Active Network Management (ANM) connects separate components of a smart grid such as smaller energy generators, renewable generation, storage devices, etc., by implementing software to monitor and control the operation of these devices.

Connection of these technologies to the main network ensures they are fully integrated into the energy system and thus can be used in an efficient way, thereby reducing the need to invest in expensive energy network reinforcement. SHEPD pioneered the development and deployment of ANM through innovation projects to develop Britain’s first smart grid on Orkney  A recent review of the Orkney ANM scheme identified a solution cost of £500k compared to the £30m alternative reinforcement cost.

Under this scheme, new energy generators can be instructed, via automated controls, to limit their power output thus avoiding too much energy being put onto the network that could otherwise cause outages and system faults. Calculations of the allowed amount of power that can be put onto the network are derived from real-time network measurements, and depend on the level of local electricity demand in Shetland and the amount of generated energy. Active Network Management takes continuous measurements necessary to control demand and generation, whilst minimising network losses, stabilising the system and detecting faults.

If you are interested to know more about the Active Network Management system and user interactions, we have developed a Use Case Model explaining the functional goals and user interactions involved.