State Grid Changzhou Power Supply Company pioneers smart low-voltage power distribution area

In a groundbreaking move at the end of December 2023, Changzhou Power Supply Company, based in Jiangsu Province, initiated a pilot project for the establishment of a smart low-voltage power distribution area in the Shanghong Yunfengyuan Community, Changzhou city. This innovative tool can automatically adjust distributed power resources for an enhanced grid interaction.

In recent years, power resources such as distributed photovoltaic (PV), energy storage, and charging posts have been substantially integrated and connected into the grid. While transforming the operational landscape of the traditional power distribution network, this evolution has introduced potential risks such as reverse power flow and equipment overloading. In response to these issues, the construction of a modern smart distribution network has emerged as an effective solution, and a crucial aspect of it lies in enhancing smart control in low-voltage power distribution areas. In July 2023, the State Grid Changzhou Electric Power Supply Company initiated the construction of such a smart low-voltage power distribution area.

In the pilot zone of High-Speed Rail New City, Xinbei District, Changzhou, intelligent distribution transformer terminals have been installed on 177 distribution transformers. These therminals aim to monitor essential transformer's operational parameters such as voltage and current, alerting in real time about any anomalies such as transformer and low-voltage equipment faults, as well as inadequate voltage quality.

Importantly, the terminals can establish connections to the state grid thus enabling the monitoring of distributed power resources such as customer-side PV equipment, energy storage equipment, and charging posts, as well as low-voltage adjustable resources. Furthermore, these terminals can be regulated through the smart operation and management platform of the power distribution area. The data transmitted via a wireless private network enable relevant personnel to access real-time information about the voltage and current across the entire low-voltage chain of "distribution transformer-switch-customer" within the power supply area.

On this basis, the State Grid Changzhou Electric Power Supply Company has selected the No 2 power distribution area of the 10 kV No. 1 intermediate substation at the Shanghong Yunfengyuan Community to further extend the pilot power distribution area's autonomous control and the power-load interaction.

In the No.2 power distribution area, autonomous control programs have been integrated to the intelligent distribution transformer terminals and connected to the smart operation and management platform. These programs facilitate the autonomous management of intelligent distribution transformer terminals and real-time interaction with the low-voltage side PV, energy storage, charging posts, and adjustable resources that are connected to the distribution transformer. While ensuring a reliable power supply, the system adjusts the output of PV power generation, energy storage and discharge, charging posts, air conditioners, and other adjustable resources. These efforts maximize the on-site consumption of PV output, enable cost-effective charging and discharging, and prevent risks such as equipment overload, and excessively high or low voltage.

It is worth noting that the smart low-voltage power distribution area possesses the capability to autonomously control 25 kW of distributed PV, 30 kWh of energy storage, and 15 kW of air conditioning load within its jurisdiction. Furthermore, it can receive higher-level instructions to interact with the grid, with a maximum adjustment capacity of 50 kW.

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