The output of this project will be 2 or 3 prototype vehicles with battery inverter generator units of 40kVA output installed in fleet (or very similar) electric vehicles that can be used on a network faults affecting an estimated 1 to 7 domestic customers on single or three phase networks across our regions, ideally it will be suitable for single and looped premises and end of LV network faults. The system will be fitted with an inverter making it suitable for single or three phase operation and protection panels.
It is intended that this project will demonstrate the efficacy of this approach for all generator applications with the target that 50% of the current fleet could eventually be replaced.
The project will be judged a success if:
Hyperdrive and Offgrid Energy can determine whether it is possible to integrate the assemblies within the vehicle and ensure drivability and safe payload carrying limits are satisfied.
Northern Powergrid can complete testing and authorisation of system design and functionality.
Northern Powergrid can assess the full system, in operation, and report its performance
Hyperdrive, Offgrid Energy and Northern Powergrid can complete and publish the closedown report and disseminate the knowledge generated to the industry.
These are successive criteria and the project may be successfully halted at any of these intermediate outcomes depending on results obtained.
Please see below a list of the project objectives which are each discussed in turn:
· Determine whether a 40kVA hybrid generator system can be safely installed in a standard sized fleet vehicle.
As per the modifications to planned approach section, a 40kVa EESS can be installed in a standard sized fleet vehicle. In the Silent Night project the EESS was installed in to a Nissan ENV200 and the limiting factor was the carrying weight of the vehicle rather than the physical space available. The weight restriction issue would not have been such a problem in a conventional petrol or diesel vehicle which has larger carrying capacities.
· Develop and fully test communications, tracking and control systems ensuring compatibility with our current, or modified, operational approach.
Northern Powergrid is able to monitor the Silent Night units via the Victron Energy online portal which provides real time updates. The portal provides updates on; physical location, state of charge and state of discharge. The system also sends a notification email and SMS when the system discharges past the following thresholds; 50%, 20% and 0%. These updates allow our engineers to make informed decisions about whether they need to take interventions when the unit is deployed out on site.
· Determine operational characteristics of such a vehicle
As per the previous point, a Nissan ENV200 has a limited carrying weight and the range of an electric vehicle is also reduced significantly if they have to carry a heavy payload.
This caused an issue when we were operating one of the EESS out of our Northallerton depot which is located in North Yorkshire and serves a rural community. The local management team were restricted in deploying the EESS due to the dispersed nature of the customers and limited EV charging points in the region.
· Assess carbon footprint, fuel usage, support time, recharge motor utilisation, noise pollution etc.
Ø The operation of the Silent Night units have no carbon footprint or associated fuel usage as customer supplies are restored via a EESS which is transported to site via an electric vehicle.
Ø Unfortunately the recharge motor functionality was omitted at the design phase due to the limited carrying capacity of the electric vehicle.
Ø There was no noise pollution or particulate contamination associated with the EESS which was seen as a significant benefit from a customer perspective.
Early consideration needs to be given to the name of any Innovation project. This is because Innovation projects inevitably generate interest from a range of stakeholders, irrespective of whether they are successful or unsuccessful, and having a single name throughout the project means