Smart grids: turning complex data into clear and actionable intelligence
Utility analytics provide meaningful information to utility engineers that help them to avoid unplanned outages, especially catastrophic failures
The electrical power industry is asset intensive and saddled with an aging infrastructure. Meanwhile, improved asset monitoring and communications are delivering an overwhelming flow of data. An effective asset health management system utilizes this data to achieve real-time performance analysis, empowering utilities to make sound decisions about these critical assets.
Utilities today are facing tighter operational and management budgets, aging infrastructure, and a drain of technical expertise as more utility workers qualify for retirement. Asset health management integrates equipment-based operational experience, manufacturing knowledge, maintenance and diagnostics expertise with enterprise-level information technology to enhance the reliability and performance of grid assets. The asset health management process includes sensors and monitoring; the capture and management of data from disparate systems; business intelligence functions to provide trending, alarming, dashboards, and system integration; and the analytics and performance models to drive condition-based maintenance. This last element is particularly valuable in that it allows utilities to perform maintenance based on the actual health of assets, taking into account their criticality to the system and an estimate of total risk of failure, as opposed to simply performing routine procedures at regular intervals whether actually needed or not.
Utility analytics provide persistent, meaningful information to utility engineers that help them to avoid unplanned outages, especially catastrophic failures. It also provides a tool to measure the impact of maintenance practices and decisions, and to comply with regulatory requirements. In that sense, they are very much central to the utility both figuratively and literally.
An asset health management system is the epitome of true OT/IT convergence, integrating existing monitoring infrastructure and systems with business intelligence, transforming operational data into actionable information.