POWER December 2021 - 30

TRANSMISSION & DISTRIBUTION
Build for Today, Design for
Tomorrow: Five Things to Look
for in an Intelligent Remote
Monitoring Solution
Today's electric power grids are evolving at an alarming pace. Distributed energy
resources are quickly taking the place of central power stations, making grid operators'
jobs of managing power flows in the system more difficult. Intelligent remote
monitoring solutions can help.
Bryan Friehauf
E
lectrical grids have undergone
massive change over the last decade.
Once static, hub-and-spoke
networks extending out from a central
power plant and control center, grids today
are decentralized while constantly
growing and contracting to meet dynamic
electricity demands. Power is increasingly
being produced on the edge
through residential solar and other renewable
sources, and consumed inconsistently
through electric vehicle charging
stations and other electrification
trends (Figure 1). These are not your
parents' electrical grids. They are seemingly
living, breathing networks that
power our homes, businesses, transportation
systems, and economies.
The increasing importance of the grid
has also transformed business models.
Electric utilities are no longer in the business
of producing power. Instead, they
deliver power across an increasingly
complex, dynamic electrical grid. Power
generated on the edge of the network
needs to be managed, modulated, and
delivered on demand to wherever it is
needed, across increasingly complex
electrical infrastructure. This requires the
ability to monitor the health and performance
of a growing list of assets and to
take immediate action to ensure balance
and prevent outages.
However, the growth and increasing
complexity of these networks are outpacing
the ability of human operators. It's
simply not practical anymore to have human
operators sifting through terabytes
of monitoring data across thousands of
assets-wading through thousands of
signals and alarms each day to differentiate
between issues that are actionable
and issues that are statistical noise. New
technology is needed to take pressure
off human operators without putting assets,
the grid, and customer experience
at risk.
A Modern Approach to Remote
Monitoring
Ameren, a Fortune 500 electrical utility
operating in Missouri and Illinois, is currently
transforming the way it operates
given these challenges. And, it's doing
so with the help of innovative technology
and Hitachi Energy.
Traditional remote monitoring solutions
provide near-real-time control and
analysis of grid production and health, as
well as predictive optimization and planning.
But Ameren has embraced new
intelligent remote monitoring solutions
powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and
machine learning (ML) to deliver continuous
insights that were never available
before. Its operators can use the
information to automate actions based
on pre-set triggers or take actions themselves
to ensure optimal health and performance,
and extend life of assets. And
they can do this without having to employ
an army of control room operators
or field technicians.
1. Power grids around the world are changing and the evolution is expected to continue. Electrification
trends, including the adoption of more electric vehicles, will force power systems
to expand, making intelligent remote monitoring systems even more important in the future.
Source: Shutterstock
30
www.powermag.com
Intelligent remote monitoring solutions
allow Ameren's operators to watch
energy flow, turn generating sources on
and off, monitor energy quality, warn
technicians about live wires, and conduct
other actions remotely and automatically-with
the ultimate goal of
facilitating safe and efficient day-to-day
operations while minimizing long-term
capital expenditures.
Moving Intelligence to the Edge
Intelligent remote monitoring solutions
POWER | December 2021
http://www.powermag.com

POWER December 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of POWER December 2021

POWER December 2021 - Cover1
POWER December 2021 - Cover2
POWER December 2021 - 1
POWER December 2021 - 2
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POWER December 2021 - SCover1
POWER December 2021 - SCover2
POWER December 2021 - S1
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