The dream of harnessing the power of the stars to provide near-limitless clean electricity has remained up to now just that – a dream. In stars like our own Sun, a huge amount of energy and heat is released by nuclear fusion, when the nuclei of atoms collide at very high speeds to create a new, larger nucleus. Most attempts to replicate the process in laboratories, using expensive high-density lasers or magnetic fields and super-hot plasmas, have so far struggled to get to the point at which more energy is produced than put in.
A ‘ramp rate study’ has to be carried out for new connections to the National Grid network. OCC has made it easier and quicker to run these studies, cutting completion time and saving National Grid’s customers money.
Pöyry is a world leader in the analysis and modelling of electricity markets. The company’s sophisticated models involve long-term projections of both the physical characteristics of electricity plants and financial information. It turned to OCC to create an outward-facing user friendly interface.
OCC developers working with National Grid engineers have developed a suite of software tools providing fast and accurate modelling of the thermal stresses in circuit components. Allowing transmission operators to respond to system operator requests for a temporary heightened load, without compromising reliability or safety.
Using research software developed by the University of Southampton for modelling thermal properties of cables in tunnels OCC developed a software tool for National Grid Asset Engineers. This enabled the engineers to understand the thermal effects and safe loading limits when planning new cable routings.
An app developed by OCC enabling more accurate validation testing of gas meters is helping National Grid in their programme to save costs by reducing metering errors.
All gas in the UK passes through National Grid’s high-pressure transmission system on its way to customers.
As part of its ongoing commitment to asset management, National Grid is re-establishing live-line working – working on overhead power lines while they are still charged to hundreds of kilovolts.
Predicting the thermal stress on high-voltage buried cables is crucial to the running of the national electricity network.
National Grid contracted OCC to provide software to model the tension and sagging of overhead lines under different conditions including span length, creep, temperature, wind speed, ice loading and the profile of the ground.
OCC has been providing software to National Grid since 1999 and has built up expertise in modelling the capability of critical components in the network to take electrical load.
Engineers at National Grid’s National Control Centre in Wokingham are responsible for balancing national supply with demand on a minute-by-minute basis.
National Grid chose OCC to develop and support TRALC2, a desktop application that models the performance of high-voltage transformers as they are subjected to heavy electrical loads.