From connected Energy systems to the Internet of Energy!
One central characteristic of modern civilization is its dependence on critical infrastructures like those used for providing power, transportation and water. For instance, countries with access to a reliable, uninterrupted supply of electricity are the ones that prosper because this energy input is crucial for industrial production and sustainable economic growth. After all, electricity is the cornerstone to just about everything billions of people worldwide do daily.
The traditional energy value chain as we know: from generation to consumption is becoming more complex as the global need for clean, reliable and affordable electricity continues to grow. For Transmission and Distribution operators to succeed in today’s changing environment, the ability to adapt and optimize operations at an ever-increasing rate is essential — digital transformation holds the key.
As the volume of smart sensors and meters deployed on grid increase by multiple orders of magnitude, so does the volume and speed of the data generated by the grid. Yet overall power producers and utilities are analyzing less than 2% of their available data. Without optimizing operational processes and taking advantage of automated energy systems, utilities are missing opportunities to have full data transparency, and thus unlock the potential of this data in order to increase reliability, efficiency and enhance grid safety.
Countries like the United Arab Emirates is in the midst of an energy transition. The energy sector continues to move into a future where the modern grid driven by the combination of intelligent grid-edge devices and high-speed communication. With the increasing share of renewable energy, digital technology offers an increasing degree of intelligence to all kinds of energy suppliers, consumers, and especially the grid.
New technological approaches like these are developing with unprecedented speed. They’re transforming and disrupting entire industries. And they’re speeding up the changes needed to create a more sustainable and cleaner future.
This is why we were proud of the joint activation between Siemens and Abu Dhabi Transmission & Despatch Company (TRANSCO) of the first digitally- connected power transformer in the Middle East– Siemens Sensformer – at TRANSCO’s Al Foah 220/33-kilovolt substation. This Sensformer is part of a pilot project that will use the data generated to improve performance of the substation.
"The installation and activation of this smart transformer is part and parcel of the digital transformation journey we launched under the umbrella of our vision to be one of the top quartile utilities in the world by 2024," said Dr. Bruce Stedall, TRANSCO Managing Director.
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A big step towards the Internet of Energy!
These next-generation transformers act as information hubs and are equipped with a connectivity feature that transmits a defined set of data to a cloud-based platform application. The program visualizes the information and provides real-time updates on the status and performance of assets.
Dr Salem Al Harthi, Director of Projects at TRANSCO, added: "It is also in line with the directives of our visionary leadership, aimed at meeting the increasing demand for water and electricity across the areas we serve in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and abroad."
By working with TRANSCO, Sensformer can learn from data to improve maintenance planning, simplify asset management and increase availability of power supply.
"With this deployment, Transco and Siemens will have the needed information to start the digital journey in transmission products and pave the way for the Internet of Energy," remarked Rafiq Hussain, Senior Vice President, Siemens Transmission Products in the Middle East.
Transformers are located at each critical node within the power grid and are exposed to various forms of electrical and physical stress. They are a vital part of power grids – no matter if conventional or digital. Without a monitoring device attached, their real status is usually unknown.
Grids equipped with Sensformer have access to real-time measurements of oil level, top oil temperature, low-voltage winding and GPS location of transformers.
On top of that, a mobile app provides secure mobile connectivity for an instant overview of real-time data. Key KPIs push messages in case of alarms. There’s no cause for concern anymore when transformers need to be operated under overload conditions for a certain time and when maintenance works need to be planned precisely. A great contribution to simplified asset management, enhanced operations and increased availability. It also represents a big step towards the Internet of Energy.
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