Using weather forecasts to run the network more efficiently

Ergon Energy’s network planners have come up with a smart way to use weather forecasts to better predict and manage load on zone substations.

With summer approaching and the weather heating up, short-term forecasts will be important to help Ergon understand high demand days.

Graduate electrical engineer Ben Croker from Ergon’s Network Forecasting team has been developing forecasts to predict zone substation loads in different regions for seven days into the future.

With about 300 substations across the state, he said the network can experience high demand during times of high or low temperatures.

“The sheer geographical distances between Ergon substations can dictate vastly different weather impacts on different sections of the network,” the company said.

“For example, in July this year, the south-west region experienced near-record loads when a cold snap rolled through the area.

“Short-term forecast information overlaid on network mapping can give a good picture of the network load for the week ahead, but there are still several improvements to be made. The tool will see ongoing improvement into the future.”

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) provides weather forecasts for a week into the future, which Mr Crocker has been using to predict the load on substations, based on historical data and how their load has been affected by weather in the past.