The Need for an Intelligent Grid Management System of Systems – Part 2
In Part 1 of this series, we discussed some of the key grid modernization challenges facing today's power utilities. In particular, the need to implement new, smart solutions to manage the growing number of DERs often requires expensive upgrades to existing systems (e.g., SCADA).
Optimize and Streamline Grid Modernization with a System of Systems Approach
Adopting a System of Systems (SoS) approach to grid modernization projects lets you avoid the costs and risks mentioned above. SoS incorporates technologies designed to enable interaction between systems, applications, sensors and controllable devices over multiple communications media, using multiple protocols.
This approach facilitates integration of installed and expected DERs and customer home energy solutions, together with other utility assets such as transformers, SCADA, feeders, GIS and IT systems, in one integrated system view. This enables real-time correlation of data across multiple domains and platforms for optimal situational awareness and generation of operational insights.
An SoS-based DERMS solution encompasses a set of packaged modules that know how to talk to one another and can easily integrate with new adapters to support third party applications. In this way, utilities can implement DERMS without costly upgrades. Once implemented, vendor-agnostic design lets utilities upgrade their existing systems without impacting the SoS.
Thus, the SoS approach is ideal for power grid modernization as it provides a single vendor agnostic platform for managing, viewing and controlling assets, teams, responsibilities, processes and events on the grid (OT and IT).
How Utilities Benefit from SoS-Based Grid Management
An SoS approach provides numerous advantages for grid modernization implementations:
- Avoid costly forklifts - leverage existing infrastructure and preserve investment without requiring costly upgrades
- Best-of-breed approach - easily integrate optimal third party products, such as forecasting engines and smart meter-based analytics, from any vendor as needed
- Future proof - allow utility to build integrated solution based on adaptable and flexible design
- Fast deployment - based on seamless integration with utility infrastructure
- Reduced CAPEX - better utilization of assets under constraint based on load forecasting and transparent data transfer between DERMS and asset management systems
- Reduced OPEX - optimize and integrate IT and OT processes for reduced costs, better operational efficiency and improved system performance
- Improve service to customers – improved assets management and process optimization will reduce power outages