With dwindling resources and rising costs of energy, organisations are looking for ways to manage their power usage. The phenomenon is known as smart energy management, and it refers to technology that enables organisations to use power more efficiently. Big data and advanced analytics play a huge role in intelligent energy management. In this blog, we are going to explain the connection between analytics and energy management.
What is advanced analytics?
Advanced analytics is an umbrella term for high-level methods and tools that focus on projecting future trends. It consists of predictive data analytics, data mining and big data. This type of analytics is used to predict future trends and take meaningful action. It’s a stark contrast to other forms of analytics, like exploratory analytics, which is more about finding connections in data sets.
You will find those advanced analytics used in several different industries like healthcare, marketing and of course, smart energy management.
What is smart energy management?
Smart energy management refers to the phenomenon of tracking and managing power usage intelligently. The purpose is to discover new and clever ways to reduce the cost of energy by making it more efficient while eliminating the wastage of resources.
What’s the connection between advanced analytics and smarter energy management?
With the rise in utility costs and changing technologies, energy providers are turning to analytics to make better use of resources.
Reduced cost in upgrading infrastructure
Advanced analytics can reduce the cost of upgrading infrastructure. One of the issues utility providers face is upgrading infrastructure to take advantage of the latest technological developments. Upgrading the power grid is a multi-billion dollar project. There are several reasons for the high cost of upgrading, like expanding the local network and associated infrastructure.
The redundancies to manage peak, troughs and protection from blackouts and power surges. However, advanced analytics can reduce the cost of upgrading infrastructure by making more efficient use of current assets. With advanced analytics and big data, the system will be more interconnected.
Moreover, operators will have an easier time surveying the demand and supply of power. A better understanding of power usage leads to savings and more efficient use of power, thus, reducing the pressure to upgrade and expand infrastructure.
Efficient use of current assets
We have seen an explosion of new smart products, like smart metering and DERs. These new products, along with advanced analytics, allow power grids to capture thousands of data points that were not possible some time ago. We have seen an explosion of data-collecting assets like sensors, placed throughout an electric grid to capture data. The data collected provides decision makers with invaluable information.
The data provides better insight into the demand and supply of power in real time, the amount of power used at peak or downtime and more. The data also gives decisionmakers better insight into the demand for energy. Therefore, it’s possible to make more efficient use of energy by cutting costs while still maintaining the needs of the public. As a result of this, there is less pressure on current resources and less pressure to expand.
One significant problem for the utility industry is maintenance. It’s difficult to predict when systems need maintenance, but the fallout from negligence is high – think blackouts. However, with advanced analytics, it’s now possible to engage in ‘predictive maintenance’. A method of maintenance that prolongs the lifespan of the infrastructure and improves the efficiency of the equipment.
Advanced analytics provides real-time information via sensors on equipment. For example, under conventional circumstances, technicians would read a remote gauge once a month. But if there is a serious condition not displayed on the gauge, then the technician will not be able to know the severity of the situation. However, with analytics, technicians have access to and can read full-time data for immediate identification of trouble. The option to identify any issues in real-time improves maintenance processes significantly.
Advanced analytics leads to smarter energy management by making the most out of current energy use. What’s the result of all this? More efficient use of energy infrastructure, better maintenance, and lower costs associated with upgrading infrastructure. Even better, advanced analytics paves the way for more energy innovations, like decarbonisation and the proliferation of renewable energy. Without analytics, it’s impossible to improve maintenance and efficiency.
Data analytics doesn’t just improve energy management but also public transport, aviation and so much more. Find out more on our blog.