For the enterprises in the utility sector to thrive in the grid of the future, they must leverage analytics to move from good to great and increase the efficiency of their workings.
FREMONT, CA: The utility sector is currently caught in a Gordian knot as two divergent priorities are expected to be fulfilled at the same time. Enterprises have to reduce operation and maintenance costs as insisted by both shareholder and regulator, and people are steadily working toward increasing reliability, power quality, and customer-centricity.
The excellent news is utilities have a potential for a solution through increasing data and knowledge about the systems they work on. However, to maximize the chances and solve the Gordian knot, the firms need to be much efficient at ingesting, managing, governing, and analyzing data.
Data is available from numerous resources which the utilities own and from additional avenues. This information is flowing into the organizations and is directly related to the health and operations of the grid. The data originates from grid assets such as smart meters, energy consumption, weather and storm data—wind direction, humidity, atmospheric pressure, temperature, solar irradiance—grid monitoring equipment, fault sensors, phasor measurement units (PMUs), smart inverters, and much other equipment. All these data resources are a strategic asset to many of today’s grid modernization initiatives. Enabling the knowledge to acquire an accurate and near real-time visualization and in-depth understanding of the health of the grid. Some of the use cases that are derived from the data include:
• Optimization of life and value of grid assets
• Reduction in technical and non-technical losses from various avenues
• Optimization of the grid, its management, and increase in the power quality for customers
• Improve reliability of SAIFI, SAIDI, and CAIDI
• Better preparedness for storm and more efficient restoration
• Maximize benefits from capital improvements
• Reduction in safety occurrences and incidents
• Improve both short term and long-term forecasting trends.
With the list for kick-starting efficient methods, going forward innumerable opportunities are presented to leverage analytics for better handling in the sector. The phenomenon of increasing the volume and variety of the data obtained from the smart meters would be able to help the enterprises on the grid side and customer side of the company.