Modernizing the Electrical Grid Part 4: Going Digital – Processing and Analyzing Data

July 8, 2020

Modernizing the Grid is a 4 part series.  Please check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 and now for the full story. 

In modernized electrical grid systems, an extraordinary amount of data can be obtained to help a utility better understand how its system is performing, and to pinpoint specific areas where improvements could be made.

That can be a major problem. These new systems can put out so much information, it can overwhelm a company as its engineers struggle to interpret, manage, and act on this data.

As you modernize your electrical grid with new technology and communications networks, you’ll see, quite quickly, that information can be obtained from a multitude of locations.

Not all of the information is equal in its value. Many of the devices and sensors built into a system house data at different sites and use different systems to access it based on the manufacturer. This is where you’ll need a system that has the flexibility to not only gather lots of data from a multitude of data points, as well as the horsepower to distill the data into meaningful information for your processing engineers to make sense of it to better manage your grid.

For devices implemented in large quantities that deliver frequent data, such as an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system, a separate management system may be required to ensure the information is processed and stored properly. It is vital that an integration plan is developed for this network of systems to function properly and that the framework is set in place to ensure the maximum amount of data is captured and secured adequately.

Having the ability to accurately capture this data is only the first step in this process. Deciding what to do with the data and how to interpret it is an entirely different challenge.

With data continuously being transmitted and captured, it is imperative that it is reviewed, analyzed and acted upon on an ongoing basis. Laying out and enabling the correct processes will help ensure that this information is used to the utility’s maximum benefit.

So, as you go into your planning efforts to modernize your electrical grid system, give careful thought as to what information you want, why you want it, and how you’ll use that information to obtain a higher level of performance for your grid.

To better understand how to design into your system a better way of using data coming from your electrical grid modernization program, tap the expertise of Ulteig’s power generation and distribution experts. By choosing the right process for your utility, utilities can greatly improve system reliability, reduce grid costs, and maximize energy use. Ulteig delivers comprehensive design engineering, program management and technical and field services that strengthen infrastructure vital to everyday life.


By Josh Guck, Grid Modernization Lead

Josh Guck brings nearly a decade of distribution engineering experience to Ulteig’s Power and Renewable markets. As the company’s Grid Modernization lead, he supports clients throughout the U.S. in developing innovative solutions to help navigate the fast-paced changes occurring in our industry.

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