As electricity networks evolve to accept more distributed renewable energy generation, it is vital that sufficient information about current, voltage and frequency exists to manage and control them; enabling grid stability and reducing the possibility of blackouts. Observation and control of electrical grids relies on a network of sensors so that the status of the network is constantly monitored, known as ‘state estimation’. The majority of research into controlling networks relies on knowledge about the structure of the network combined with modelling, or simulation, of the network. However, in practice the topology and impedances, or resistance to AC current, of distribution networks are often poorly documented due to inaccurate network circuit diagrams, uncertain connections or missing information. This project developed techniques to enhance the capabilities of sensor networks, to estimate missing information and to validate new algorithms for optimal sensor placement. The results were then demonstrated on real networks, and shown to improve the monitoring and knowledge of electrical distribution grids to improve security and reliability.
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Sensor network metrology: Improving the monitoring of electrical distribution grids