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Deeside Innovation Centre

Deeside Innovation Centre

We are delighted to offer customers access to our state-of-the-art evaluation facility, a 400 kV disconnected substation, designed as an unique environment for developments and trials of technologies and practices.

The site in Deeside, Wales, is the first facility in Europe where assets associated with electricity networks can be tested off-grid, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It provides a controlled test environment and collects valuable monitoring data throughout its life.

The Deeside project

The Deeside Project

Find out about Europe's first off-grid, high voltage testing environment.

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Our facilities are set up ready for you to trial and assess your new technological development before it goes into service. This unique environment allows your designs to be validated to a higher level than ever before.

Your equipment can be tested at 4000 A and up to 550 kV outside of laboratory conditions, in an outdoor environment for extended periods of time - days, months or even years

You can take advantage of our high power supplies to be applied to your new technologies so stresses and ageing processes occur - providing further proof of concept

Our condition monitoring capabilities enable your equipment to be inspected safely. Failure modes and precursors to failure can also be tested using in circuit and external monitoring equipment, allowing maintenance procedures to be established and validated.

Testing at Deeside

Our testing capabilities

Our high voltage testing capabilities enable us to replicate transmission and distribution power systems – all in a real substation environment. 

Real world environmental conditions: Not only does Deeside offer a harsh atmospheric environment to test under, it can provide an electrical environment that closely matches live electricity transmission and distribution networks.

Installation and operation practices: Our environment enables practical installation and operations of equipment to take place. This allows for greater confidence when rolling out new technologies in the field. 

Multiple system testing: Tests can be performed between a combination of areas, or even across the whole facility.  

Legacy compatibility testing: Our ex-service equipment allows new designs to be developed with legacy interfacing, so any changes continue to work within existing systems.

Security guaranteed: We have secure, onsite condition monitoring equipment and communications technology in many locations across site. 

The facility

Deeside Innovation Centre is spread across 19 acres and includes a substation, overhead line, underground cable sections, workshops, storage space and an innovation centre. Each of these areas can operate independently or can be combined with other areas to suit any testing requirements.

Overhead lines and cables: Our overhead lines and cable testing facilities comprise a full scale, 200m span between two lattice towers, a bespoke low level test facility for conductors and insulators and a section of underground cable. 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: Deeside 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 asset life and how to optimise their design. 

Protection and control: The control rooms provide oversight of the facility. Power can be routed where required, allowing multiple tests to run across the site at the same time.  If needed, the entire site can be used as a combined test facility. Relay settings, fault conditions, communication protocols and new equipment testing can all be performed in a real substation environment.  

Switchgear: Switchgear enables the circuits in the grid to be safely isolated, either for planned work or unplanned system faults, while maintaining the customer supply.  At Deeside you can test new switchgear technology and better operational procedures before they are used on the live grid. 

Deeside Engineer

Transformers: Your 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: Work continues to take place onsite to ensure that the projects at Deeside run smoothly. Office spaces allow access to the National Grid information services, providing a working environment for project engineers and a place to analyse the outputs of the innovation programs. 

Gas insulated switchgear and lines: Our facilities enable new equipment 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 consumer supply.

Want to find out how your project could be tested at our Innovation Centre?
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We're here to help and advise you on your projects. To find out more or to make a booking, call us on 0800 783 9228 during office hours or use our contact form.