Energy: Page 7 of 11

Wed, 2015-10-28 22:50 -- Jon DeKeles
PDF version

Optimized energy systems help conserve energy, delivering cost savings to cities, residents and businesses and also reducing the drain on energy resources.

Achieve asset optimization. This target plays an important role in the energy sphere, helping cities maximize the value of their assets by 1) calculating which energy assets need to be repaired or replaced and when, and 2) by predictive maintenance, which uses analytics to spot equipment that is close to failure so it can be repaired or replaced before problems arise.

Pursue predictive analytics. Drawing from instrumentation deployed across a city, analytics can enable advanced forecasting and management of a diverse, secure and resilient energy system. ICT helps cities account for demand, weather, effects from distributed resources that may be variable and other operational considerations. Understanding what to expect helps cities save on costs, conserve resources and prepare for extreme events.

Now we’ll introduce two new energy-specific targets that are critical to smart city success.

Automate fault and outage management. This is about the “self-healing” grid we referred to earlier. The idea is that the utility that serves your city would enable remote sensors, smart meters and other advanced smart grid technologies deployed throughout the energy network to automatically reduce the number of outages and the duration of those that do occur. For instance, a sensor might detect a fault on the electric grid and be able to locate it and isolate it before it has time to affect other areas. Or smart meters may alert a utility’s outage management system of trouble, allowing the utility to immediately dispatch crews and keep customers updated during and after the incident. Before the advent of these advanced technologies, utilities oftentimes didn’t know about an outage until customers started calling in.

A quick look at economic losses incurred from power outages explains why this is so important. A study by the Berkeley National Lab back in 2004 estimated that outages cost $80-130 billion per year in economic losses in the U.S. alone. After Superstorm Sandy, which wreaked havoc across the northeastern U.S. in 2012, the U.S. Congress approved more than $60 billion in emergency aid, which is roughly what state governments reported in damages and other losses.

By encouraging automated solutions a city or utility can make the energy supply more reliable, improve response to outages which in turn makes businesses more competitive and residents more comfortable.