How analytics help utilities speed storm response (and even prevent outages)

Fri, 2015-02-13 06:00 -- SCC Staff

Storms are challenging for utilities -- and certainly for their customers when outages occur. Resources are often stretched thin as crews try to troubleshoot and chase a multitude of problems scattered over their service area. But a newly updated analytics package from Council Associate Partner Oracle could not only help utilities recover faster from a storm -- it could help them minimize some of the outages in the first place.

The latest version of Oracle Utilities Outage Analytics adds a variety of capabilities that utilities should find helpful during a storm or when planning for the next one. The update helps utilities make much better use of all the data that flows rapidly during a widespread outage and to draw better insights from it afterward to prevent future problems.

Faster outage recovery
During storms, utilities can use the enhanced Oracle Utilities Outage Analytics dashboards to keep better track of outages and the resources available to restore service. The dashboards provide near real-time views with data that is refreshed every few minutes.

The dashboards allow managers to quickly ascertain outage density, see crews and assignments, and estimate restoration time. By providing a nearly instant view of data from a wide range of sources, the update helps people managing the storm response use resources more effectively.

Further, the update also reduces the burden on the outage management system. Customer support teams and other personnel can access outage information without having to the overall management system, reducing the burden on it.

Uncovering lessons learned
The Oracle package includes a historical outage dashboard, which shows a wide range of information, including service area segment performance, device type and worst-performing assets. Utilities can use that information to uncover weaknesses in the grid. This insight helps managers determine the components should be repaired or replaced on a high priority basis.

A reliability dashboard matches performance against a number of key benchmarks to help measure performance. It can also package those insights into a format that’s appropriate to share with regulators.

Related topics…
S&C Electric case study: Canada’s First Utility-Scale Energy Storage System Islands Remote Town During Outages
Siemens case study: How a Utility Cured an Ibuprofen Plant’s Biggest Headache
Making cities more resilient, one distribution transformer monitor at a time