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February 7, 2020

UK Power Networks trial world’s fastest circuit breakers

Cable maintenance company UK Power Networks is trialling what it calls “the world’s fastest circuit breakers” in London.

By Matt Farmer

Cable maintenance company UK Power Networks is trialling what it calls “the world’s fastest circuit breakers” in London.

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The Power Electronic Fault Limiting Circuit Breaker devices were installed in an 11kV substation in Tower Hamlets, east London, in early January.

The fault limiting circuit breakers (FLCBs) were designed by ABB to interrupt faults as they occur. They are the first to use a fast commutating switch. They are a quarter of the size and half the price of the previous breakers and cut off power in 0.004 seconds.

Better response times should mean larger contingency capacity, allowing more generators to connect to a network. The company estimates the breakers could enable 460 MW of generation to connect to the network, saving £400m.

Trials of the breakers began in early January and will continue to August 2021. During this time, the company will gather performance data on different configurations.

Reports from these trials will be published on the UK Power Networks website.

UK Power Networks is also developing a safety case for the device “in order to develop the engineering knowledge necessary to safely and effectively demonstrate FLCBs on British networks”.

The breakers make it easier to connect combined heat and power (CHP) turbines to the network due to the increased overhead capacity. A statement from the company says the breakers allow this “while spending less of customers’ money on physical infrastructure upgrades”.

The Greater London Authority expects demand for CHP turbines in the city to increase by five times over the next 15 years.

UK Power Networks head of innovation Ian Cameron said: “Through innovative technology, we are making it easier for a generation of environmentally-friendly, cost-efficient energy.

“Lowering the cost of connecting smaller-scale energy generation like CHP is a key component in providing a low-carbon, secure and affordable future for London.”

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Delve into the renewable energy prospects for Morocco

In its new low greenhouse gas (GHG) emission strategy to 2050, submitted to the United Nations (UN), the Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development (MEM) of Morocco suggested to raise the share of renewable capacity in the country’s total power installed capacity mix to 80%.   Morocco currently aims to increase the share of renewables in total power capacity to 52% by 2030. The new strategy plans to increase the share of renewable capacity to 70% by 2040 and 80% by 2050.  GlobalData’s expert analysis delves into the current state and potential growth of the renewable energy market in Morocco. We cover: 
  • The 2020 target compared to what was achieved 
  • The 2030 target and current progress 
  • Energy strategy to 2050 
  • Green hydrogen 
  • Predictions for the way forward  
Download the full report to align your strategies for success and get ahead of the competition.   
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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