Reliability is an essential component of good utility services. Homeowners and business owners alike need to be assured they won’t lose power unexpectedly and know that it will be up and running as soon as possible if they do lose power. From tsunamis, forest fires, and ice storms, extreme weather has proved to be the number one opponent of utility reliability, and it has only become a bigger threat each year since the early 2000s.
New technological developments have played a crucial role in helping utility providers re-establish control over external threats and re-establish reliability. Here are a few technological developments that have been incorporated in the utility industry to help aid reliability, and by extension, manage costs and increase customer satisfaction.
Traditionally, the utility industry is hardware heavy, but recently utility providers have shifted into the digital realm to increase efficiency and reliability. A digital twin is a virtual model of a physical object. Utility suppliers can create a simulated copy to gain real-time updates on grid performance. All the data associated with a digital twin lives in a cloud and helps to reduce the cost and risk of construction and maintenance.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is one tool used to take back control over energy and increase reliability. For example, AI is used to monitor utility systems to prevent outages by completing real-time analysis and identifying any current or potential problems. The ability to proactively identify a problem helps utility providers save time and money and increase customer satisfaction.
Internet of Energy
The Internet of energy (IOE) is a network of smart energy components across various generation units, storage, meters, loads and distribution equipment. The creation of IOE has allowed utility providers to collect, organize, create information from various grid devices in a network to streamline grid management.