image alt tag

Data deluge creating problems for utility providers

By Max Burkhalter
July 16, 2012
Smart grid solutions offer a great deal of potential for utility providers and customers alike. However, the technology also presents a few problems that power companies are working to resolve during the early stages of the technology's deployment. According to a recent study from Oracle, the sheer volume of data generated by smart meter systems is presenting a major challenge for utility companies, creating demand for data management systems and procedural improvements in the sector.

The survey asked utility providers using smart meters to rate themselves on a scale from 1 to 10 based on how well they are able to handle the data that comes from the new solutions. The average response was a 6.7.

This is particularly problematic because smart meters are used to deliver significant amounts of critical information, including details about outages, voltages, tampering within the utility network and diagnostics. All of this knowledge can be used to improve the customer experience, but only if utility providers are able to manage it effectively.

According to the study, 45 percent of respondents are experiencing difficulties delivering important smart grid data to managers in time for them to use the information effectively. Furthermore, half of the utility providers participating in the survey said they miss opportunities to deliver data generated by the smart meters to consumers who would benefit from the information.

Rodger Smith, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Utilities, explained that dealing with data has become a priority for utility providers working to implement smart grid solutions.

"Smart grid deployments are creating exponentially more data for utilities and giving them access to information they have never had before," said Smith. "Oracle's 'Big Data, Bigger Opportunities' report indicates that a vast majority of utility executives are working to enhance their ability to glean real intelligence from smart grid data - to ultimately create new opportunities to improve service reliability and deliver useful information to customers. Utilities can benefit from establishing enterprise information strategies, and investing in the systems and people needed to make better business decisions."

Dealing with smart grid data poses considerable challenges for utility vendors, especially since many experts agree that getting consumers involved in smart grid programs is vital to ongoing success in the sector. While technology is critical to establishing smart grid, helping consumers make the most of the technology is necessary to gaining the benefits provided by the advanced utility solution.

Perle offers a range of cost effective serial-to-Ethernet converters to help meet NERC-CIP compliance for the protection of critical cyberassets in substations. The IOLAN SDS HV/LDC Terminal Server is designed to meet harsh environments associated with Power Substations with attributes such as support for substation AC and DC voltage ranges, extended operating temperatures and meeting emission, immunity and safety approvals associated with substation IT equipment.


Have a Question? Chat with a live Product Specialist!

Have a Question?

We can provide more information about our products or arrange for a price quotation.

email-icon Send an Email
contactus-icon Send an Email callus-icon Call Us

Send us an Email