We specialise in electrical system studies and design, offering Power System Planning, Overhead Line, Connections, Electrical Design, Asset Management and Project Management, Safety and Quality Assurance services. Freedom holds full Lloyds NERS accreditation for the design and build of connections up to 132kV. Clients ask us to provide innovative, cradle-to-grave solutions for New Connections, Substations, Overhead Lines and Electrical equipment.

Electrical Engineering Design

All design work is delivered by our qualified and experienced in-house team using the latest software and design tools. We have successfully completed power design and system studies for everything from overhead electrical lines, system studies and power systems to detailed substation design, cabling and associated civil works up to 132kV.

INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS

The POC-MAST™

The Point of Connection (POC) mast offers a viable solution providing significant design, installation, maintenance, health and safety, environmental and cost benefits.

Protean

The Protean is a wood pole alternative product, the design philosophy is based on an efficient line design which is safe and constructible with limited outage requirements.  This is achieved using the latest overhead line design software and specialist structural analysis to develop a bespoke line design for each application.

Protection Panels

Our engineers perform detailed design of protection schemes based on clients’ standards and requirements.

“The Aerial Survey and Design project delivered by Freedom Group has been a very positive innovation for the business.”

Project Engineer for Scottish Power Energy Networks

The POC-MAST™

The Point of Connection (POC) mast offers a viable solution providing significant design, installation, maintenance, health and safety, environmental and cost benefits.

Protection Panels

British Power International engineers perform detailed design of protection schemes based on clients’ standards and requirements.

Protean

The Protean is a wood pole replacement product, the design philosophy is based on an efficient line design which is safe and constructible with limited outage requirements.  This is achieved using the latest overhead line design software and specialist structural analysis to develop a bespoke line design for each application.

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CASE STUDIES

Client

UK Power Networks


Project

Little Barford 132kV 


Type

Concept design cable, substation and OHL


Location

East of England

The Brief

UK Power Networks required a detailed feasibility study and concept design for the routing of new multiple 5 km long 132kV cable circuits.  In addition, an extensive redesign of Little Barford substation was required, as well as the design for a new 132kV substation at an existing National Grid site at Eaton Socon.  The new cable route required an existing 132kV overhead line to be terminated at two locations to receive the new cable circuits.  The fifth circuit required an existing overhead line to be terminated with a new terminal tower and the dismantlement of the remainder of the route.

The Approach

We used the latest LiDAR aerial survey technology to undertake a large 5 km x 5 km survey across the existing substations and cable route.  From the LiDAR survey data, multiple potential route corridors were identified, enabling the wayleave and consents team to finalise a best option route.  Full 3D CAD models of the substations, plus stage by stage dismantlement and construction plans were also produced from the data.  Based on the LiDAR data set, a directional drilling design was produced for a number of road crossings.  Overhead line terminations were designed ensuring the correct terminal tower extensions were specified to meet statutory ground clearance.

The Delivery

With a tight delivery programme we processed the design using specialist software and working closely with the consents team and the client to produce an agreed cable route and final positioning of all terminal towers.  A suite of drawings and reports detailed the cable route, joint bays, and tower locations.  The design was complete with outline planning drawings of the new 132kV substation at Eaton Socon and detailed drawings at Little Barford supporting the dismantlement and new circuit arrangements.

The whole substation was commissioned and adopted by UKPN a full 2 months prior to the RoC deadline date.

Client

UK Power Networks


Project

Wryde Croft Wind Farm


Type

Detailed design 132kV substation and cable


Location

Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

The Brief

To produce a detailed design for a new 60MVA 132/33kV substation and 132kV cable connection to an existing overhead line for a permanent 14MW wind farm connection.  We produced the design for a new sealing end platform to an adjacent tower to accommodate the new 132kV cables, approximately 600m from the new substation.  This included modification to the existing tower cross arm steelwork to support down leads to connect to the new 132kV incoming cables.

The Approach

A topographical survey was conducted to create a base map for the 132kV cable route and the new substation. A desktop utility search was undertaken to assess the location’s suitability for the 132kV cable route and new substation. The agreed cable route required us to undertake a horizontal direct drilling (HDD) crossing underneath the B1167 road and the New South Eau drain, thus providing a connection to the new substation.

The Delivery

A comprehensive suite of drawings and calculations were produced to meet the project programme.  The detailed design of the new 60MVA 132/33kV substation included HV plant layout, earthing study, detailed civil design and detailed secondary protection design.  The final connection from the new substation to the wind farm was via 33kV interconnecting cables.

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Client

UK Distribution Network Operator Power Networks


Project

St Osyth 33kV OHL Connection


Type

Concept and detailed design 


Location

South East

The Brief

A major solar farm required a 33kV connection to a nearby overhead line.  The DNO’s overhead line tower, built in the 1940’s, was fitted with a rare inline circuit switch connected at cross arm level and operated from a manual lever at ground level.  Adjacent to the tower, at the point of connection, was an 11kV wood pole overhead line.  This provided limited access for the installation of the new structure.

The Approach

We undertook a detailed study of the existing tower and produced a review of the various health and safety issues for the installation and ongoing operation of the new point of connection.  It was agreed that the method of connection must produce minimal mechanical load transfer into the existing tower, otherwise the inline circuit switches could operate incorrectly.  Innovating with a radical design, we produced a patented solution known as POC-MASTTM, now becoming an industry standard solution at both 33kV and 132kV.

POC-MASTTM is designed for each point of connection, based on the latest euro codes and using a folded steel mast.  It is assembled at ground level and erected using a hydraulic ram, requiring minimal working at height.  With a mass concrete or screw anchor foundation, minimal curing time and ground excavation is needed.

The Delivery

The POC-MASTTM provided a safe, cost effective solution ensuring working at height was minimised.  Although this was the first time this solution was used in the UK, the design and installation was safely delivered to time and programme.  It also reduced the 33kV cable connection length by 350m.  Winner of the Construction News Innovation Award in 2015 and finalist in the UK Energy Innovation Awards in 2015, the POC-MASTTM solution is now fully operational, and a number of other projects are planned.

Client

SPEN


Project

Gateacre – replacement of 132kV Trident wood poles with steel poles


Type

Design and install Protean steel poles


Location

Gateacre, Merseyside  

The Brief

This project required the replacement of two 132kV Trident wood poles suffering from severe woodpecker damage.  The existing Trident poles were 24m spliced poles constructed in 1974 and straddling a fully operational railway with deep drainage  ditches in close proximity.  Access to the site was restricted due to constraints from the adjacent railway embankment and access tunnel.  The client was seeking a replacement solution that could be installed with minimum outage duration and disruption to third parties.  The replacement Protean masts were to be located in close proximity to the existing Trident poles.

The Approach

We undertook a detailed survey of the existing overhead line section including conductor attachment heights and adjacent topographical features.  A reflectorless total station was used for observations to the railway to avoid access issues.  From this, an accurate 3D CAD model was produced and the required replacement structure geometry defined.  Pole and foundation loads were then calculated using our highly configurable software system.

On completion of a geotechnical soil investigation, a screw anchor foundation system was designed that could be installed without the requirement for a circuit outage and in close proximity to the existing wood pole foundations.  Due to access restrictions for heavy plant, the final Protean design utilised multiple short folded steel pole sections and a hinged base section allowing the poles to be lifted using a hydraulic ram.  The Protean masts were designed and delivered to site within 6 weeks.

The Delivery

We undertook the complete design and coordination of this project.  At the outset we worked closely with the client’s project management and installation team.  A pre-construction meeting was held, providing an ideal forum for the design and delivery team to discuss in depth every aspect of the construction work, circuit outages and railway possessions.

Client

Island Green Power


Project

Trowse Solar Farm


Type

Contestable connection design


Location

Norwich, Norfolk 

The Brief

Island Green Power engaged us to undertake the design of a 33kV contestable connection design for Trowse Solar Farm. A full design was required to be completed and submitted to UK Power Networks for approval in line with the 31st March Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROC’s) connection deadline.

The Approach

Freedom Group has a dedicated connections team delivering connection solutions throughout the UK. With in-house civil, HV plant, power system and protection expertise available, we were able to complete the design for the client’s programme for UK Power Networks to approve.

All land and Point of Connection (POC) agreements were sought prior to the commencement of the design stage. We undertook all landowner negotiations for performing the earthing studies, which were delivered by the in-house dedicated earthing team.

The Delivery

Our team produced a detailed scope of work for this contestable connection design project. This was supported by a set of deliverables for the client to review so that the submission fully met the project requirements. For this project a detailed suite of construction drawings was produced, including the cable route, electrical/earthing calculations and drawings, together with the civil design associated with the DNO substation.

Client

UK Distribution Network Operator/Contractor


Project

West Weybridge to Byfleet


Type

Route upgrade studies


Location

UK South East

The Brief

The client approached us undertake a high accuracy thermal uprating study for an existing overhead line crossing a number of houses and adjacent features. The overhead line comprised ten spans connecting two major substations. With limited information on the overhead line available to undertake the uprating study, our in house survey team completed an onsite high accuracy survey of the underlying features with multiple observations of the existing conductor system.

The Approach

We produced a detailed scope of work and methodology to produce a high accuracy onsite survey using the latest remote sensing theodolites. Using specialist overhead line design software, the survey data was post-processed into a detailed 3D CAD model.

This accurately modelled the conductor middle and bottom phases in still air and swing conditions based on the conductor electrical rating on the day of the field survey. We provided options to improve the thermal rating of the conductor with minimal increase in sag, including a replacement high temperature conductor and a new conductor insulator system.

The Delivery

We completed the site survey and produced a number of detailed design options. Further discussions were held with the installation contractor to provide a solution which could be installed on site with minimal circuit outage times and temporary protection. A comprehensive report was produced providing the increased capacity of the line and the various clearances at different operating temperatures.