5 Ways Using Analytics can Help Improve the Smart Grid
As grids age, properly balancing the power distribution can sometimes be a bit trick...
5. They can help manage the load balance.
As grids age, properly balancing the power distribution can sometimes be a bit tricky. However, by using smart grid analytics, power can be distributed as needed in an effective manner. Jeff McCracken, Senior Products Line Manager at Itron Analytics, believes it can address many current issues with power grids.
“While not a panacea for all challenges, transformer load management analytics can utilize smart-meter data and actual weather models to continuously monitor and analyze distribution transformer loading levels and report on asset health, helping utilities make informed decisions to balance loads,” he writes.
4. They can help forecast severe weather events and other emergencies that could disrupt the grid.
One of the biggest issues with aging grids is the fact that anything can take them down at any given time. With analytics, these events can be better predicted and prepared for. Severe storms are more and more common, making grid outages more common. McCracken believes they have a great usefulness in furthering preventative measures.
“Analytics enable operators to monitor and report the exact times of service interruption at each system endpoint and use these results to measure improvement in restoration time from automated distribution processes,” he writes. “This allows utilities to identify and restore outages more rapidly, without having to rely on customer inquiries.”
This means faster response times and faster repairs.
3. Better understanding how the grid works allows for better efficiency.
Analytics help understand exactly how the grid works and is able to identify trends. Using this knowledge, utilities can help drive efficiency and better utilize their resources. This is something that must be done, too.
“Growth in smart grid is no longer a luxury for utilities—aging infrastructure, retiring personnel and the proliferation of distributed generation resources like solar are creating a situation where the last generation of technology will no longer adequately ensure a safe, stable grid,” Richelle Elberg, senior research analyst for Navigant Research, told Tech Republic.
2. They will help drive innovation and ultimately job growth.
IT professionals are always in demand, but especially when it comes to the development side of the smart grid.
“I personally think that the market for IT solutions will be one of--if not the--largest categories among all of the components of a smart grid. We see the market for smart grid IT, including analytics solutions, growing to more than $23 billion in 2023,” Elberg told Tech Republic. “The only larger category is transmission upgrades, which will be necessary for the grids of the future, but aren't 100% tied to actual 'smart' technology.”
A report out of Navigant Research showed that smart grid investments are projected to hit $594 billion by 2023.
1. Analytics can help make the grid safer.
As we’ve reported before, utilities need to beef up security when it comes to smart grids. A breach in smart grid security could spell disaster for utilities. Analytics could be used to help detect if someone is in the grid framework, tampering with meters and other tools. They could also see energy being improperly diverted. It’s already begun to happen and will continue. Smart grids are a powerful too, but they’re also highly vulnerable. Analytics could help maintain and beef up security.
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.