Deeside Centre for Innovation is spread across 19 acres and includes a substation and overhead line test areas, workshops, storage space and offices. Each of the test areas can operate independently or can be combined with other areas to suit any testing requirements.
Overhead lines: Our overhead lines testing facilities comprise a full scale, 200m span between two lattice towers, a bespoke test facility for testing of conductors and insulators. This enables insulators and conductors to be trialled in a live environment before being used on the network. You can also trial thermal imaging, built-in surveillance, and robotic monitoring.
Civil infrastructure: The Centre has a range of structures and foundations commonly found within substations, allowing the equipment under test to be mounted on realistic structures. Mechanical and electrical ageing tests can provide detail on assets life and how to optimise their design.
Protection and control: The control room provides oversight of the facility and allows power to be routed where required, allowing multiple tests to run across the site simultaneously. Relay settings, fault conditions, communication protocols and new P&C equipment testing can all be performed in a real substation environment.
Switchgear: Switchgear at the Centre enables the circuits across the site to be safely isolated, either for practise planned work or unplanned system faults, while maintaining the rest of the facility operational. At the Centre you can test new switchgear technology and improved operational procedures before they are implemented on the live grid.
Transformers: New transformer designs, bushings and terminations, oil types and cooling systems can all be tested. The onsite safety equipment ensures testing can be performed, without damaging the surrounding environment. Condition monitoring techniques can also be verified in order to ensure transformers can be effectively maintained and monitored and kept healthier for longer.
Offices and workshops: Office spaces allow access to the National Grid information services, providing a working environment for test engineers and a place to analyse the outputs of the testing programs. Customers can also use facilities provided while present on site.
Gas insulated switchgear and lines: Our facilities enable new switchgear types to be tested in the substation environment. Alternatives to Sulphur Hexafluoride (SF6), an insulating gas, can be tested and retro fill techniques can be practiced in a safe environment, with no risk to affect a consumer supply.
Want to find out how your project could be tested at our Innovation Centre?