The importance of increased grid resilience in the US in recent years has been underscored by the need to develop an infrastructure that is capable of withstanding more severe and frequent weather events caused by climate change. The electrical system in many parts of the country has been impacted by hurricanes, wildfires, thunderstorms, and other phenomena, leading to outages.
Furthermore, utilities are working to manage the exponential growth of generation from distributed energy resources and the increase in energy demand associated with the electrification of transportation and other end uses. The growing complexity of power flows management has raised the need for a more robust, resilient, and reliable electrical infrastructure.
Gridspertise at Distributech
Gridspertise, a subsidiary of the Enel Group, is on a mission to be a trusted partner to utilities all over the world to support them as they accelerate the digitalization of their grids, to tackle current and future challenges.
Enel is the largest privately owned operator of distribution grids in the world, so applying its unique expertise and inheriting its extensive intellectual property, Gridspertise offers a flexible, customer-driven portfolio that can be tailored to existing or emerging needs of clients of any size and geography.
Gridspertise’s solutions and services leverage advanced technology and are circular by design, robust and field-tested at large scale in markets around the world. They’re designed to create value and deliver sustainable and reliable smart grids, while promoting more efficient energy usage and enabling innovative services to end-customers.
This year at Distributech, the leading annual transmission and distribution event, Gridspertise will present its ecosystem of grid solutions for the first time in the US, focusing on three areas of applicability: Prediction & Prevention; Grid Automation & Resilience; and Fast Response & Restoration.
Prediction and prevention
Promptly identifying vegetation and other elements that can interfere with distribution networks is key to guaranteeing reliable and continuous power and optimizing maintenance costs.
Gridspertise’s Network Digital Twin creates a virtual replica of the electric grid and the environment surrounding it by acquiring and processing datasets provided by laser scanner, photography, and sensors. Through its 3D Viewer and Computer Vision capabilities, it facilitates vegetation management and predictive maintenance as well as enhances grid resilience through the optimization of emergency management.
The solution can also be applied to streamline health and safety plan processes and engineering measurements.
The results are: up to 26% savings on trimming for vegetation management, 15% savings for maintenance, and 50% savings for engineering measurement with an overall increase in safety and efficiency of field workers.
Grid automation and resilience
The increasing complexity of power flows associated with distributed generation and electrification require more grid flexibility and intelligence at the edge.
QEd – Quantum Edge device is an all-in-one solution that virtualizes network functionalities through customizable and scalable applications. Thanks to its decentralized computing capability and edge multi-purpose platform, QEd allows grid operators to run business services directly on the edge and enables new applications to tackle future emerging challenges.
Reducing the physical components in secondary substations, QEd cuts on field interventions for installation as well as maintenance and logistics costs, making networks more efficient and sustainable.
To deliver powerful cutting-edge solutions such as the QEd, Gridspertise is adopting an open innovation approach, combining its intellectual property with the expertise of strategic technology partners.
Gridspertise collaborated with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. the world’s leading wireless technology innovator and driving force behind the development, launch, and expansion of 5G. The solution integrates the most up to date, secure, and scalable capabilities from Qualcomm Technologies’ IoT solutions and is equipped with powerful computing, Edge AI, connectivity, and security features.
As explained by Robert Denda, CEO of Gridspertise: “QEd is our cutting-edge solution that represents a leap forward in network infrastructure digitalization, enabling DSOs to run key grid functionalities directly on the edge. We are proud to work with Qualcomm Technologies and bring together our expertise to unlock immense potential across the utility industry.”
Fast response and restoration
Gridspertise’s Enhanced Workforce solution is a digital toolbox capable of speeding up and making field operations safer. It comprises a set of applications to consult and navigate the electrical network.
NetNav, one of the core applications, offers a 2D cartography of the grid that enables offline fast and complete network data retrieval and real-time update of network topology by fieldworkers. It is indispensable for almost all field work activities and for the effective management of complex modern networks.
NetNav offers real-time and offline navigation on networks of up to 10 million nodes per selected area, integrated management of instruments for precision GPS detection or centimeter distances, and precise network editing with return to central GIS systems. It can also be integrated with SCADA systems for remote control of the network and is an immediate and intuitive Stat Center for all network maintenance applications.
ARNet, another application, uses augmented reality to project the electrical network superimposed on the external world surrounding the operator. This allows field staff to quickly, reliably, and precisely identify the elements on which to intervene in all weather conditions.
ARNet offers an efficient solution to offset and overcome environmental disasters. It delivers fast intervention in the case of disasters (SAIDI impact) and highlights hidden elements, thus reducing intervention time.
Innovation and digitalization can contribute to making the grid more resilient and efficient. To stay competitive and deliver reliable service to customers, distribution system operators in the US need an expert partner that is on the cutting edge of technical solutions and can apply those solutions at scale.
Gridspertise will showcase these solutions at Booth n.123 in Distributech and is looking forward to becoming a trusted partner for American utilities.
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