With the energy usage expected to grow by 50% by 2050 due to global megatrends of urbanisation, digitisation and industrialisation, the electricity demand is expected to grow two times faster than that. In such a scenario, the utilities companies are most stressed and are required to ramp up at the same pace to meet the burgeoning demand. While these companies are tasked with the challenge of ensuring 24X7 power for all on one hand, they are expected to also make power affordable as well as sustainable. Utilities today also need to be cognisant of the environmental impact of power consumption and climate change. In such a scenario, ‘attaining efficiency’ in power generation as well as distribution, forms the key solution for these companies.
The good news here is the technological evolution that is spreading across all sectors. The evolution of Internet of Things (IoT) is playing a critical role in unlocking the potential for energy efficiency across segments. Utilities, today have tremendous opportunities that can be leveraged from IoT and various smart technologies that facilitates real-time data collection, analytics and predictive maintenance.
Schneider's EcoStruxure Grid
Understanding this need, Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, launched the EcoStruxure™ Grid platform in November 2016, with the aim of driving Grid transformation. The EcoStruxure™ Grid platform helps Distribution System Operators (DSOs), tackle the complexity arising from digitalisation of utilities. It is an open, interoperable, IoT-enabled system architecture and platform targeted at several verticals, including the Grid market and DSOs.
A digital architecture that includes connected products and applications, analytics, edge control and services combined with cyber security, though individual elements of the stack may already be in use, however with EcoStruxure™ Schneider Electric has merged all capabilities into one platform. Essentially, EcoStruxure™ delivers enhanced value around safety, reliability, efficiency, sustainability and connectivity. It also leverages advancements in IoT, mobility, sensing, Cloud, analytics and cyber security to drive innovation at every level. Edge control includes substation operation, advanced metering operation as well as secure, reliable and efficient Grid, substation and meter management, among others. Moreover, EcoStruxure™ helps reduce the duration of outages by locating them faster. Its Smart Grid Analytics also facilitates efficient operations and predictive maintenance.
If required, DSOs could deploy the complete end-to-end system for driving high efficiency in Grid operations, optimising asset management and assisting the transformation to being a digital utility with digitised end-users. An essential pillar of the digitalisation journey of DSOs is the sensing market. Smart sensors are being deployed to anticipate the failure on transformers or switchgears for critical assets.
For readers wondering how useful EcoStruxure would be for India’s utility companies, the ambitious targets in clean energy and energy security are prime examples. The programme for creating 100 Smart Cities is another important domain where the EcoStruxure Grid could make the difference between timely implementation and time overruns since the IoT supports almost all domains.
In today’s energy-dependent world driven by decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitisation, utilities need to constantly keep innovating and evolving. Accordingly, Schneider Electric’s IoT-enabled EcoStruxure can provide a framework allowing the promise of IIoT to be realized via innovation at all levels, maximising energy efficiency and sustainability.
Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure architecture is already deployed in 450,000+ installations, with the support of 9,000 system integrators, connecting more than one billion devices across various segments..
Considering its range of benefits and advantages, Schneider’s EcoStruxure Grid is the ideal solution to address India’s energy challenges.