At this week’s DistribuTECH 2015 conference, we’re demoing the Intel Intelligent Substation Solution featuring Intel® Pico Canyon software, which introduces data intelligence to secondary substations. Pico Canyon provides a straight-forward solution for energy utilities that are responding to significant and rapid changes in the way our electricity is being generated.
A Shifting Energy Landscape
The founding architecture and design principles of the current electrical power grid were established for a different era, requiring investment and changes to adapt to technological advances like the recent rise of renewable energy sources and other small-scale distributed generation resources. Today, more sources of electricity are connected to secondary distribution substations, rather than to the transmission grid. This change in electricity generation raises the risk of suboptimal use if the secondary distribution network is not properly monitored and managed. While most of the higher voltage (HV) parts of the grid have been automated, the secondary distribution network (medium- to low-voltage transformers and low-voltage distribution) have not.
A shifting approach toward more monitoring and control of secondary distribution networks is also making it easier for utilities to better accommodate new connections like electric-vehicle chargers and edge sensors, which can connect to the grid at low-voltage levels. Intel is working with utilities around the globe to develop solutions that provide a better view of equipment across these expanding areas of the grid.
Updating our Energy Grid for the Internet of Things: Connecting Secondary Substations
The Intel intelligent substation solution featuring Pico Canyon provides a big data management platform that supports the operations, planning, engineering, and system analysis needs of secondary distribution networks. It offers aggregated, post-processed secondary substation data while also providing tools for configuration, visualization, report generation, and predictive analytics. These tools enable improved grid planning, more-effective maintenance planning, and comprehensive and consistent power quality analysis across the network. It also results in better targeting of the low-voltage power delivery, avoidance and faster recovery from network outages, and even better forecasting of load, reactive power consumption, and renewable power feed-in.
A Secondary Substation Solution for a Better Tomorrow
The Intel intelligent substation solution does more than just aggregate post-processed secondary substation data in a database, and provide tools for visualization, alarming, and status checking. It provides a clear view of current status of the grid at the level of individual secondary substations, including the ability to remotely configure the stations. The collected measurement data integrates into workflow for grid planning and powerful new predictive analytics modules. These analytics modules fuse data from other utility information services and external information services like weather, geo-location, and other external systems that impact the business of reliable, continuous, high-quality power delivery to all.
As the world’s energy needs continue to shift, solutions like this offer utilities an opportunity to make significant contributions toward increasing resilience against failures, raising efficiency and reducing operating costs.
For more on Intel solutions for energy, visit intel.com/energy.