Non-conventional voltage and current sensors for future power grids

Short Name: FutureGrid, Project Number: ENG61

New electrical measurements for the grid: New sensor technologies to support energy trading and security of supply

Integrating power from renewable energy sources into existing distribution grids will become an essential requirement for reducing CO2 emissions. However, the flow of electricity from nonconventional sources can cause harmonics or surges of power, leading to outages and failures. One way to address this problem is to introduce smarter grids that use digital control technologies to monitor electricity use in real time, making automatic changes to reduce energy wastage, and allowing networks to operate at higher capacities. Accurate and traceable measurements will be needed but many of the existing measurement instrument types are approaching end of life and are not designed to be effective in distributed networks, where power sometimes flows in two directions.


This project examined emerging measurement technologies potentially suited to monitoring the state of grids, from the high-voltage transmission grid to the medium and lowvoltages of the distribution grid.


The Project:

  • Developed a current sensing device for calibrating high and medium voltage transformers, offering a 100-fold improvement in shielding from environmental interference.
  • Developed optical current and voltage sensors that show potential for fault detection in networks over larger distances than conventional instruments.
  • Produced two Good Practice Guides on calibrating and installing non-conventional sensors.


Delivering impact
Following the project, the European measurement institutes PTB, METAS and VSL initiated novel calibration services for non-conventional sensors.


The University of Strathclyde, in Scotland, further developed the optical sensors that were subsequently validated at the Power Network Demonstration Centre (PNDC) in Cumbernauld, also in Scotland. Six devices were installed for testing on medium voltage networks as part of an electrical distribution grid.


Synaptec, a company that makes high-performance instrumentation for network operators, took on the commercialisation of these sensors, working closely with energy suppliers Statnett in Norway and SSE in the UK.


A follow-on project FutureGrid II is continuing to develop calibration methods and the measurement infrastructure for real-time control and monitoring of power grids. This is required to help ensure stability in the challenging electricity supply operating conditions likely to be present in increasingly complex grid systems.

Project website
A Calibration Setup for IEC 61850-9-2 Devices

IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement

Calibration of Commercial Test Sets for Non-Conventional Instrument Transformers

2017 IEEE International Workshop on Applied Measurements for Power Systems (AMPS)

Magnetic shielding of Rogowski coils

2017 IEEE International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference (I2MTC)

Calibration systems for analogue non-conventional voltage and current transducers

Precision Electromagnetic Measurements (CPEM 2016), 2016 Conference on

Determination of the Verdet Constant of Low Birefringence Single-Mode Optical Fiber

Conference on Precision Electromagnetic Measurements

Development and testing of optically-interrogated current sensors

2016 IEEE International Workshop on Applied Measurements for Power Systems (AMPS) Proceedings

Use of a nanocrystalline core for a precise non-invasive AC current measurement

2016 Conference on Precision Electromagnetic Measurements (CPEM 2016)

Calibration of AC Clamp Meters

IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement

An AC Power Amplifier for Testing Instrument Transformer Test Equipment

Conference on Precision Electromagnetic Measurements 2016 (Digest)

A Current Clamp based High Voltage Monitoring System

2015 IEEE International Workshop on Applied Measurements for Power Systems

20 kV AC Divider with Ratio Correction

ISH COLLECTION at eCIGRE, ref. ISH2015_520,