Brain of the Smart Grid

It would probably surprise people to know that electricity companies around the world do not have software systems which enable them to see and control what happens on their power network right down to the street level. They have systems in place to monitor the transmission of power, however when it comes to down to the street or home level they have next to no visibility of what is going on.

It is a bit like you being able to feel and control your arms and legs but not your hands and fingers.

Smart meters are being installed rapidly all over the world thanks to various stimulus packages hoping to encourage us and the utility companies to be more ‘green’. These can provide automatic readings to the utility company and even real-time power usage data right from the ‘fingertips’ of the network (e.g. your home). However, surprisingly, utility companies do not have the facility to process this data in a timely manor in order to help them manage the network. The grid may be ‘smart’ but the information is not being put to its best possible use.

If it took you 1 hour to realise your fingers were being burned, what good is your sense of touch?!

What is currently absent is a software ‘brain’ to interpret all data as quickly as possible, present this information in a usable format for the utility workers and even automatically control parts of the grid in case of problems. For example, if there is a storm which causes a power outage, this ‘brain’ could immediately work out how to restore power to the most customers and modify the grid to do so in a matter of minutes. It would also detect when a problem had been resolved and restore normality with minimum delay. Such a ‘brain’ could help predict problems with grid components and help plan the evolution of the grid to best serve its customers. It could even learn the usage patterns of the grid’s customers and predict power demand peaks or power surpluses in the future.

GRIDiant is the first company to develop (and patent) a software ‘brain’ for the smart grid of today and tomorrow. It allows the utility manager to view the grid as a whole to monitor it, as well as drill-down into more detail about specific components to ensure they are operating within recommended parameters. Their software can save utilities companies a fortune in maintenance costs, downtime minimisation, grid optimisation and much more. The return on investment from the use of the GRIDiant ‘brain’ is easily quantifiable and therefore a simple decision for any operator of a smart electricity grid.

I love businesses where everyone wins. The utility company saves money and reduces CO2 emissions, the customer gets better reliability and the knowledge that the use of renewable energy is being maximised by their electricity provider … and GRIDiant makes money!

Therefore I am proud to have been a small help in seeing GRIDiant through to their next phase of growth and the future beyond. Long live the brain, more power to GRIDiant!

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