1st Village Homes Connect to Smart Grid

Published by AND Technology Research

AND Technology Research (AND) has successfully conducted initial testing of Smart Grid networking technology in the Oxford village of Hook Norton.

Part of the Hook Norton 'Smart Hooky' initiative, an Ofgem First Tier Low Carbon Network Fund (LCNF) project, the testing has seen homes in Hook Norton connect & 'talk' over a Smart Grid network.

Steven Kear, Programmes Director & one of the AND team onsite during two test events said, "We are delighted with the results from this initial set of testing. The Smart Grid will provide energy companies with the information they need to control & monitor the energy they generate, a vital ingredient in the push for efficient energy use".

Designed to enable communication over the important 'last mile', the equipment developed by AND provides a two-way data path for energy information between homes & energy distribution companies by deploying a technology known as Power Line Communication. This means that the village's existing mains power cables can be used as not only a power source but a communication network, limiting changes to the infrastructure which otherwise would be needed. Steven Kear adds "... utilising the PLC solution in this way, not only provides a communications path but importantly gives fine-grain visibility into a otherwise largely hidden electricity supply network/grid".

The project involves partners Western Power Distribution (WPD), Renesas Electronics Europe (Renesas), National Energy Foundation (NEF) & Hook Norton Low Carbon (HNLC). In early February volunteer residents recruited by NEF & HNLC, had their properties fitted with a prototype Smart Node, while substations common to each of the houses were fitted with a Smart Hub. On activation the nodes & hub automatically formed a network & engineers were able to see how well the energy grid was performing.

Following the positive result from this initial testing, the project can now move to the trials stage whereby various scenarios will be exercised in addition to testing of the communications back from the hubs' in the substation to a centralised data store & website for residents. A wider roll-out of equipment is also due to take place for larger-scale testing.

(ends)

Notes to editors:
On 1 April 2011, E.ON Central Networks was sold to PPL WEM Holdings plc. & are now known as Western Power Distribution.

About AND Technology Research Ltd.
For over thirty years AND Technology Research Ltd., (AND) has been at the cutting edge of technology design & innovation; developing electronic & software products for clients in addition to offering professional, expert advice in both these fields.

Based in 'leafy' Theydon Bois, a village just outside London (UK), the team of highly professional, multi-disciplined engineers have a fantastic ability to solve problems & design challenges simply & effectively. The company works with individuals & businesses, consulting & researching into emerging technologies, designs & concepts. Working across a broad range of sectors covering automotive, broadcast, aerospace , medical, consumer & most recently green tech, the company offers services from PCB layout, to software programming, to product prototyping; the one-stop-shop for development.

For further information please visit http://www.andtr.com or contact Gemma Rippengale, Marketing Support Executive, gemma.rippengale@andtr.com

Company contact for reader & customer inquiries:
Gemma Rippengale
AND Technology Research Ltd., 4 Forest Drive, Theydon Bois, Essex. CM16 7EY. UK

Tel.: +44 (0) 1992 814655
Fax: +44 (0) 1992 813362
E-mail: gemma.rippengale@andtr.com
Web: www.andtr.com

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