The University of Manchester is a partner in three projects, to be delivered by National Grid, as part of the second ‘discovery’ phase of Ofgem’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) programme.
The ambitious innovation projects will provide critical insight and research to help inform the future development of a net zero energy system while delivering significant benefits to consumers.
National Grid Electricity Transmission has been awarded £396,000 to fund the following projects, in which Manchester will be playing a vital role:
- Superconductor OHLs: This project will investigate technology to increase power flow capability on existing overhead lines. Novel high temperature superconductor (HTS) technology could be implemented on existing lines, increasing power flow capability up to ten-fold at the same voltage level.
- SF6 replacement strategy: Development of a long-term strategy to expedite the efficient rollout of SF6 replacements and remove the gas from the network at minimum cost to the consumer, with new builds and retro filling options considered across different asset profiles.
- WELLNESS: A project to assess whole energy system resilience and develop a framework suited to the energy transition whilst protecting consumers – ensuring the network is reliable to known and credible threats, but also resilient to less frequent but more extreme disasters.
Dr Vidyadhar Peesapati, Senior Lecturer and Consultant in High Voltage Engineering, Condition Monitoring and Asset Management at The University of Manchester said: “The SIF programme provides a unique opportunity for us to continue our engagement with National Grid, in evaluating and de-risking a range innovations and solutions that will expedite the transition to net zero.”
Nicola Todd, Head of Strategy and Innovation at National Grid Electricity Transmission, added: “It’s great to see National Grid leading the way with the sort of ambitious thinking needed to tackle some of the biggest challenges in energy. This funding will help drive progress on a raft of innovative projects, from new technologies to boost network capacity, to how we reduce our dependency on the greenhouse gas SF6.
“Work on these initiatives is helping to shape the future of Britain’s energy networks and accelerating the transition to net zero, at lowest cost to consumers.”
The University of Manchester’s energy experts are committed to delivering an equitable and prosperous net zero energy future. By matching science and engineering, with social science, economics, politics and arts, the University’s community of 600+ experts address the entire lifecycle of each energy challenge, creating innovative and enduring solutions to make a difference to the lives of people around the globe. This enables the university’s research community to develop pathways to ensure a low carbon energy transition that will also drive jobs, prosperity, resilience and equality.
Full details of the funding for Ofgem’s SIF scheme, which is managed in partnership with Innovate UK, can be found on its website at: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/news-and-views/press-releases