, roughly 80% of the 68.4 GW being consumed across the network. As a result, the price of power plummeted. Between the hours of 7 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon, the price dropped dramatically. It fell so far that, by around lunchtime, it bottomed out briefly at the negative cost of 130 euros per megawatt hour. On a normal day, renewables produce just under half of all the electricity consumed in Germany. But because it was a Sunday, and so without factories running, the optimum weather conditions led to a disproportionate surge in supply from renewables. Causing that temporary reversal in conventional supply-and-demand payments within the marketplace. Mind you, at a time when certain Nordic financial institutions are offering negative interest rates to savers- i.e. you give us your money to hold and we shall charge you for doing so – it does suggest we now live in very strange times. But how very counter-intuitive it is to be being reimbursed for consuming electricity.

First shall be last Don’t expect First Utility managing director Ed Kamm to be amongst the first invitees to meet Alex Chisholm. Who is Mr. Chisholm? Why, on 4 July he will become only the third person ever to take up the role of top civil servant – the Permanent Secretary – of the Department of Energy and Climate Change. First Utility is the most successful of all the new entrants to the electricity supply business. As such, it has been very vocal about the size of the average household fuel bill when supplied by one of the established Big Six suppliers. The company warns on average each of the 85% of households still with one of the legacy companies is “overspending” by £293, which is £59 up on last year. In total, this means that customers are paying £4bn more than necessary every year. Ed Kamm believes “the Big Six have been exploiting customers’ loyalty for far too long.” You will recall this was a line of argument that the Coalition Government found so persuasive that, back in 2013, it asked the newly formed Competition and Markets Authority (CEMA) to examine whether customers were being overcharged. And if so, by how much. After much deliberation, the CEMA finally reported this spring. They said, yes, tariffs are a bit too expensive. And nationally as much as almost £1.7bn a year might be saved. Repeating his £4bn loss assessment, Mr. Kamm jibed “the scale of the problem has been vastly undervalued.” This is obviously not the view of the DECC Secretary of State, Amber Rudd. She was most impressed by the work of the CEMA. As indeed were the Big Six, who had feared far greater retribution. Anxious as ever to appease the dominant incumbents, “Forever” Amber has just appointed as her new top civil servant Alex Chisholm. Who moves over from running – guess what? – the ever-gullible CEMA itself. As I say, no red carpet at DECC for First Utility.

To fall like Lucifer Charles Hendry was the Energy Minister who in May 2012 signed a deal for the UK to get geothermal electricity generated by Iceland. Having left the government, within the year he was installed in a £1,000 per day job as director of Atlantic Superconnection, a firm building the 650mile undersea cable to carry that electricity. The Guernsey-based operation boasts that the ex-Minister had been “instrumental” to the project. As a Minister, Mr. Hendry trumpeted the financial benefits of the UK signing an energy partnership with two Norwegian companies, Statkraft and Statoil, and the German RWE. He then took a job up a £4,000 a day chairman of Forewind, a consortium of Norwegian firms building the world’s largest offshore windfarm off the Dogger Bank. He stood down very recently. I know all my devoted readers will wish to join with me in saluting this selfless former public servant. Electrical Review | June 2016


Time is right for sector to get up-to-speed with BIM An investigation into ‘BIM readiness’ across building services, conducted by the ECA and a range of industry partners last autumn, found that just one in VL[ ÀUPV LQ WKH VHFWRU ZHUH ¶IXOO\ UHDG\· WR XVH WR %XLOGLQJ ,QIRUPDWLRQ 0RGHOOLQJ (BIM) on projects. ECA head of energy solutions Bill Wright explains


ne in in four contractors said they were ‘not ready at all’ for BIM, despite the April 2016 government-mandated deadline for its use on all major central government contracts. The situation was even more challenging for small and medium-sized firms, with over half of SMEs stating they were ‘not ready at all’ to use BIM. This raised the possibility of many SMEs being frozen out of competing for a share of tens of billions of pounds of Whitehall-backed procurement. Many will have crossed the BIM deadline without noticing, but the growing reality is that BIM cannot work as intended if

Electrical Review | June 2016

the specialist supply chain is not ready. That readiness starts with an awareness and understanding of what the likely interactions with BIM projects will be. When the survey results came out, the ECA pledged to a four-point action plan to help the building services sector get up-to-speed with the new requirements, specifically*: * Release a ‘BIM Basics’ checklist, to help firms ensure they are prepared for BIM Level 2. * Create a ‘BIM jargon buster’, to help firms navigate through the maze of BIM terminology and acronyms and work out what BIM means. * Develop case studies to broaden the

understanding of what it takes to engage with a BIM project. * Work with partners to develop a common approach towards the use of ‘BIM objects’. Working closely with CIBSE, the ECA has now made the BIM Basics checklist freely available for anyone in the industry. This contains recommendations for those who may have a relatively small role in the BIM process, focusing on four basic areas – capability and skills, processes, software and hardware, and digital information. However, not all contractors need the same level of ‘BIM capability’ - this depends on their actual role in the projects they are involved with. The ECA has also produced a more advanced checklist, covering a broader range of BIM capabilities, which in addition to the above-mentioned ‘BIM jargon buster’, is available to ECA members. While, for many contractors, there is a long way to go, these initial steps will help smaller building engineering firms to get upto-speed with BIM Level 2, a development which has the potential to radically improve collaboration and efficiency in the sector and the wider industry. * Next steps for the ECA will include going back to survey respondents this summer, to find out if and how engagement with BIM has changed, and to assess the findings of a second survey on manufacturer use of BIM objects. The ECA’s ‘BIM Basics’ checklist, freely available until July 2016, can be viewed at http://www.eca.co.uk/_assets/files/BIMBasics-checklist-definitive-version_ECA_ CIBSE.pdf. A more extensive version, with ‘Advanced’ BIM requirements, is exclusively available to ECA Members.


PEL 105, the Power Energy Logger The specialist in portable electrical instrumentation is completing its range of PEL Series loggers under the Chauvin Arnoux® brand with the latest model for energy auditing or point measurements on networks.


he PEL 105 logger is particularly simple to use with an all-terrain IP67 casing capable of withstanding shocks, UV rays and extreme temperatures. It is ideal for outdoor installation directly on an electricity pole. This logger was developed in the Group’s R&D laboratories in France and manufactured on the production sites in Normandy, like the Group’s other product ranges. . With its 1,000 V CAT IV safety rating, it can be used for measurements on all LV networks, including measurements of the neutral-earth voltage and the neutral current. This standalone instrument is equipped with a self-powering system via its voltage inputs up to 1,000 V. The PEL 105 offers 5 voltage inputs and 4 current inputs. Compatible with a large number of current sensors to make it easier to use, it also recognizes the sensors automatically.

THE COMMUNICATING LOGGER Designed for use in the field, the PEL 105 can be set up in places where access is difficult. The measurements can be monitored in real time or the data can be recovered via USB, SD card, Ethernet, WiFi or Bluetooth for processing on a PC or tablet.

APPLICATIONS The PEL 105 can be used to measure, record and analyse the power values (W, var, VA) and energy values (kWh, kvarh, kVAh). At the same time, they record the PF and the DPF. Recording is continuous with a sampling interval of 200 ms. To improve energy efficiency according to ISO 50001 or carry out the audits required by the regulations, the PEL 105 can be set up on the different electrical feeders. It can then be used, simply and without downtime, to assess the relative weight of each line as a proportion of overall consumption, define a load profile for the installation and thus determine the priorities for improvement.

ANALYSIS OF THE MEASUREMENTS The DataView® software platform is equipped with a wide range of functions including analysis of the measurements, comparisons and generation of measurement reports. DataView® can be used to monitor the measurements from each PEL logger in real time, whether it is connected to the Ethernet network or via Bluetooth or WiFi. This makes it simple and quick to view the measurements from all the instruments installed at different points in the building.



EU – should we stay or should we go? Richard Shaw is the managing director of Ellis – a North Yorkshire-based SME that lays claim to being the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of cable cleats. The company employs 60-people, has annual sales of around £7million – 50% of which are export sales. Of this 50%, 30% is accounted for by the EU. Shaw has spent his entire career in the manufacturing industry and has over 25-years of hands-on export sales experience. This is his opinion on the EU Referendum and is not a direction to Ellis’ employees


t was recently reported large companies were typically in favour of remaining in the EU, whereas smaller companies were keen to leave. The reasoning behind this sweeping generalisation being that smaller business owners feel they are being swamped by regulations. As the MD of one of these exit-fancying smaller businesses, I’m keen to put on record how strongly I disagree with this supposed fact. The UK is a trading nation and the EU represents a huge export territory in which it is easy to do business. Those, like me, who remember life before the EU will recall the customs challenges of exporting and importing goods to and from individual European countries. And, of course, let’s not forget the exchange rate issues that cropped up daily. Many people may well bemoan the EU as a bureaucratic nightmare, but how quickly they forget how difficult it was sell goods in Barcelona or Berlin rather than Birmingham. Having a single market across so many countries does, of course, require a great deal of regulation, one aspect of which is the need for some degree of standardisation. For the public at large this often brings cries of interference from Brussels about the size of sausages and Electrical Review | June 2016

the curvature of bananas, but for industry it’s an absolute necessity. Just about every country in the world has some form of Norms or Standards, some of which are more widely used than others. Before the EU there were several widely used standards. British (BS), German (DIN) and American (ASTM) Standards were all commonplace, but they weren’t just used as

European Standards have done far more than simplify trade in the EU standards; they were often used as barriers to trade. The emergence of European Standards has done far more than simplifying trade in the EU. It has had a significant impact internationally and, in some cases, European Standards have formed the basis of subsequent International Standards. The idea that should we leave the EU we will no longer suffer the interference of Brussels in this particular arena is nonsense.

European Standards will still exist and we will have to comply if we wish to sell into Europe and potentially elsewhere. European Standards will also continue to have an influence on International Standards. The big difference being that a Britain outside of the EU (unless we join the European Free Trade Association - ETFA) will no longer have a seat at the table when these standards are drafted – a seat, incidentally, from which we currently punch well above our weight. There are those that say leaving the EU will enable us to trade freely across the world without the influence of Europe holding us back. What they are really talking about are import tariffs – something that as exporters we deal with every day. Every country has import tariffs and some believe if we leave the EU, the UK will be able to negotiate more-advantageous tariffs with each of these countries. There are two major problems with this viewpoint. 1. No one knows if it’s true. 2. No one knows how long these negotiations would take. There are tens of thousands of tariff codes in existence, and the process of renegotiation


Ellis’ largest single order was for National Grid’s London Power Tunnels project. Despite the very British installation location, the order was the product of Europe – coming from Germany company Südkabel

will be long and complex for each and every new agreement. What this would mean in reality is hundreds of hours and thousands, if not millions, of pounds being spent on complex negotiations, at the end of which there is no guarantee of our position being any better than it is at present. Migration is another of the exit supporters’ bugbears – but you need to bear in mind that as the UK economy grows, the more people it needs. Net immigration in 2015 was 336,000 and in the same period, 50,000 people left public-sector employment due to austerity measures. Yet the private sector has absorbed all these and more. In fact, it might be surprising to learn that not only is our unemployment rateof 5.4% at a 10-year low, but we also have the highest level of employment ever. The UK has a significant advantage when it comes to the competition to attract the cream of European migrants. The reason? Almost half of the 500 million people in the EU speak English as either a first or second language. Oddly, there seems to be a view that these migrants are a liability, when in fact they’re a major asset. 62% of those who come here are graduates (compared to 24% of the UK population), and we haven’t even had to pay for their education. On the other hand it seems politicians like us to be confused about the difference between European migration and refugees and migrants from other parts of the world. The UK and Ireland are the only two countries in the EU that have opted out of the Schengen Agreement and therefore Electrical Review | June 2016

are protected from the issue of leaky external EU borders. There is no freedom of movement into the UK or Ireland for anyone who isn’t an EU citizen. But there is a difference between robust border control and facing up to a massive humanitarian crisis on the scale we are witnessing at the moment. No country can be expected to deal with this issue alone and it is an ideal opportunity for the EU to demonstrate its effectiveness, and for each country to step up and share the load according to ability. Parliamentary sovereignty is the linchpin of the out campaign, however there is a difference between sovereignty and

EU is its most recent (and most peaceful) significant iteration. Neither the ‘ins’ nor the ‘outs’ think the EU is perfect (even after David Cameron’s renegotiation), but no mainstream politician seems to be saying we would be better off if it didn’t exist. The position of the ‘ins’ seems quite clear: the world is a better place with an EU and, although not perfect, we are better being part of it, negotiating from within to change it. The ‘outs’ (excluding the political extremes) seem to fall into two camps. The first camp would still like to be members of an EU, just not the one we have now. Within this camp opinion is split between

autonomy. Sovereignty is a legal concept, but autonomy is our true freedom to act. If we leave the EU we might technically regain some aspects of sovereignty that we have voluntarily given up by being members, but our freedom to act would still be constrained by the EU (if we join EFTA) and all the other trade agreements we subsequently negotiate. Neither should we forget how much of our infrastructure is owned by foreign entities – it is France’s EDF that is deciding the fate of Hinkley C, and India’s TATA which has the fate of our steel industry in its hands. Membership of the EU is also only one area where Parliament has passed laws that limit the application of parliamentary sovereignty; others include: 1. The devolution of power to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly. 2. The Human Rights Act 1998. 3. The decision to establish a UK Supreme Court in 2009, which ended the House of Lords function as the UK’s final court of appeal.

those who hope a ‘no’ vote will lead to an immediate renegotiation, resulting in us remaining in, but on better terms. The remainder hope that out means out, but with the hope that this would lead to an even bigger renegotiation that would result in us being part of a radically reformed EU. The second camp just wants out, aiming to regain our independence and sovereignty.This element of the out campaign seems jingoistic in the extreme. If we pay any attention to the history of previous unions we should know that without significant restructure the chance of the EU’s long-term survival is slight. Even if we dismiss events such as the collapse of the Roman Empire as being irrelevant in a modern context, it’s hard to be dismissive of the collapse of the USSR. Even closer to home our own ‘United Kingdom’ was threatened by the recent Scottish referendum. The fact is that we all have some degree of national sentiment and there is a natural urge for countries, or smaller groupings of people, to seek independence on the grounds of, amongst other things, language and culture. If the EU binds too tightly and our sense of uniqueness is threatened, the urge to be independent will prevail and the Union will collapse. The EU itself has been in a constant state of change since its inception and, flawed though it is, it seems unwise to increase the risk of its fragmentation as a result of a UK departure. The UK has a history of facing up to challenging odds and has an obligation to society. We should take a responsible role in helping to shape that change, by keeping our seat at the table.

Neither membership of the EU, nor any of the other changes, fundamentally undermine the principle of parliamentary sovereignty, because ultimately Parliament is able to repeal any of the laws implementing these changes. In fact, the current debate and looming referendum clearly demonstrate that parliamentary sovereignty, far from being eroded, is alive and well. A final point, which is probably more important than all the rest, relates to the continued existence of the EU. Europe has been in a state of flux for centuries and the



Time to grasp the UK microgrid opportunity Mention the term microgrid, and most people tend to think of providing access to power on remote islands or in poorly served regions in developing markets. But Peter Jones, Technology Strategy Manager, ABB Power Grids Division, explains why recent developments have made it clear that new ways of thinking about power supply capacity, stability and resilience are needed for mature power markets, including the UK. Hence there could be a major new role for microgrids


spate of media reports over recent months have highlighted how it’s not just in developing markets where generating capacity, grid stability and resilience are key areas of concern. Apart from the longerterm discussions around UK generating capacity, we’ve seen a growing number of reports of a variety of power grid issues around the country. Consumers are being asked to reduce their electricity consumption during periods of high grid load. Local communities are taking power generation projects into their own hands. And local grids in major UK cities are struggling to cope with the number and scale of construction projects under way. We are now seeing profound changes away from the traditional model of large-scale, centralised generation and transmission. In particular, synchronous thermal plant is being replaced by asynchronous embedded renewables, with a consequent reduction in the system inertia offered by spinning reserve. The attraction of microgrids is they can play a valuable role in the UK energy market – in a way that could benefit existing players, new entrants and consumers alike. This may require some new ways of working and disruption to old business models, but the opportunity beckons. A recent Navigant Research report identified over 400 microgrid projects currently under development globally. While Ernst & Young have estimated that in 20 countries analysed, microgrids could provide anywhere between USD 64bn and USD 171bn in electricity cost savings for commercial companies by 2020. In the UK, the savings would be equivalent to between 21 and 30% of overall electricity costs.

Electrical Review | June 2016

These savings would arise from the ability to take advantage of the changing cost dynamics of newer technology, including energy storage systems, the falling costs of solar and wind energy systems, as well as reduced exposure to increasingly volatile fossil fuel prices.

THE TIME HAS COME FOR MICROGRIDS In many respects, microgrids are scaled down versions of traditional power grids. A key difference, however, is the closer proximity of generation sources and user loads. Microgrids are not just for renewable energy - they can be based on traditional diesel gensets for example. However, typically they integrate multiple sources such as solar, wind power, biomass, small hydro, geothermal, waste-to-energy and combined heat and power (CHP) systems.

Microgrids are also increasingly being equipped with energy storage systems, especially as lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries become more cost-competitive. By combining a range of generation sources with energy storage and intelligent load management, microgrids provide reliable, economic and environmentally friendly power supply. They can also be used as black start power or to bolster the grid during periods of heavy demand, especially in providing vital ancillary services such as frequency support. Grid-connected microgrids can be seamlessly ‘islanded’ from the main grid when needed, for example during periods of peak power grid usage, or during a primary power grid failure. In this mode, the microgrid isolates its local generation and loads from a faulty grid and operates independently for prolonged periods.


The system is controlled through a microgrid control system, such as ABB’s Microgrid Plus System, that can incorporate demand–response so that demand can be matched to available supply in the safest and most optimal way. A flywheel- or battery-based grid stabilizing system like

The microgrid control system provides dynamic control ABB’s PowerStore may be included to offer real and reactive power support. The microgrid control system provides dynamic control across all the various energy sources, enabling autonomous and automatic selfhealing operations.

REAL-WORLD SOLUTIONS ABB has already delivered more than 30 microgrid solutions around the world to help both utilities and commercial and industrial customers improve supply stability and resilience. Ultra-reliable power is attractive for a variety of businesses and institutions such as hospitals and microprocessor manufacturing. But one sector in particular Electrical Review | June 2016

is growing like no other: data centres. Today’s state-of-the-art facilities draw tens of megawatts and energy costs are perhaps only second to uptime on the data centre’s list of priorities. Data centres are therefore uniquely suited to microgrid applications. An excellent example of a microgrid has been installed by ABB at ‘Legion House’, an office building in Sydney’s central business district – Australia’s first carbon-neutral and autonomous heritage-listed building. This now generates its own power on site through biomass gasification –fuelled by wood chips and waste paper collected from the 50-storey office block – and can operate completely independently of the mains electricity grid. The gas-fired generators serve as the building’s base electrical load while the battery-based energy storage system dampens the effects of instantaneous load steps. The system exports spare electrical power to the adjacent tower building. The battery power system is also used to serve the overnight electrical load as well as minimize the generator operating hours. The microgrid’s stabilisation and batterybased energy storage systems ensure the tenants have continuous access to a reliable electricity supply. They stabilise the internal (islanded) power network against fluctuations in frequency and voltage that can be caused by essential building services

such as elevators and air conditioning systems. The solution uses advanced control algorithms to manage real and reactive power that is rapidly injected or absorbed to control the power balance, voltage, frequency and general grid stability. Also in an Australian first, AusNet Services, Victoria’s largest energy delivery service, is trialing an ABB containerised microgrid solution that integrates a 1 MW battery, transformer and diesel generator. Situated in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, the Grid Energy Storage System (GESS) is located at an end-of-line distribution feeder in an industrial estate. It is designed to support the electricity grid during ‘peak demand’ periods, typically during the afternoon on hot summer days. The 1 MW battery system automatically provide local support into the 22 kV grid at peak demand periods and recharges during low demand periods. The battery can operate at full power for one hour, supplying approximately 300 homes. The system also includes a 1 MW diesel generator as a secondary supply to extend supply for full coverage of the peak demand period. The system can also provide a smooth transition to islanded/off-grid mode on command or in emergencies. The GESS is fully portable and redeployable and is installed on an industrial lot in a number of transportable shipping containers and transportable skids. It also aims to improve the quality of power delivery, providing active and reactive power support and other power quality functions, when connected to the network. It has also enabled power line investments to be deferred.

MICROGRIDS DELIVER SECURITY OF SUPPLY In the face of rising energy demands and the growing favourability of renewable generation sources, microgrids offer a highly flexible, modular and scalable solution. Even in advanced economies like the UK, they can be used to increase the reliability and quality of power supply in both grid-connected and isolated operation. They can also reduce energy costs and enhance their predictability as well as helping to reduce carbon footprint and overall environmental impact. Now is the time for the UK to embrace microgrids.

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The network is the cornerstone of smart cities Across the world, major cities, from Barcelona to Algiers, from Gujarat to Cape Town, have already started to adopt a number of smart technologies to improve quality of life and city services. But are the foundations for smart cities being laid? Building advanced networking LQIUDVWUXFWXUH LV RQH RI WKH YHU\ ÀUVW VWHSV WKDW QHHGV WR EH WDNHQ WR HQVXUH WKDW VPDUW FLWLHV deliver on their promises. Johan Ragmo, market development networks director, NWE at $/( ORRNV DW WKH EHQHÀWV DQG KXUGOHV IDFLQJ WKH LQHYLWDEOH JURZWK RI VPDUW FLWLHV


esearch by Gartner predicts a 30% rise in connected ‘things’ to 6.4 billion devices in 2016. These machine-tomachine (M2M) devices, networked into the Internet of Things (IoT), are starting to appear in urban, industrial and city environments - from security cameras and utilitymonitoring sensors, to ticket barriers at stations and healthcare equipment in hospitals. All these applications require the support of 24/7 network availability that ‘knows’ what’s happening, so how can today’s network environments handle this?

CONSISTENCY AND CAPACITY ARE KEY TO SECURITY Let’s take security as an example. We are all aware of the heightened security concerns in major cities and the need for reliable and interruptible security feeds. Installing devices, such as IP cameras and security sensors, at key assets and infrastructure across an urban area is straightforward, but the challenge is two-fold. Firstly, guaranteeing continuous, realtime communication - these data feeds need high availability networks and cannot be subject to limited capacity. Secondly, how to ensure a consistent Quality of Service by effectively prioritising the right users, devices and application data for uninterrupted high-priority communications. To address these issues, there are now ‘smart’ network switches, in other words application aware switches, that carry and deliver data across Application Fluent Networks. These switches have the added value of being able to prioritise users, devices and applications depending on the situation – normal day-to-day or emergency.

URBAN NETWORKS CAN’T BE CHOOSY Of course, network infrastructure needs to be capable of enduring challenging conditions such as outages, heavy demand, changing temperatures and harsh weather. But in the event of partial network failure, intelligent routing and prioritisation have to be able to mitigate the impact while ensuring critical safety and security assets remain operational.

KEEPING SMART CITIES MOVING Departments responsible for the transport links in a city can leverage M2M connectivity to create smarter transportation systems - this is IoT in action. Electrical Review | June 2016


Urban traffic management can be handled far more effectively by analysing conditions and traffic flows. But gathering data multiple times a second from thousands of roadway and transport sensors, CCTV cameras, vehicle detectors, weather stations, signs, ramp meters, traffic signals, and other devices all relies on connectivity – and connectivity relies on the network. But collecting the data is just one connectivity issue. It is of little value unless you can connect with public displays and user devices to inform travellers of road conditions, events, and incidents and keep the transport network flowing.

SMARTER POWER FOR UTILITIES Utility grids, public lighting and transport systems are just some of the areas that are realising cost efficiencies and safety benefits from the introduction of smart technology and automation. Smart grid sensors can improve performance of utility operations. Embedding sensors in IoT systems means organisations can start to build intelligent networks across entire cities and regions. These sensors allow the real time monitoring of utility assets - collecting data that enables utility companies to improve energy and performance through better understanding of the entire distribution grid. Remotely collecting data such as capacity, pressure flows and temperatures can help operators and engineers to remotely diagnose issues for preventative maintenance or quickly respond to emergencies. All these individual advancements are driving an overall trend towards greater energy efficiency within cities, a target which is of increasing importance due to growing global warming concerns. With more than half of the world’s population now living in urban areas, they are a natural target for emission reductions. By adopting the smart city model, energy efficiencies can be made while simultaneously lowering operational costs and improving quality of life for citizens.

...AND THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING On top of this, we are now seeing the emergence of commercial applications reliant on device connectivity. Car rentals are being made through smartphones that incorporate intelligent parking services to ensure a space will be available for the driver on arrival. Not only does this save time, it also lowers congestion and therefore carbon emissions. But high degrees of network agility and scalability will be needed to ensure city services deployed on a large scale have the required connectivity. We know about this at ALE because we are already providing this sort of networking and communications backbone for early smart cities, such as the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City in India. This project has already begun to deliver benefits, from city-wide connectivity and intelligent parking to connected buildings. The UN estimates by 2050, over two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities, placing further strain on public services – smart cities can provide the solution. But as each market sector and application becomes connected, each will bring unique demands to the networking infrastructure that supports them in the smart city. In areas such as healthcare and education, scalability will be a major influencing factor. In healthcare, progress has been made in introducing digital services and widespread IP-based communications. ‘Connected healthcare’ now encompasses continuous patient monitoring, clinician collaboration and remote patient diagnosis. But as businesses, individuals and the public sector continue this drive towards ubiquitous digitisation of services and ‘things’, city planners will have to factor network provisioning into their smart city ambitions as a matter of priority. www.electricalreview.co.uk


Should ESOS be be viewed as more than red tape but the prompt to a green future? As legislative drivers such as ESOS continue to move the UK commercial sector towards a low carbon future, businesses are being encouraged to view compliance as more than just a requirement but a way to reduce their bottom line and safeguard their future


teve Everard, head of Rexel Energy Solutions said: “There is no question that schemes such as ESOS are crucial to the UK achieving the Government’s ambitious carbon reduction targets. However, it should be viewed as more than just another piece of red tape to adhere: but rather a stepping stone to a much greener, more efficient future. “After all, asides for legal compliance, the annual cost savings and business efficiencies to be had by investing in an energy management strategy, offer a compelling case for building owners on their own, with or without ESOS. “In fact, a recent white paper produced by asset - based financial solutions provider, DLL indicates that even by installing basic energy efficiency measures, the average SME could achieve a payback in just one and a half years, and savings on its energy bills of up to 25%. That’s a huge figure when it comes to a small company; a sum that can be transferred into other operational resources within the business. And for larger businesses with

Electrical Review | June 2016

multiple premises, the savings will be even greater. “Looking wider, some of the more fruitful technology investments can even offer levels of efficiency that can arguably achieve grid parity according to the white paper. For example, energy storage batteries, linked to renewable systems can offer savings up to 100 per cent if the energy is independently generated. Even more, the report highlights that simply updating a building’s lighting to LED can make a huge difference, providing savings of up to 90%.” The same industry insight report produced by DLL highlights the importance of making the investment into energy efficient building solutions now, and getting ahead of the game. Especially with UK government forecasts predicting a rise in fuel prices between now and 2020. To offer additional support to commercial customers, Rexel UK has partnered with DLL to provide customers with a viable commercial finance solution when looking to invest in energy efficiency updates, such as LED lighting, building energy management systems, solar PV and electric vehicle charging. He adds: “We do understand that the initial investment required when investing in a green strategy can be daunting, especially for smaller businesses, which is why we have elected to work with DLL to offer support. This enables installers to retain control of finance based sales, while providing an added service that makes it easy for their customers to overcome any upfront expenditure constraints (subject to approval of the installer and the end customer). “Whilst there is no requirement to expand energy efficiency upgrades beyond the remit of ESOS, and there are some businesses that are not currently affected by the legislation, the reality is that the Government onus on the green economy is only going to grow. This means by taking the time to understand the energy arena now, businesses will be better placed to handle the future horizon of the sector.” Maria Bircakova, account manager, healthcare and clean technology at DLL also emphasised: “By delaying the investment in new energy efficiency measures, businesses may compromise their future profitability, as well as miss out on an opportunity to lock in the finance at historically low interest rates.”


Smart metering in Ireland needs smart communications The Electricity Supply Board (ESB), the predominantly state-owned electricity company in Ireland, is planning the rollout of 2.2million electricity and 600,000 gas smart meters in homes across the country by 2018. Neil Adams, director, UK and Ireland at Sensus, looks at the initiative


his initiative will result in a more efficient use of electricity and gas, and lower bills for consumers. Ireland is one of many EU member states deploying smart meters as part of managing energy supplies and tackling climate change – with a view to reducing emissions by up to 9% and lowering energy costs by around 3%. The installation of a smart meter will enable consumers to understand their energy usage and allow them to make informed decisions to change their behaviour where necessary and to take advantage of best value tariffs. It is no longer enough to simply rely on billing statements. The Irish energy regulator, Commission for Energy Regulation (CER), has published numerous Decision Papers on the National Smart Metering Programme (NSMP), and a final decision on its structure is expected in April 2016. The most critical element of any successful smart meter rollout is the choice of technology for the communication network. As part of its consultation, CER is currently evaluating what meter functionality and which communication technology will deliver a positive cost benefit analysis for the country-wide implementation. Among the communications choices are cellular, long range radio (LRR) and mesh. A crucial point CER will have to consider is the smart energy network’s data, and in particular the flow of that data. As the amount of data generated and in transit increases, so must the capacity to carry and successfully deliver it. There is therefore a project success-defining choice to be made: use the existing cellular infrastructure or use a dedicated network to carry this data. Long range radio has an advantage here in that it is dedicated solely to transporting data from smart meters. Cellular networks, however, already carry out a specific service transporting data from mobile devices, tablets, mobile broadband-enabled laptops and thousands of other non-critical devices. So while LRR will have no problem carrying smart meter data, cellular networks will find themselves under pressure to meet existing consumer and business commitments, only exacerbated by the significant growth in the IoT sector. Additional investment and a substantial development timescale would be required before a cellular network could meet the guarantees needed by CER to provide a truly ‘utility-grade’ network for smart meters. Cellular networks also suffer from ‘notspots’, which are areas with no coverage. This is sometimes due to the cellular network being unable to penetrate buildings, or gaps in the network caused by the Electrical Review | June 2016

placement of communications infrastructure. Long range radio networks, thanks to the wavelength used and wide coverage areas, are most appropriate to reach remote rural areas and deep into buildings, where meters will be installed. Ireland, like most countries, is a combination of builtup cities and towns separated by vast expanses of rural land, small villages and farms. Ireland’s geography, plus the problem of sharing capacity with an increasing number of connected devices, alongside an ever-increasing amount of data, means that a dedicated, resilient and secure-by-design network for smart meters is the only credible option. Ireland needs a communication network that will not only cover 100% of the meter population regardless of location or building style, but also be totally secure and expand to accommodate future technology applications. LRR offers the resilience, reliability and security that a smart energy network requires. It is the only communications technology that can achieve at least 99.5% first time connection, with a single technology – no need for expensive ‘in-fill’ technologies to bridge the gap, such as mesh radio. LRR also meets the other requirements vital to a smart meter network beyond first-time connection. Latency needs to be low, so that critical commands to meter can be communicated in fewer than 10 seconds. The technology also needs to last – cellular networks are generational, with 5G networks being planned and theoretical 6G networks under discussion. It’s not clear what cellular networks will look like in a decade, but operators may be keen to ditch the technology they would use for smart meters today. Changing technology would mean changing the meter communications cards in every installed smart meter. LRR is being rolled out to 10.2 million homes in the North of England and Scotland as part of the GB smart meter programme. It will cover an expanse that includes six of the ten biggest cities in the UK, and large rural areas – similar in size, population and topography to Ireland. The choice currently facing Ireland is whether to choose a communications solution that is trying to balance the needs of many applications, and may not meet the mandated requirements; or a dedicated, future-proof, utility-grade network that reaches every meter possible. When the answer lies within reach, is cost-beneficial and durable, surely the decision is an easy one to make?


At a critical juncture NET CEO Iain Macdonald looks at apprenticeship policy and the impact the government’s target of three million apprenticeship starts will have on the quality of apprenticeships in the UK


n recent months, the government’s pledge to meet its target of three million apprenticeship places has regularly featured in the news - and more so since they pledged to publically report on their progress every year. Although this ambitious target is laudable and will help raise the profile of apprenticeships, making it such a crucial aspect of apprenticeship policy raises a number of questions. Has the government taken into account the varying cost and length of apprenticeships when setting this ambitious aim? Has it considered apprenticeships’ strategic purpose – for businesses, industries and candidates? And has it understood the subtle, but crucial, difference between those industries who have always used apprenticeships to create their industry’s skills base and those with the capacity and capability to create large numbers of ‘new’ apprenticeship places as part of a shift from their traditional academic recruitment process? A recent submission from The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission to the Apprenticeships Inquiry launched by the Education, Skills and the Economy Select Committee would suggest not. Among the points the Commission raised was the fact that apprenticeship starts by those under the age of 25 are not mirroring the rapid increase in overall apprenticeships, and that success rates are declining.

These are challenging trends, but don’t necessarily tell the whole story These are challenging trends, but they don’t necessarily tell the whole story. We need to remember that apprenticeships are about giving people an opportunity to begin a life-long career in a skilled industry – and that opportunity should not necessarily be restricted to those who are under the age of 25. However, it is concerning that the numbers of people who are from the traditional market for apprentices (those aged 16-19) doesn’t appear to have risen as quickly as the more mature one, but we are still dealing with a generation of parents who believe that apprenticeships are, to quote Professor Alison Wolf, ‘for other people’s children’ partly because they don’t understand the career opportunities offered by apprenticeships in our industry and others like it. This perception might shift as the Government’s efforts to boost the profile and calibre of apprenticeships across Electrical Review | June 2016

the UK bear fruit but it won’t change overnight. One interesting point is the fact the government’s efforts to boost the reputation of apprenticeships could be in part responsible for the declining success rates highlighted by the Commission. The figures are a comparison of the 2010-11 and the 2013-14 completion rates – a straight comparison which doesn’t take into account the measures introduced by the Government in 2012/13 to ensure that those apprenticeships that did not meet the standards did not retain their apprenticeship status. In other words, the comparison is not like-for-like and declining success is the result of higher standards (or the removal of poor apprenticeships with lower standards). Having said that, the news nearly a third of apprentices don’t complete their training cannot be ignored and offers a warning that on current form if the government achieves its target of three million apprenticeship starts nearly one million of those apprentices may not complete their training. This potential scenario cannot represent the best investment of employer or taxpayer money, and could potentially result in the Government achieving its apprenticeship target but failing to meet its objective of giving young people the best ‘chance to make the most of their talents and create a life for themselves’. Please understand that I’m not trying to denigrate what the government is doing, but I am concerned that its target-led approach to apprenticeship policy may result in the issues we faced previously – namely other training being reclassified as apprenticeships and other roles being classed as apprentices – repeating themselves. Hopefully, the circumstances and the greater scrutiny given to what constitutes an apprenticeship will mean history won’t repeat itself – particularly given the investment the government has made in driving up standards. An alternative – and, perhaps, more effective – approach would be to identify the skills gaps, and work with industries and employers to develop a plan to meet those skills needs. This might involve government offering more financial support to those apprenticeships whose specialist training necessitates a significant financial investment either through funding or through tax breaks, safe in the knowledge that they would recoup that investment through the individual’s tax and NI contributions. Sadly, I fear it’s too late for changes to be adopted now, particularly after so many public pledges to achieve and monitor its target. We can only hope that the checks and balances it put in place during the Coalition years are robust enough to support the businesses and candidates involved in apprentice training – and that our industry is able to capitalise on the growing demand for apprenticeships to recruit the talent we will need in the future.

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Tropical islands rely on energy storage for their transition to solar power Michael Lippert, marketing and business development manager for energy storage at Saft, outlines how megawatt-scale Li-ion Energy Storage Systems (ESSs) are being deployed to support large solar photovoltaic (PV) installations on tropical islands


olar PV schemes are playing an increasingly important role for island grids, especially in helping them reduce their reliance on expensive to run and environmentally unfriendly diesel generators. However, even on tropical islands the output of a solar plant can be highly variable, with passing cloud cover causing it to ramp up and down by 70-80% in less than a minute. So while forecasting has improved, operators cannot be certain about the level of their plant output. As the penetration of renewables within island grids continues to grow, this unpredictability can result in issues related to grid stability and substation congestion at periods of peak demand. Energy storage in the form of lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery energy storage systems (ESSs) can mitigate the variability of PV and help both plant and grid operators on tropical islands as we can see in a number of examples.

ESS DELIVERS PEAK SHAVING AND FREQUENCY REGULATION AS HAWAII PREPARES FOR MORE PV While the US state of Hawaii is well placed to generate energy from natural sources, it historically has a high dependence on oil. It is now targeting 40% of its energy to come from renewables by 2030, making it a US leader in the adoption of PV as well as industrial-scale wind farms producing megawatts of power. Hawaii is now installing ESS technology to increase its capability to integrate an even greater level of renewables.

The ESS limits the rate of change at which power is injected in to the grid Saft’s first installations for the Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) in 2012, were on Big Island. They comprise two Intensium Max 20E containers providing 248 kWH of energy storage per container, coupled with a 100 kW power conversion system. Each ESS has a two-hour runtime, can be charged overnight during off-peak times and has an expected operating life of at least 15 years. One of the main roles of the first HECO ESS installation is for peak shaving to reduce congestion on the Hawaii grid. Electrical Review | June 2016

It provides effective energy storage to time-shift PV power production to support high afternoon loads caused by increased use of air-conditioning systems. The ESS charges when output from the PV plant power exceeds a set limit and releases energy into the grid later in the day once the peak has subsided. The second HECO installation, located adjacent to a bottling plant, provides frequency regulation, which is a service normally provided by bringing primary and secondary reserve generating assets online at short notice. It ensures stability of the grid by injecting or absorbing active power to keep the frequency inside its set limits. Typically, the deviations experienced are of short duration and only infrequently at full amplitude and the Saft Intensium Max 20E is designed specifically to cope with this type of duty.

ESS MAKES KAUAI’S NEW ANAHOLA ARRAY A CONSISTENT AND RELIABLE SOURCE OF POWER KIUC (Kauai Island Utility Cooperative) is the electric utility on Hawaii’s fourth largest island. To improve sustainability and reduce its reliance on imported fuel, KIUC has an ambitious target to meet half of its power needs with renewable energy sources such as hydropower, photovoltaic, biofuel and biomass by 2023. A key element in KIUC’s sustainability plans is the Anahola array. With 59,000 panels and a peak output of 12 MW, this PV installation is now supplying around 20% of KIUC’s daytime electricity needs. To make PV a reliable and consistent element in its energy mix, KIUC has installed an ESS to react to the frequency fluctuations caused by this fast ramping up and down of PV resources. The ESS effectively limits the rate of change at which power is injected into the grid. So when passing cloud causes a step change in output, the ESS will absorb or release energy to ensure that the grid sees a smooth transition in output instead of the step change. This is a challenging application that called for Saft’s expertise in renewable energy application modelling, systems design and engineering to deliver an effective, reliable and financially viable ESS solution. At Anahola, Saft has supplied an Intensium Max 20 M ESS providing 6 MW power and 4.63 MWh energy capability. The system delivers peak power up to the full 12 MW output of the plant. It is housed in eight separate shipping containers plus two containers housing a power conversion system that stabilizes the grid. The Anahola array was commissioned in October 2015 and is


now helping KIUC’s transition to a sustainable mix of renewable resources – it now imports 1.7 million fewer gallons of oil each year, saving 35,000 tons of emissions annually. The Saft ESS is playing a vital role in the Annahola success story by mitigating the variability of its output during rapidly changing weather conditions. To maintain grid stability the ESS reacts to frequency disturbances in less than 50 milliseconds, helping to avoid load-shedding. At times when output exceeds demand the ESS can store it to reduce PV curtailment and also helping to meet demand during the evening peak period. Recently, the ESS proved its capability to provide frequency response to events far beyond the variability of the Anahola array. When the 28 MW Kapaia power station tripped Saft’s system prevented about half of the island being blacked out.

A MODEL ESS ENSURES GRID COMPLIANCE FOR PUERTO RICO’S MAJOR NEW PV PLANT In 2015, Sonnedix, the solar power plant developer and operator, commissioned the new 10 MW Salinas PV plant that feeds into the grid operated by PREPA (Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority), the state-owned energy supplier. Grid compliance was a critical issue, as the plant’s output faced curtailment if it could not meet PREPA’s Minimum Technical Requirements (MTRs) that set out stringent interconnection regulations. As a fully commercial, unsubsidised project, with its return on investment

dictated by the number of kWh sold, then confidence that the plant would achieve compliance was essential for it to be an investable proposition. PREPA has a total of 13 MTRs for injecting energy into its grid. Two of these relate specifically to the use of an energy storage system (ESS), including delivering frequency response at up to 10 percent of the nameplate power and limiting the ramp rate of the plant output to a 10% change per minute. The 10 MW capacity of the Salinas plant requires frequency response to be supplied at ±1 MW and the ramp rate must be controlled to 1 MW per minute. A facility of this size can see a 70% drop in output in about a minute, so the ESS must discharge so that the grid sees this output reduction over 7 minutes, this is slow enough to allow other generation on the island to respond and maintain grid frequency. To meet the other compliance metrics the ESS must also be able to ramp up and provide peak power of 4.5 MW (45 percent of the plant output) for one minute, followed by a controlled ramp down. Saft was called in to supply an ESS that would meet PREPA’s technical requirements while optimising the plant’s Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Advanced modeling helped Saft to identify the optimum size for the unit to deliver the required energy and power characteristics reliably over the life of the installation. It is interesting to explore the modelling process in some detail. www.electricalreview.co.uk


Modelling is an iterative process that starts with a first estimate of the battery specification that is combined with a range of other inputs to the overall EMS (energy management strategy) to deliver a cost profile. It calculates the lifetime costs and operating revenue for a particular size of ESS. By repeating the process with a range of different sizes, it’s possible to identify the sweet spot, where the operator finds the optimum balance between revenues and costs during the whole life of the installation. At the heart of modelling is the algorithm that is used by battery management systems in the field. It mimics the performance of the ESS down to the level of individual cells, taking account of electrical and thermal performance and electrochemical aging. Varying the size and specification of the battery changes the cost profile. A smaller ESS will have a lower capital cost but could lead to lower revenues, more penalties, lower compliance with the grid code, or more curtailment losses. It will also alter the system’s calendar life. Plotting total cost of ownership (TCO) against specification, it is possible to tailor the size of the ESS to meet the customer’s business objectives and operating environment. The ESS solution identified for PREPA is based on the Intensium Max 20 P high power system housed in a standard sized container that incorporates the Li-ion batteries as well as battery management, active cooling, monitoring and power and communication interfaces. Three containers have been installed that together provide 5 MW power and 1.3 MWh energy storage capacity. The system is capable of controlling the plant to ensure smooth ramped output and keeping grid frequency stable around 60 Hz. Electrical Review | June 2016

Thanks to the Saft ESS, Sonnedix is able to operate the Salinas plant in full compliance with PREPA’s MTRs, avoiding any risk of curtailment of its output. The cost of the ESS has been factored into a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) price based on the cost per kWh of energy fed onto the grid. The capability to make effective use of its solar power resources is helping Puerto Rico in reducing its dependence on imported oil and improving its environmental credentials.

ESS SHAPES UP ON LA RÉUNION At the 9 MW PV plant at Bardzour on La Reunion in the Indian Ocean, the role of the ESS is power shaping to inject power into the grid at a constant 40% of the plant’s peak power capacity. This means that the ESS is used to shape the power output of a plant to deliver steady and predictable power. In effect it makes intermittent renewable resources perform like baseline generation. The Bardzour ESS is required to deliver a large discharge in the morning, before charging up during peak daylight hours in the middle of the day and discharging again in the evening. It must also provide primary reserve for 15 minutes and provide voltage support. Modelling identified the optimum size of the ESS as 9 MWh energy storage capacity and Saft has delivered a 9 MWh Intensium Max, housed in nine individual shipping containers. As tropical islands makes the transition to renewable energy resources the intermittent nature of solar power is a significant challenge for owners and operators of PV installations. Megawatt scale Li-ion energy storage is now being deployed successfully on a commercial basis to address the key grid integration issues of ramp rate, curtailment and frequency regulation.

PRODUCTS | 31 NEW ACCESS CONTROL RANGE Security products supplier, ESP, relaunches its access control range, with a simplified collection of products and a new brand name. The revamped range will come under the umbrella name Aperta - the Italian word meaning to open, allow access, passage, or a view through a space – and has been designed with ease of installation and operation as key features. With just two main components – door station, with optional access control keypad and the hands-free monitor – the Aperta range will allow the creation of anything from a single door entry system to a multi usage system. The Aperta video door entry systems utilise 2 wire technology, which offers many benefits and advantages over traditional video door entry systems. For simplicity and time efficient installations, the 2 wire technology provides a friendly platform by reducing the number of cores required for connection and requires just one power supply unit. This ensures that just one PSU needs to be concealed and supplied with just a single electrical mains supply.

ESP • 01527 515150 www.espuk.com



Lighting manufacturers looking to enhance the design and flexibility of their maintained emergency LED luminaires need look no further than Fulham, with its new all-in-one solution. The new HotSpot Plus presents a combined emergency solution of LED driver, self-test emergency driver and replaceable battery in one easy-to-install compact unit, eliminating the cost and need for separate components. The HotSpot Plus functions as a dimmable 40W constant current LED driver, with an adjustable output current range from 250mA up to 1400mA which is easily set in increments of 1mA using a simple handheld programmer. During a power outage, this all-in-one system automatically engages an integrated, serviceable battery which will provide 3 hours of emergency back-up power at 5 Watts or 90 minutes at 10 Watts, with just a 12 hour battery re-charge time.

Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management and automation has received the “Multinational of the Year” Tech Excellence Award 2016, during the climax of Ireland’s foremost IT industry awards. Vincent Barro, VP IT Business, Schneider Electric Ireland said, “We are delighted to receive this Award and would like to thank the judges as well as the readers and staff of Techcentral’s influential online and offline publications. It’s great to receive recognition for the role Schneider Electric has played behind the scenes as Ireland has established its standing as a strategic location for the global digital economy. Today, our technology is found throughout the largest facilities operated by the Internet Giants and major enterprises, as well as local colocation companies, service providers and businesses of all sizes.” The Multinational of the Year Award is made on the basis of market position and business achievement. Schneider Electric is a leading global innovator in the data centre sector.

Fulham www.fulham.com

Schneider Electric www.Schneider-electric.com




Scolmore’s USB socket offers a faster, more powerful charging solution for the portable electronic devices that we have all come to rely on. The 2.1A USB outlet guarantees the optimum charge rate regardless of the device charging. The 1- and 2-gang switched socket with single integrated USB eliminates the need for bulky chargers, whilst freeing up plug sockets. With more complex charge-management software and circuitry being built into tablet computers, smart phones and E-readers, for example, the amount of current that the device will accept is limited. A device will go into protection mode when it recognises fluctuations within the power supply, resulting in reduced charge or no charge at all.

Seaward’s special end of season PAT transfer deal means when you show your old tester the red card, you can boost the productivity, performance and profit of your PAT team in the field. Until the end of May, PAT customers can claim a generous cashback bonus when they substitute their old appliance tester with a new one from Seaward. The special trade in deal means anyone buying a new tester from the Seaward Apollo or PrimeTest PAT line up, via an official distributor, automatically qualifies for a generous cashback payment when their old PAT tester of any make or model is retired and returned. The part exchange also comes with a hat trick of other benefits in the shape of a two-year manufacturer’s warranty, free 30 day software trial and calibration certificate.

Tridonic’s new RLE EXC OTD 2x4/ 2x8 HP LED modules are resistant to overvoltage and are geared towards more demanding outdoor and industrial applications. They can be combined with standard lenses and support modular luminaire design. Thanks to a variety of beam characteristics, many different lighting scenarios can be created. The robust TALEXXmodule RLE OTD EXCITE 2x4/ 2x8 HP high-performance modules stand for a durable lighting system which, thanks to an efficiency of up to 161 lm/W and 4 kV overvoltage protection, offers impressive performance both in outdoor and industrial applications in an extended temperature range from -40 to +105 °C. The modules have passed the test carried out in an environment of saltwater and fog according to IEC 600682-52 and are also resistant to hydrogen sulfide (GR-1217-CORE).

Scolmore www.scolmore.com

Seaward • 0191 587 8741 www.seaward.co.uk

Tridonic GmbH & Co KG +43 5572 395 – 45109 www.tridonic.com



Dimming down for energy savings Pressure is increasing on the owners of commercial buildings to introduce energy saving measures to achieve sustainability targets and lighting is one of the key areas which can make a big difference. LEDs and dimming controls are key options and Kevin Norman, senior product manager at Newey & Eyre looks at some of the advantages – and the pitfalls the installer should be aware of


art L of the Building Regulations – Conservation of Fuel and Power – has already focused the minds of lighting designers on the need to consider the efficiency of an entire system in new build and refurbishment projects. However, there will soon also be major implications for owners of commercial premises built before these regulations came into force. Under the Energy Act 2011, from 2018 it will be unlawful for owners to let premises that fail to achieve a prescribed minimum energy performance standard (MEPS). On the face of it, the introduction of LEDs can offer a simple and affordable solution. With a dramatic reduction in cost over recent years, LEDs are more comparable in cost than traditional options with payback periods of less than two years now achievable in most applications. In some cases, LEDs can offer dramatic energy savings of up to 96% (Energy Saving Trust). By choosing the right LED replacement, contractors can offer true like-for-like replacement but energy savings do not have to stop there. In fact, while using the highest efficiency luminaires available may help MEPS regulations, it does not necessarily address the concerns of Health & Safety guidance covering lighting in workplaces, which also need to be taken into account.

Electrical Review | June 2016

BS EN 12464-1 is the standard for lighting indoor workplaces and aims to encourage designers to introduce the appropriate lighting controls for regular lighting layouts in buildings. It encourages the consideration of all light sources, including natural daylight, recognising its importance for energy saving. Incorporating dimming facilities into lighting systems can offer a number of benefits from creating a relaxing ambiance in a social situation to offering an optimum environment for a workforce. In some applications, installing a dimming system can be relatively straightforward. For example, harnessing the capabilities of DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) can mean that the installation of lighting control systems is neither complex nor costly. The DALI standard enables dimmable ballasts, transformers, relay modules, emergency fittings and controllers from different manufacturers to be incorporated into a single control system A DALI lighting control system can be used to cover anything from a single luminaire to 64 DALI devices connected to a single buswire and beyond that, multiple DALI networks can be created. It is also possible to add the benefits of LED to a DALI control system using LED converters which are easily programmable via


the DALI interface. A DALI system offers a number of key benefits including accurate digital dimming and lamp and balance failure detection. And, for easy installation, latest innovations, such as Newey & Eyre’s own brand Newlec DALI network solution, is provided with just four elements; an occupancy detector, remote control, power supply unit and a multi-purpose connection box. LEDs do, however, offer some challenges for the electrician. When LEDs were first introduced, they proved incompatible with the existing triac-based dimming technology and customers were left with the irritation of flickering lights. Now there are dimmers and dimming systems specifically designed for use with LED sources. The dilemma is that while there are systems suited to incandescent or LED lamps, mixing both on one circuit can be problematic. With new-build applications, there is the luxury of designing the system from scratch to ensure that every element of the lighting system is compatible. However, where the customer is looking for a transition from all-incandescent lighting to the energy-saving benefits of LED with a combination of both, a different approach is needed. Applying LED loads to incandescent dimmers can result in poor performance and it can also reduce control life. Unfortunately calculating the load simply by totalling the wattage of the individual LEDs on the circuit will not work. This is because the wattage that an LED is sold at – say 12kW – represents its wattage in continuous operation. This does not take into account the startup inrush current that is considerably higher, by around a factor of 10. This will have the effect of ‘deceiving’ the dimmer so that it appears as a much higher ongoing load and could shorten its life. Equally, an LED driver may not perform well with a very minimal load so while it is easy to meet the minimum load requirement with incandescent lamps, it may need a higher number of LEDs to meet that requirement.

While LEDs are unsuited to triac dimmers, some digital dimmers are equally unsuitable for incandescent lamps. One issue is load on the circuit and with an LED system it is important not to exceed the maximum rated load of the dimmer. If the dimmer is LED specific, the tungsten load from incandescent lamps is likely to overload it and even if this does not happen the fact that the incandescent lamps will pull more load than the LEDs will lead to problems such as flickering. Even with more powerful dimmers, the variation in loads from different types of lamp can cause an inconsistency in performance. Although compatibility between incandescent and LEDs raises issues, they are not insurmountable and a lot depends on product selection. While some LED-specific digital dimmers cannot cope with high or mixed loads, some are sufficiently robust. Zano Controls’ ZBAR remote dimming pack, for example, is designed to support a high number of LED lamps on a single circuit. This gives it the capacity to handle a reasonable level of mixed load. A situation to avoid is on-site ‘testing’ – that is waiting until all of the components in the system are installed on the customer’s premises before you find out whether it will deliver the quality and consistency of dimming performance required. Again, this comes down to choosing branded products from reputable manufacturers who will have already tested various combinations of LED and incandescent lamps against their product ranges and can offer the back up of technical support teams to help guide and troubleshoot. While the complexities of combining LEDs and incandescents on one circuit may at first appear off-putting, once an effective dimming system is in place end-users will be privy to reduced energy consumption just from lighting alone. A result which will not only go a long way towards improving a building’s energy performance but will also deliver significant financial savings on an ongoing basis.




Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management and automation, has won the Data Centre Power Product of the Year category at the DCS Awards 2016. The company’s industry leading portfolio of Prefabricated and Micro Data Centre Solutions allows the rapid and cost-effective deployment of infrastructure in any location, unhindered by challenges of distance, space constraints or remote environments. Schneider Electric’s Prefabricated configurations include power, cooling and IT modules to provide a flexible approach to data centre infrastructure. The building blocks are factory tested and pre-engineered before being delivered to the customer site as readyto-deploy modules.

Scolmore’s New Media range encompasses a wide variety of media and power modules, and has been developed to provide designers and installers with a host of solutions for an assortment of media cabling requirements. Now the range has been expanded with four new, individual modules which will further enhance the flexibility of the company’s growing New Media offer. A VGA module with fly-lead, Triple RCA Module, USB Throughput Module with Fly-Lead and a 3.5mm Audio Jack Module with Fly-Lead, have been added to the comprehensive module collection. The clip fit New Media modules are simple to install in their blank mounting plates and they are each available in either a black or white finish to complement any installation.

Schneider Electric www.schneider-electric.com

Scolmore www.scolmore.com

FILTER FAN EXPELS MORE AIR FROM AN ENCLOSURE After merely 26 months of research and development ‘the protectors of electronics’ Stego, launches a filter fan series that will create a sensation. Its new air-flap technology achieves considerably more efficient air circulation which is a big plus in operational terms. The filter fan series comprises five enclosure cut-out sizes from 92 x 92 mm to 291 x 291 mm. Due to additional product variations the Filter Fan Plus system gives its buyers further freedom to choose between two principles that differ in direction of air flow. The FPI-principle (‘in’) actively imports fresh air through the filter fan and exports it as warmed up interior air passively through the exit via flaps. The FPO-principle (‘out’) brings in the air passively through the filter at the base of the enclosure. The air then is actively drawn upwards by the fan and expelled through the flaps.

Stego • +49 791 95058-22 www.stego.co.uk




Urmet UK, a door entry and access control specialist, has introduced a hands-free internal audio apartment station, ideal for student accommodation and affordable housing developments. The MIRO Audio hands-free unit can be used with Urmet’s 2-wire (2-Voice) system and other compatible external entry panels. It gives clients advanced user functions while allowing installers to use just 2 wires for a simple and fast installation. The new MIRO product, which has supercompact dimensions, enables users to speak with callers at the entrance panel through a high-quality microphone and speaker unit. The apartment station can be either wall-mounted or fitted with a flush-mounted casing.

Wieland Electric’s RST MINI, is the smallest connector on the market with the maximum IP rating and provides quick and safe on-site installation. The system is ideal for use in projects where a compact design and space saving construction is important. The 3 and 5 pole connector incorporates a patented twist lock technology which engages automatically when plugged in. Once the 2 part plugs are connected, the system gives an audible ‘click’ signal that informs the user that the connection has been made. Wieland’s RST® MINI system also reduces installation errors by using mechanical and colour coding which means it is only possible to join connectors that match one another. RST MINI is well suited to diverse requirements with ratings of 250/400 V and 16 A with a IP66, IP69K and IP68 protection rating.

Matthew Aldridge, managing director of igus has introduced one solution to the UK’s productivity puzzle – by intellectually outsourcing secondary tasks, OEMs can concentrate on their core skills. “We are experiencing a rise in demand for subassemblies that can be slotted directly into industrial machines,” says Aldridge. Customised readychain is a more cost effective way to order multiple components, because the cables and hoses come preassembled in the energy chain. Advantages of choosing readychain are clear to see, in terms of reducing cost and time for the OEM, eliminating inventory costs, and increasing factory capacity. In addition, readychain® is fully tested and certified and delivered with a guarantee. To watch a short clip from igus, showing how readychain can help OEMs solve the productivity puzzle, please see www.igus. co.uk/productivitypuzzleoems

Urmet • 01376 556010 www.urmet.co.uk

Wieland Electric • 01483 531213 www.wieland.co.uk

igus • 01604 677240 www.igus.com

Electrical Review | January 2016


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