Grid analytics solutions are providing the utility industry with the right set of opportunities for revitalizing operations and embracing advanced capabilities.
FREMONT, CA: Utilities is on the brink of transforming into a more efficient and service-oriented industry. The growing inclusion of smart meters, intelligent devices and IoT endpoints, is enabling utility companies to have greater access to electricity transmission, distribution and consumption data. With 5G-induced low latency connectivity on the cards, utility companies are expecting a significant improvement in real-time access to operational data. The acquired data can be used optimally when utility companies leverage analytics solutions to generate useful and actionable insights from it. These insights empower utility firms to optimize functions, deliver better services and develop grids that are reliable, efficient and smart.
The global market for grid analytics solutions is growing steadily owing to the industry's changing stance on adopting modern, data-centric capabilities. A report by Frost and Sullivan mentions that, currently, utility companies use only 2 to 4 percent of the accumulated data for the purpose of analytics. However, it also mentions that between 2018 and 2025, the market for grid analytics solutions will rise at a CAGR of 10.4 percent. The following list presents several reasons due to which the popularity of grid analytics solutions among utility companies is proliferating.
• Streamlining Management and Maintenance
Grid analytics solutions give utility companies an opportunity to utilize data towards better management and maintenance of infrastructure. Data from distribution networks can be collected and analyzed with grid analytics solutions. The reports from these analyses are designed to throw light upon breakdowns and outages in a detailed manner, allowing utility companies to dispatch maintenance teams for restoring services. The solutions use Geographic Information System algorithms to help detect outages in real-time, enabling service providers to minimize disruptions. Overall, the grid analytics solutions are crucial as they allow companies to achieve streamlined operations.
• Monitoring Transmission and Forecasting Demands
The complexity of grids is increasing with utility companies integrating new capabilities into them. The traditional grids that supported the transmission and distribution of electricity generated from conventional sources are transforming to support solar and wind power. Grid analytics solutions equip utility companies to monitor grid data in real-time. The analytics solutions backed by machine learning algorithms are capable of forecasting demands. The unpredictability of solar and wind-generated electricity can also be reduced with grid analytics solutions as accurate predictions relay information in advance, enabling service providers to increase preparedness by involving storage facilities. Thus, utility companies can conveniently support electricity from diverse sources while maintaining consistency and stability of the transmission.
• Improving Resilience Against Weather-Induced Outages
There are several features in grid analytics solutions that allow utility companies to make their services resilient. The utility infrastructure has to bear the brunt of natural calamities, leading to disruption in services. Grid analytics solutions leverage weather forecasts, draw insights from previous records of outages and geographic data to predict extreme weather conditions that could impact transmission. It is also possible to determine the impact of storms even before they hit a location. Thus, grid analytics empowers utility companies to prepare to face calamities, with which restoration of infrastructure and service can be carried out immediately and outage time can be reduced.
• Increasing Safety while Minimizing Costs
Grid analytics solutions enable utility companies to detect anomalies in real-time. Outages and service breakdowns can be monitored using grid analytics tools remotely. In addition to providing better visibility, these features allow utility companies to make the working environment safer for workers by minimizing exposure to hazards. Grid analytics allow predictive functionalities, reduced maintenance cost, and improved circuit configurations, enabling companies to improve efficiency and bring down losses.
The worth of grid analytics solutions for utility companies is increasing owing to the unmatched benefits that they provide. With advancing prowess of artificial intelligence, machine learning and IoT, data analytics is improving rapidly and allowing utility companies to make strategic use of data-driven business models.